This was not some random traffic stop. The suspect was wanted for murder, and from what I've read, Officer Kidder had been warned that the suspect might be armed, and also that the suspect might try to commit suicide by cop. The usual pundits are commenting on this video, saying (among other things) that Officer Kidder is a hero who showed remarkable restraint in dealing with this suspect. Other pundits are saying that the only reason that the suspect is alive is because he is not black.
Watch for yourself.
Jazz Shaw, over at Hot Air, makes the argument that Officer Kidder should have shot the suspect, and I agree that there are good reasons in the video to argue that. I wasn't there, and I can't put myself in Kidder's mind. Officer Kidder did what he had to do, and it all worked out. I don't know what I might have done in the situation, but I suspect that when the goblin reached into his waistband there would have been gunfire. But, Shaw makes the argument that good police officers are putting themselves in harm's way by second-guessing their own training and how a lethal response might be seen in the media.
The Narrative Journalism Brigade has jumped all over this story to reinforce the message they’ve been preaching for at least the last year. They finally found one good cop who isn’t a murderous maniac. The story they want to portray is being heard loud and clear by not only law enforcement officers, but criminals as well. This was the right thing to do. So the next time an officer finds themselves in a split-second, life or death situation, they may pause with this fairy tale in the back of their minds and one more blue life is lost. And criminals, knowing that the police are being conditioned to not defend themselves, will be thinking it might just be worth taking the shot and making a bid for freedom.
If Kidder had shot Wilcox there isn’t a jury in the land that would have convicted him, though he would still be pulled out of service during the automatic investigation. (And if Wilcox had been black there would have been marches taking place and Al Sharpton would already be on the scene in Kentucky.) If Kidder had died, well… we’d probably never have heard about the story in the national press. But as it turned out, this is a big win for the anti-cop forces in the media and the social justice movement who want to portray law enforcement as the bad guys. If this sort of response becomes the norm in America, we’re going to see a lot more dead cops and there are plenty of activists out there who won’t be shedding any tears over that.There's a reason that police officers are trained to handle violent encounters the way we're trained. It's the best way to protect the public and ourselves from violent predators. If police officers begin second-guessing themselves because of how the media portrays us, we put ourselves at risk. Fortunately for Kidder, and the suspect, it worked out, but I might have handled the situation a little differently.