Police shootings roil country (again):

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN): Videos released Saturday by the Charlotte police department of the fatal encounter between Keith Scott and officers do little to answer some of the most significant questions about the shooting.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has said as much since the Tuesday shooting that sparked protests and brought nationwide media attention once again to the use of deadly force by law enforcement.

Authorities have said an African-American officer shot Scott, who was black, when he made a threatening move with a gun. Saturday, police released photos of a pistol and ankle holster recovered at the scene.

Scott’s family has said he had no gun, that he was reading a book and was being non-aggressive when police were surrounding him.

Longtime readers of the SOFREP News Roundup will know that I constantly hammer taking each case and scrutinizing it on an individual basis. So it is with both of last week’s shootings—one in Tulsa, and the other in Charlotte. I’ve made no secret of the fact that most of the time, I’m inclined to side with law enforcement, but that doesn’t mean that I’m giving them a free pass. Neither of these look especially good, in my opinion. But there really isn’t enough to go on. The Charlotte police chief keeps talking about “the totality of the evidence” and how it supports the officer. Except we haven’t really seen a lot of that evidence. They say there was a gun recovered at the scene with Scott’s fingerprints on it, but that alone doesn’t mean anything if it wasn’t on him at the time.

I’ve watched all the videos like 10 times. They really don’t show anything definitive. All you can really see is Scott sort of backing away from the cops, hands at his sides. The cops are yelling “drop the gun” over and over again, but I can’t see one. The thing that strikes me is the vast, VAST difference between the story coming from the family and the story that the police put out, which, of course, led to the mayhem in Charlotte this last week. The family is claiming he was sitting there reading a book. The cops said he was rolling a blunt and had a handgun. The gun has been produced as of this writing, but the book has not. And, as a convicted felon, Scott was presumably barred from legally owning a firearm. That doesn’t mean he deserved to get shot, but it does help to paint a picture of what was going on.

But this wasn’t like the case of Michael Brown, or, more recently, Alton Sterling. There was no physical struggle taking place with a firearm within arms reach (as far as we know). In cases like that, I have zero sympathy. You put yourself “in play,” start fighting with a cop, and either have a gun or are trying to grab the police officer’s weapon, then it’s game on. You are going to get blasted, and I will not weep for you. But neither of these two cases were like that. Compared to other controversial shootings, I find this one far more troubling.

There was also news of the other controversial police shooting of Terrance Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police released a new video from one of the responding officers’ dash cams:

Again, it doesn’t look great. The officer, Betty Shelby, has since been charged with manslaughter in the first degree. As far as the victim, Terrance Crutcher, police are saying that they found PCP in the car, while Shelby claims that he gave every indication of being high on something. And it is true that Crutcher was walking back toward the vehicle and not obeying commands to stop. But none of the other officers shot their weapons, so apparently they did not feel the threat that Shelby did. A Taser was deployed shortly before the fatal shot was fired. From what we can see on the video (not much), it appeared to have no effect. But there were several officers on the scene at this point. You can’t just gang-tackle the guy?

As far as the racial component, I’m sure the activists would say, “BK, you’re a white man; you don’t need to worry about this, so you don’t get it and never will.” This is true. I’ve said this many times myself. But putting that aside, refer back to my earlier point about putting oneself “in play.” In the vast majority of these cases (the Tamir Rice case being a notable, horrible exception), the victim often does something to come into contact with the police in the first place. That is putting yourself in the game, and why it would never happen to me. I don’t carry a knife and slash police tires—like Laquan McDonald in Chicago. I don’t tell cops to go fuck themselves and then punch them in the face—like Michael Brown. I don’t sell illegal cigarettes and tell the cops I’m not stopping—like Eric Garner. I don’t flash a handgun at people, and then fight the cops when they show up—like Alton Sterling. And if I HAD done any of that, and realized the police were coming, you can bet your ass that I’m going to be holding hands waaaaaay up in the air.

