A justified police shooting in Memphis

The Memphis Police can't catch a break. It's been about six weeks since five former Memphis Police officers killed Tyre Nichols and about three weeks since riots broke out when video footage of Nichols being killed was released.

Now another Black Memphis Police officer has killed another Black man.  Residents must be holding their collective breath, waiting to see if activists will try to use it as a reason to protest rather than being thankful that they still have police officers who are willing to risk their lives to help people.

And make no mistake: that is just what Officer Geoffrey Redd did.  Redd responded to a trespassing call earlier this month from a business near the Poplar-White Station Library in Memphis.  Redd and his partner confronted the suspect, Torrence Jackson, Jr., inside the library, where the suspect had gotten into an argument with one of the patrons.  Things quickly escalated, and Jackson pulled out a weapon and shot Redd.

Redd's partner returned fire, killing Jackson, as library patrons scattered and sought cover.

Paramedics were quickly dispatched to the scene.  They took Redd to the hospital, where he is still fighting for his life.  Doctors and family are optimistic that Redd will recover.

"He's stable, his vitals are good are good and so kind of breathing on his own, but I believe it's looking well," said Brandon B. Porter, bishop of the church where Redd is director of security.  "We ask people to pray for the family, his wife, and others and his children and that their faith will remain and not fail."

Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This should be a situation where the police are praised, but in today's upside-down world, that remains to be seen.

While the initiating incident was minor, Jackson was armed, and he may have shot the patron he was arguing with if the police hadn't intervened.  It was also reported that he was from Indiana, where he had been arrested more than 39 times, according to WISHTV8.  His record included charges of robbery, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, battery with a deadly weapon, AND possession of and dealing marijuana, according to Law Enforcement Today.

It seems apparent that Jackson was a career criminal who wasn't going to change his ways.  The police officers' actions were justified and may have saved lives.  Unfortunately, someone will try to turn Jackson into an innocent man who was harassed and murdered by police.  They will also claim it is a case of racism, although both Redd and Jackson are Black.

Don't let that happen.  Redd is an honorable police officer, doing a difficult job.  For that, he shouldn't have to give his life as so many other officers have.

Redd should be used as inspiration to get crime under control.  Congressman Steve Cohen released a statement about the shooting that said, "The level of violence in our city, which affects everyone from ordinary citizens to law enforcement officials, is unacceptable. I am determined to continue working with state, local and federal officials to improve public safety for all Memphians."

That's what people should focus on, not trying to find a justification for why a criminal shot a police officer.

Michael A. Letts is the CEO and founder of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. 

Image: Pixabay.

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