On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot in the face by an “unarmed black man,” or at least that is exactly how the media would have described him had the deputy shot him instead. Don’t believe me? Need I mention the name Michael Brown?
You see folks, something that all cops understand, but the media and cop hating groups like Black Lives Matter intentionally ignore, is that every time a cop is involved in a physical altercation, at least one gun is present. Furthermore, unlike TV or organized sporting events, there are no fair fights and real fights do not have referees. The slightest use of force can look ugly, but a full on fight is very ugly, and it can wind up with someone dead or seriously injured, which is exactly what happened on Tuesday. Thankfully, by the grace of God, the deputy survived and doctors say he will fully recover.
The unarmed suspect in Tuesday’s shooting, like most violent criminals encountered by law enforcement, was no stranger to the “justice system.” Nicory Marquis Spann is a 27 year old man who has been in and out of jails and prison for much of his adult life. Not only is he a convicted felon, but he was also on active probation at the time of the shooting and had only recently been released from jail. His criminal history includes multiple arrests for battery, criminal threats, brandishing weapons, resisting arrest, and a minor little thing such as being involved in a double murder, for which he went to prison.
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department via a Facebook post:
“The initial investigation shows the deputy made contact with Spann on the lower platform of the Regional Transit station. Unprovoked, Spann violently attacked the deputy and began fighting with him. At some point during the fight, Spann was able to get the deputy’s gun and fired two shots. One of the shots struck the deputy in the face.”
With hindsight being 20/20, and looking at Spann’s criminal history, his actions in this incident are not remotely surprising, but in the real world, cops are not omniscient. We do not know who everyone is, what their background is or what their intentions might be. We have no idea if the person we are talking to is the nicest person on the planet, or as in the case of Spann, a violent criminal willing to shoot a cop in the face over nothing.
“Unarmed” Does Not Mean “Not Dangerous”
We (law enforcement) have said that a million times, but the media and cop hating groups refuse to acknowledge that. Every year, according to FBI statistics, an average of 700 murders occur where the weapon used was “Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).” Those numbers do not include incidents where the unarmed suspect managed to take a weapon from the victim and use it on them.
So, at the risk of becoming a broken record, let me again say unarmed does not mean not dangerous!
Stop Letting Criminals Off Lightly
The whole misconception that an unarmed person is not a threat is only half of the problem. The other half, which is especially pronounced here is California is that the media, the cop hating groups, and sadly a good portion of the voting population have begun to view criminals as some sort of group victimized by the cops and the criminal justice system. If you look at the legislation that has been passed here recently, both by the legislature and by the voters (Ab-109, Prop 47 and Prop 57), there is a very disturbing trend of decriminalizing crime. Convicted felons are being let out of prison early, felonies are being turned into misdemeanors or eliminated as crimes altogether, the parole system has been neutered, the probation system has been overwhelmed, and as a result, tens of thousands of violent criminals are wandering the streets instead of being locked in a cage where they belong.
It is a long established, well-known (to those who pay attention) fact that the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, many with very long criminal backgrounds. Despite the tired mantra repeated by the media and criminal apologists everywhere, including one Barack Obama, one does not go to prison for simple possession of a joint (a marijuana cigarette).
“Please note that the majority of crime in America is not reported and the majority of reported crime does not result in an arrest and in many jurisdictions, a significant minority of crimes are not prosecuted. Thus if you reach the stage where the criminal justice system is prosecuting you for a felony, either you have done something very wrong or the system is tired of seeing you back in court.”
In addition to the fact that prison sentences are being reduced and crimes are being decriminalized, another serious problem faced in this country is the over-used pattern of plea bargaining by the district attorneys (state’s attorney, prosecutors, etc. – term varies by jurisdiction) in order to avoid costs involved with jury trials. This issue has gotten so bad that people arrested for very serious charges, such as being a conspirator in a double murder (like Spann), are being allowed to plea bargain down to far less serious charges which puts them back on the street after only a few years.
It does not take much effort to find numerous recent events where persons actively on probation or parole have killed cops (these stories are far easier to find compared to murders of citizens). In fact, in the last years, a few noteworthy events come to mind.
- In Whittier, CA on February 20th, a known gang member and active parolee killed his cousin first, and shortly thereafter killed a cop, Officer Keith Boyer, who responded to a car crash that the piece of worthless crap gang member was involved in (while driving his dead cousin’s stolen car).
- In Palm Springs, CA in October of 2016, another gang member with many serious prior convictions, who was on active probation, shot and killed two Palm Springs cops, Officers Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny, who responded to his home for a “family disturbance.” The suspect was laying in wait and murdered them in cold blood.
- In May of 2015, in Omaha, NE, Officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed by a 26 year old shooting suspect who had prior convictions for multiple felonies including drug dealing and attempted murder, yet instead of being in prison was on the streets. That felon’s girlfriend supplied him with the gun he used, and in a total miscarriage of justice, that girlfriend received a whopping one year of probation for her crime that directly lead to the death of a cop.
Those are just a small sample of the incidents where people who very obviously should have been rotting in a small box were instead on the streets, thanks to our ridiculously lenient “criminal justice system” and as a result, a cop is no longer living. As I previously said, these incidents are only those involving cops as the victim, not private citizens. Examples of private citizens being the victim of a person who should have been in prison/jail at the time of the crime are far too plentiful to list, and sadly they rarely even garner much media attention.
We know who is committing these crimes, and we know what we can do to prevent them, but sadly our society currently lacks the intestinal fortitude to take those steps. Hell, seeming at least half of our society, thanks to the media and groups like Black Lives Matter, instantly sides with the criminals. Long gone are the times when cops were given the benefit of the doubt.
The criminal justice system is broken, folks, and the current state of it puts all of us in danger. Ironically enough, if you were to search the internet for the phrase “broken criminal justice system” you would find hundreds of articles claiming the exact opposite of what I am saying here. I guess I just have no sympathy for people who find themselves in prison.
Sadly, until we as a society once again decide that criminals need to actually be punished for their crimes, we can look forward to many more instances of people being killed by a suspect who should have been dead or in jail.
A GoFundMe account has been created to raise money for Deputy Alex Ladwig, the deputy who was shot in the face on June 27. Alex has a long road to recovery. If you wish to contribute, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/AlexLadwigGetWellSoon
Matt is a full time Deputy Sheriff that has been on the job since 1996. During his time as a LEO, he’s attended countless training classes and is a court recognized firearms expert.