This doesn’t mean you have to be some obsequious, groveling jerk to the cops when it comes to every interaction. Observe this steaming hot take after one of these shootings:

In a vacuum, I couldn’t agree more. But in reality, this sort of noble sentiment kind of disappears when that “free citizen” is doing things like punching a cop in the face, flashing an illegal handgun, smoking PCP, or are otherwise doing something clearly enough that the cops are agitated. And if you have been doing something like that, you can choose to buck if you want. But you have lost any moral “citizenry” authority already, and it is going to go badly for you. From the way these activists talk, it’s almost like they feel that most crime should be excused, and the cops should mind their business. That’s not the way it works, I’m afraid.

But back to the cases at hand. Verdict? There simply isn’t enough data in either one of these cases for me to offer an opinion. I will say that assuming the Shelby case goes to trial, I would be surprised if a jury finds the officer guilty, particularly if the toxicology report comes back and it it found that Crutcher was on PCP at the time of the shooting. But for now, I’m neutral, and will await more information. We will keep an eye on it.

In the meantime, stop burning shit down and looting stores, idiots.

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If you’ve been listening to my dramatic reading of Carlos Danger/T-Dog/Anthony Weiner’s text messages on the podcast (which you can access right here, or by searching “BK” in the iTunes podcasts), you’ll know I can’t get enough of this story. I think we’ve all agreed on this point, right? I say Weiner kills himself within the next few years. I mean, the guy has lost everything. He lost his seat in Congress, then lost the NYC mayoral race that he might have won, and lost his wife. And now that child protective services is reportedly investigating him, he stands to lose his kid as well. What more does he have to live for?

As I said on the podcast, I really don’t think he even wants sex from these women. That’s what makes it so weird. Like…this is his THING. He likes to contact randoms on the internet and show off his bulge. And then? Well, I’m not really sure. I suppose he pleasures himself as he’s texting or something. He’s a complete psychopath, that’s for sure. He’d at least get some Dude Bro points, I suppose, if he were actually banging some hotties, but this sexting bullshit makes him look like a creeper.

I was looking forward to doing more dramatic reading from his latest excursions into texting erotica on the podcast, but we have more pressing matters. For this week’s podcast, a special guest and I will be watching and doing live, hilarious commentary as we watch the first presidential debate! I will be immediately uploading the podcast Monday night, when this spectacle is all over. You won’t want to miss this one, so check it out.

Outstanding job, Airman:

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A tactical air control party airman will be honored with the Silver Star for a dangerous and watery rescue of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, and charging a Taliban position in a subsequent battle two days later.

Then-Airman 1st Class Benjamin Hutchins, a tactical air control party airman, was deployed to Afghanistan in November 2009, serving alongside soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, in a speech Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference. Hutchins and the soldiers were on the west bank of the Murghab River one cold morning, watching a resupply airdrop of cargo containers when one fell off-target and splashed down in the river, Carlisle said.

Two soldiers jumped in to recover it, Carlisle said, but misjudged how fast the river was flowing and were quickly pulled downriver. Hutchins sprang into action, Carlisle said. He stripped off his armor, helmet and other gear that would weigh him down, and dove in after them.

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Two days later, while he was on a patrol, another firefight with the Taliban broke out — and again Hutchins didn’t back down.

Hutchins — “with complete disregard for his personal safety,” according to a narrative accompanying his Silver Star citation — and three other soldiers volunteered to come out from behind their concealment and engaged the Taliban, which had a machine gun position, a fighter with rocket-propelled grenades and snipers.

“They start running across an open field, taking on the Taliban on the east bank of the river,” Hutchins said. “They take out the rocket-propelled grenade, they take out the machine gun, they’re still dealing with the snipers.”

That is a fantastic job from a young E-3. It takes some serious stones to jump into a fast-moving river, especially when you have Terry Taliban taking potshots at you. And then a few days later, Hutchins got right back to work stacking bodies. An incredible representation of the United States Air Force battlefield airmen.

I do have one question for you military nerds out there: What is the deal with these awards sometimes taking more than half a decade to dole out? Hutchins’s heroics took place in 2009, and he’s just now getting recognition for it? I remember when Navy SEAL Charles Keating was killed earlier this year. The Navy awarded his Silver Star almost immediately. I’m not sure if some cases are blessed more than others, speeding their way through the military bureaucracy faster, or what.

