The shooting death of John Crawford in an Ohio Walmart store well illustrates the difference between private security and monopoly government security which is the final judge of its own actions, and which enjoys essentially limitless access to cash via the taxpayer.
The basic facts are these: Crawford picked up a BB gun (which is not in any way a “firearm”). The BB “gun” is store merchandise and is sold in the store by Walmart. Crawford walked around the store holding the non-firearm in a non-threatening manner while talking to the mother of his children on the phone. In response to a phone call from another shopper, police stormed the store, guns drawn, and shot Crawford dead on sight with no warning. Another woman, a 37-year old mother Angela Williams, also died of a heart attack in the ensuing police-caused chaos.
We now know that the person who called the police, Ronald Ritchie, lied to the 911 operator when he said that Crawford was pointing the toy BB “gun” at people and that he was trying to load bullets into it. Ritchie lied when he said that Crawford was pointing the gun at children. And just as an illustration of Ritchie’s reliability, we also know that Ritchie lied about being “an ex-marine.” Nonetheless, police officers and dispatchers unquestioningly deferred to Ritchie, and based their response on Ritchie’s claims.
So, we apparently live under a system of public-sector policing in which a phone call from a single “witness” can trigger an aggressive police response based on no evidence, no intelligence gathering, and no regard whatsoever for whether or not the person calling into 911 is to be regarded as a credible source or just a lying man-child.
This isn’t the first example of this sort of thing, of course. We know that police engage in SWAT raids and other forms of police violence based on nothing more than a single phone call from a single witness with not even the most cursory investigation into whether or not the “tip” is based any anything other than boredom, spite, racism, or simply sadism . If anyone has an enemy, he need only call the police and report that the target of one’s ire is selling drugs out of one’s home or that he’s some sort of “terrorist.” Police with then descend on the “perp” with assault weapons drawn and smash up the person’s home. In fact, a violent police response is so reliable, that the “game” of calling police with the intent of calling out military-style police raids on innocent victims in called “swatting.”
Would private police respond in a similar way? Would one phone call from an anonymous caller precipitate a private police agency to send out an armored vehicle filled with para-military assault-rifled soldiers pointing weapons at innocent bystanders? When government police point loaded weapons at innocent women out walking their dogs, they regard it as their prerogative to do so and make no apologies. As we know in the case of Crawford, even when an innocent person is gunned down, we’re told it’s “policy” and can’t be avoided.