The police shooting and riots that have been happening all year have no end in sight. While this story did not take place in Portland, it wasn’t very far away.
Police officers were placed in direct danger on the other side of the border, in the southwestern corner of Washington state. A suspect in a drug investigation was involved in a confrontation with the people that turned deadly.
No evidence has been released and there’s no body-cam footage to speak of. According to initial reports, the deceased is said to have drawn a handgun and aimed it at the police.
The protests over the shooting did not take long to break out and of course, they became violent in short order as well. These incidents unfolded in the suburb of Vancouver, Washington.
This time, the protests unfolded a bit differently than usual. Once the Black Lives Matter protesters began to assemble, they were met by a group of counter-protesters. 21-year-old Kevin E. Peterson Jr. is the suspect who was fatally wounded, as identified by his father. The protesters were holding a vigil in an unincorporated section of the neighborhood.
They were holding signs that read “Honk for Black lives. White silence is violence” and “Scream his name”. All of the details about the incident have yet to leak out but there are conflicting reports at the moment.
According to a report from The Clark County Sheriff, a joint city-county narcotics task force was in the midst of an investigation when the suspect fled from them in a parking lot.
Sheriff Chuck Atkins says the man was given the chance to surrender and elected not to. He fired shots at the officers, who were able to recover a gun at the scene. Evidently, there were two stages to the encounter, though.
The confrontation where Peterson is said to have fired shots at the officers took place in a hotel parking lot. He is alleged to have been selling illegal drugs at this location.
Once shots were fired, Peterson was given a wide berth by the law enforcement officials. From there, he is said to have run into three Clark County deputies, who he is believed to have fired at. The gun was first found in the bank parking lot. The delay between the shots being fired and the return shots being fired is going to beg a number of questions.
If Peterson is found to have fired shots at the second group of deputies, the case will be fairly open and shut. All the officers need to do now is find the man’s gun and make sure that shots were fired. That should clear the officers who were involved in any wrongdoing. Once the bodycam footage gas been released, this will go a long way towards answering any additional questions.
From the looks of it, it is going to be hard to convict the officers of any wrongdoing here. That’s not the only interesting aspect of the story, either. We are especially intrigued by another development that took place. The speed at which the counter-protest assembled is surprising. These folks protected the police station and a local federal building from the rioters.
If the police had not been willing to swarm the area with officers, we shudder to think of what would have happened next. The likelihood of a violent confrontation between these groups was high. This is a sure sign that there is a counter populist revolt building. These people are getting tired of seeing their cities on fire.
That’s why they are finally taking the time to do something about it. It’s not hard to see why people have grown very tired of protests, riots, and the never ending conversation about whether they are right or wrong. Those who find themselves in the latter group are not going to allow their streets to be taken over any longer.