This is not a good headline, military.com:

The first Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command assessment and selection course to admit female Marines had one woman make it to the end of the first phase, MARSOC officials confirmed this week.

A female corporal stayed in the 19-day course until its completion at the end of August, but did not have the minimum academic and physical training scores needed to make it to the second phase, MARSOC spokesman Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler told Military.com.

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The Marine, who has not been publicly identified, plans to re-attempt the assessment and selection (A&S) phase when the next cycle begins early in the new year, he said. Marines trying out for MARSOC are given up to three attempts to make it through the first phase, as long as they are not limited by remaining time in service or time in their current rank, and there are enough “boat spaces” in the course to accommodate them.

Essentially, the female candidate failed out during phase one. So how did military.com headline this story? Like this:

“Female Marine Reaches End of First Phase of MARSOC Course.”

Yes, that’s one way to put it. She absolutely did reach the end. This is like writing, “Famed SOFREP writer BK reaches ground during parachute jump.” Only my parachute didn’t open and I splattered all over the DZ. I actually saw multiple people on Facebook posting this article, and MANY comments talking about how Grrrrl Power will win the day, women can do anything that men can do, and things of that nature. This confirmed my belief that, on social media, nobody actually reads any links or articles. They only go by headlines. This is why I should title every Roundup with something about a hot naked girl. THAT’LL  GET THE HITS.

Hint to everyone: Stop running online naming contests.

On Sept. 19, 101-year old retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, one of the last surviving participants of the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan and Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, announced that the official name of America’s upcoming B-21 bomber would be the “Raider.”

Hopefully, the centenarian didn’t have to look through the thousands of other suggestions.

Four months earlier, the Air Force made the unusual decision to let service members submit possible monikers for the bomber over the Internet. Officials ultimately chose Raider from more than 4,600 submissions in total, with more than 2,100 being unique at least in structure and spelling…

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…Many of the suggestions were serious, well in keeping with established Air Force traditions and history. Others were tongue-in-cheek or just plain insulting. Air Force public affairs official Ann Stefanek pointed out the top 15 contenders in an email accompanying the release…

…The Air Force passed on hundreds of joke submissions such as Badasswhoopass, Zoomfist, Bomber McBombface, Plane McPlaneface, Stealthy McStealthface and more.

Why do institutions continually do this? You know what you’re going to get. Every single time there’s any sort of solicitation on the internet about ANYTHING, all the weirdos come out. They did the same thing when the Brits were trying to name a new research ship. The winning name for that particular vessel was “Boaty McBoatface.” The British government, unamused, decided to name the ship after BBC presenter Sir David Attenborough. Can’t imagine why. Also, the “Mc…….Face” name is played out, internet. Come up with a new joke already.

All that being said: “Badasswhoopass” isn’t too bad.

Lord, if you exist, please kill these people in a horrible manner:

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., is under scrutiny by Latino advocacy groups after the school published a photograph showing Army cadets wearing sombreros during a game Saturday near the Mexico border.

The Army football team blew out the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) 66-14 to run its record to 3-0 for the first time in 20 years, and the academy posted a photograph on Facebook that showed cadets cheering in the bleachers. One cadet has a sombrero on his head, and another has one in his hand.

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The school should apologize for the image and take it down, said Lisa Navarrete, an official with the National Council of La Raza, a nonprofit group in Washington that focuses on immigration and other Latino issues. The use of sombreros to represent Latino people is an “old-school and dated stereotype” that offends many people, Navarrete said.

Who? WHO DOES THIS OFFEND? Besides, of course, the deranged leftists of the far-left racist group La Raza. Besides Lisa Navarette, I would defy you to find one single person who is offended by someone wearing a sombrero. This cultural appropriation shit has gotten ridiculous.

Shaking my damn head:

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – For years, Tyshawn Marshall had dreamed of a life of service in the military, a relative said in tears.

The 20-year-old was at the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Hollywood when he was killed on Saturday.

