This Incident Will Not Be Televised

Mugshot of Kenya Jenkins Jr., 21 – courtesy Omaha Police Department

It was only shoplifting. It was not dangerous. Shoplifting is not a capital offense. You should not die over a shoplifting crime.

This is a common refrain by the Socialist/Leftist/Communist/Democratic Party soi disant “civil rights” groups say whenever a Black person is shot by police over a petty crime like shoplifting. Is that not what the self-righteous journalists and pundits always say. You know who they are – Ted Tapper, Ben Crump, Al Sharpton, Don Lemon, Linda Reid, Chris Cuomo, Nicole Wallace, Joy Reid, ACLU, YWCA, Black Lives Matter, Antifa et al.  Shoplifting is not a violent crime. 

Try telling Jeffrey Wittstruck, a White, Omaha, Nebraska, police officer that shoplifting is a nonviolent crime. Wittstruck was shot four times in the head by Kenya Jenkins, a 21-year-old Black male, who was being investigated for shoplifting.

 It is important, in this context, to mention the race of the police officer and the race of the criminal. Why? Because whenever a Black person is injured, shot, and/or killed by a White police officer the news media make an extraordinary effort to inform the public of the races of the officer and the suspect. 

The assault occurred March 12 at the Westroads Mall in Omaha. Fortunately, Officer Wittstruck, a four-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department was listed as stable and recovering.

According to the information released to the press, police responded at 3:27 p.m. They were told by a Penney department store’s loss prevention employee that Jenkins put a package of T-shirts in a backpack and left the store without paying for them. He was being detained in the store’s loss prevention office.

Jenkins did not cooperate with the police. Does this sound familiar? It should. It was what one usually learns about the use of force by police that often result in an Arrest-Related-Death.   

Officer Wittstruck tried to speak to him. Officer Wittstruck asked Jenkins to take off his backpack. Instead, Jenkins put his right hand in his sweatshirt pocket. Once again, a familiar action by a suspect prior to the use of force by police.

Wittstruck asked Jenkins to show his hands multiple times, but Jenkins refused. This is an all too familiar act by a suspect preceding the use of force by police. 

Wittstruck began to place Jenkins under arrest. Jenkins began to resist. He refused to let Wittstruck place him in handcuffs. This is also a familiar pattern. 

A struggle began and Wittstruck tried to use his taser on Jenkins. But the taser was ineffective.  So far, this incident is following such a familiar pattern one might say it was scripted. 

It is at this point that the 21-year-old Black male Kenya Jenkins drew from his sweatshirt a gun. Jenkins then fired four rounds at Wittstruck, who was struck in the head and face. Jenkins then ran out of the loss prevention office to a white BMW in the parking lot. Jenkins sped away in the car.

Despite the seriousness and urgency of his wounds, Officer Wittstruck was able to inform police radio, quite calmly, “Help. I’m down. I need help. I’m in the loss prevention office. I believe I’ve been shot.”

One thing is certain. This incident will not be televised.

There will be no protests on behalf of Officer Wittstruck. There will be no riots in Omaha or anywhere else because of this incident. There will be no national news coverage of this incident. 

Shootings of police officers are not on instant replay. Shootings of police officers are not shown on never-ending video loops on the national news broadcasts. There will be no hand wringing by Brian Williams, there will be no gnashing of teeth by Lebron James, there will be no exhortations by Ariana Grande to provide more funding for police. 

Why? Because this incident will not be televised. You see there is no fortune, fame, or political benefit advocating for police. Maybe there should be.

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