U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps Lt. j.g. Nelson Rose said Marshall was part of the Cadet program two years ago. He was a member of the Spruance division in Fort Lauderdale.

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“He was very well liked,” Rose said. “He had a good heart and loved his shipmates.”

About 20 minutes after midnight, a man driving a newer model black Ford Mustang shot him in the parking lot of a Checkers, 6171 Hollywood Blvd., police said.

“His passing weighs heavy on our hearts,” Rose said. “And we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Police were asking anyone with information to call 954-967-4636 or Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

About freaking time this got an update:

Engineers at the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey are developing an ambidextrous multi-purpose hand grenade, which is the military’s first new lethal hand grenade in more than 40 years.

The Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) grenade will let soldiers set the grenade to fragmentation or concussive effect with the flip of a switch. The weapon is also designed for ambidextrous use so it can be both armed and thrown easily with either hand. Current grenades require a different arming procedure for left-handed users, according to the Army.

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War Is Boring reports that the Army’s current M67 grenade was designed for right-handed soldiers, so left-handed troops are trained to flip the grenade upside and hold the safety lever down with their left thumb, while pulling out the ring with the opposite hand.

The Army is also touting the new grenade’s ability to provide both fragmentation and blast overpressure more effectively and safely. Blast overpressure refers to the impact of the grenade’s shock wave on body surfaces.

Very cool. Although I doubt too many people will ever take it off of “frag” mode. If you’re throwing a grenade, you want to get the most bang for your buck, no?

I remember the first time I threw a grenade. I was incredibly disappointed. The movies told me so many lies about grenades over the years. You know what I’m talking about. A guy throws a grenade in the movies, and a huge explosion and column of flame goes up. If it landed near enemy troops, it would fling like five guys 10 feet up in the air with the blast. ALL LIES.

Your excuse is invalid:

Obstacles: Army Master Sgt. Cedric King has run into and stomped some of the worst.

King tried and tried, failed and failed, to become an Army Ranger. Then became a Ranger.

King went on to serve in Afghanistan, two tours, the second being cut short July 25, 2012, when an improvised explosive device claimed both legs, caused major internal injuries, permanent loss to part of his right arm and hand, and ended a 20-year military career.

During recovery, King learning to use prosthetic legs – walk, and then run, a little, then a lot.

Twenty-one months after nearly dying, he completed the 26-mile Boston Marathon and has done tougher courses, including the 48.6-mile Disney Marathon series and the 70.3-mile half Ironman Triathlon.

At the same time King relearned to walk, he completed a college degree.

That is fantastic. Great job to Master Sgt. King. Dude has more determination in his pinky finger than most of us have in our whole bodies.

A Marine killed in South L.A.:

A 19-year-old Marine from Camp Pendleton who was shot this weekend while visiting friends and family in South Los Angeles died Monday night, coroner’s officials said.

Carlos Segovia died at 8 p.m. at California Hospital Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner. Segovia had been hospitalized in grave condition since the weekend.

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He was found at 11:35 p.m. Friday slumped over and unconscious in a Dodge Charger in the 2100 block of 31st Street, according to Capt. Peter Whittingham of the Los Angeles Police Department.

No suspect has been identified in the shooting. Police said Segovia has no connections to gangs or other activity that would seem to make him a likely target of gun violence.

Whittingham said the shooting is “absolutely a mystery.”

“Like so many cases in South L.A., we have nothing to go on at this point,” he said.

This violence is insane. Someone just walked up to the kid and shot him while he sat in his car. And it sounds like they didn’t even rob him or anything. Just another young life cut down by degenerate scum. Freaking terrible.

Even more generals in trouble:

An Army National Guard brigadier general assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a major general in charge of a Kansas-based infantry division have been recently relieved of their duties, according to a report in USA Today and an Army statement released Friday.

Brig. Gen. Michael Bobeck is accused of having an extramarital affair — a violation of military law if proven true — and is being investigated, according to the USA Today report. Bobeck has been reassigned from his post on the Joint Chiefs pending the results of the investigation.

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The report also indicated that Bobeck had a cozy relation with an Alexandria, Va-based consulting firm that had done some work with the Pentagon. It is unclear if that had anything to do with the removal from his post, but at one point, according to the report, Bobeck lived with one of the firm’s executives.

Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Fort Riley Kansas since August 2015, has “been suspended from duties as commander,” according to the Army statement. The removal of a division commander is rare and military officials would not say why he was relieved.

“He is currently the subject of an official investigation and we cannot comment further at this time,” the statement said.

If you’ve been reading the Roundup regularly, you’ll know that we’ve covered quite a few officers getting relieved of duty because of idiocy. Almost every single time, it has something to do with a woman. I’m kind of assuming that is why Grigsby was relieved as well, even though the military isn’t talking. I searched around for more details and couldn’t find anything. By all means, if anyone has any poop on this, send it our way.

Weird. Pilots don’t want to be part of the social justice warrior military:

At the controls of a T-38 training jet high over Hondo, 1st Lt. Alex Lauer dueled at up to 485 mph against Capt. Christopher “Fiat” Umphres, who has 450 combat hours in Afghanistan.

Lauer was “shot down” just once in the mock dogfight, demonstrating his growing skills.

Lauer, 24, is near the end of an innovative 12-week course at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph that has increased graduation rates in the Air Force, which is struggling to fill a huge fighter pilot shortage as aviators burned out by deployments, budget cuts and extraneous duties flee for jobs elsewhere.

The shortage stands at 723 pilots this year and is expected to worsen, reaching 1,000 in 2017, with no immediate way to plug the gap because the Air Force needs two years to transform a young officer into a fighter pilot. While active-duty pilot training will increase from 200 this year to 285 in 2017, it won’t begin to replace the lost talent and institutional memory.

The Air Force has cut the number of active-duty fighter squadrons to 31 over the past 20 years, from a high of 54 in 1996.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, in a briefing with reporters last month, blamed a good economy and airline hiring for the problem. Some estimates say airlines will recruit 2,000 pilots per year for the next decade…

The threat to a certain military culture is more complex. Lt. Col. Jason “Ugly” Earley, the 435th’s commander, mentioned Air Force “tribes” while bemoaning the lapse of hallowed fighter pilot traditions. He wouldn’t elaborate. Other pilots cited the banning of bawdy songs from squadron bars, now called “heritage rooms.”

I’m not really sure what the cause of the pilot shortage is, but there’s a little clue there from Call Sign Ugly. The Air Force, as well as the rest of the military, is light years away from the old days when Chuck Yeager and the boys would stay up all night boozing it, only to stumble into a cockpit at 0600, suck down some pure oxygen to sober up, and then fly all day out at Edwards Air Force Base.

Indeed, when Tom Wolfe wrote about fighter pilots for his all-time classic and BK reading list item, “The Right Stuff,” he extensively documented the culture of the fighter pilot. This culture centered around what Wolfe termed, “Flying and drinking and drinking and driving.” The fighter pilot culture revolved around that credo, which nowadays, of course, would lead to a rapid loss of a fighter pilot slot and a new assignment flying cargo planes full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong. Pilots like to drink. That’s why they keep getting arrested before they take off.

Sir, put down the baby:

A Florida man was arrested on Thursday after police say he exhibited “odd behavior” and threw a 4-month-old baby over an 8-foot-tall fence, according to reports.

Neighbors reported seeing Richard Harris, 31, running around naked with a baby in his arms Thursday evening in Longwood, Florida. When police responded at around 7 p.m., the man was sitting on the ground outside a residence still naked, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The baby wasn’t there.

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Police soon heard the baby screaming from the backyard of another residence.

Neighbor Michele Reaves told News 6 in Orlando that an officer jumped over an 8-foot-tall privacy fence and found the baby lying face down in a pile of leaves.

Police said Harris threw the baby over the fence. When confronted by a police officer, Harris reportedly yelled “random words and phrases,” threw grass and dirt and pushed the officer.

He kind of looks like Bruce Lee, if Bruce Lee was a white guy on Flakka. @BKactual