It is increasingly difficult for anyone in America to say with a straight face that there is no glaring white privilege in America; particularly where it concerns white people shooting African Americans. Over and over there are reports of law enforcement officers calmly “talking down” armed white people into surrendering their firearms as opposed to their habit of gunning down unarmed African Americans. Last year a white man was acquitted of the shooting death of a police officer serving a “no-knock” search warrant about a month before an African American man was charged with capital murder under the exact same circumstances. Now, another white man is walking free after shooting a Black police chief in Oklahoma investigating a possible bomb plot against a Head Start school in the presence of four other law enforcement officers.
In Washita County Oklahoma, Sentinel Chief of Police Louis Ross was shot three times in the chest and once through the arm when he responded to a 911 call about a bomb in the Sentinel Community Action Center that served as the home of the city’s Head Start program. The Chief is recovering thanks to a borrowed bullet-proof vest. The shooter, a white racist, anti-government survivalist, and gun fanatic, 29 year old Dallas Horton claimed he was protecting his family and that was more than enough for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) to release the man.
The violent incident last Thursday began when police received two 911 calls at 4:00 a.m. from a “caller identifying himself as Horton” saying that there was a bomb inside the nearby Head Start school. The city promptly contacted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb squad and with Chief Ross responded to the scene and found there was no evidence of explosives. Chief Ross and sheriff’s deputies then traced the call to Horton’s residence and with more backup officers entered the residence by breaking down the door.
Breaking down the front door with officers in tow, Chief Ross cleared one room and entered a second bedroom when Horton opened fire. Now, according to a press release from the OSBI, the racist walked free because the man told them he was unaware it was police officers who made entry into his home. However, that is highly unlikely because according to Chief Ross and the five law enforcement officers accompanying him, they began screaming “Hands Up” and “Show Your Hands” the second they entered the home in order to get Horton to peacefully exit the building.
Chief Ross said, “Don’t know why he didn’t hear the screaming from five officers of the law announcing our presence, requesting to see hands.” What is more curious is how the man was able to, within seconds, wake to the sound of someone entering his house, grab a firearm, and fire off four shots at a police officer who certainly had his gun drawn prior to “clearing” a room where a man may have intended to bomb a pre-school according to 911 messages from his house.
Horton told investigators he had no idea they were police officers, and naturally assumed it was a home invasion by 5 men who arrived in police vehicles screaming they were law enforcement and to “show your hands.” A member of Horton’s family defended the shooting and said, “He thought he was protecting his home and his wife. He didn’t know what was going on until the door was busted down. And you have a right to protect your family and that’s what he was doing.” Although Horton was forgiven for exercising his right to shoot a Black police chief four times while “protecting his family” like a responsible racist gun fanatic, there is still an investigation over making false bomb threats against a pre-school. He is innocent of the shooting and is not going to be charged.
One of Horton’s neighbors described the shooter as a “survivalist” type who mistrusted the government, was openly unfriendly to his neighbors, and wore a lot of black clothing. Sentinel Mayor Sam Dlugonski portrayed Horton as a gun-enthusiast” and “survivalist” and said that he seemed like he was “on the edge.” Another neighbor said he’s “not very friendly at all.” Both the mayor and the neighbors were either unaware, or did not admit, that Horton is, besides a gun zealot and openly unfriendly, a racist.
According to his Facebook profile full of “racially-charged images,” Horton is definitely a racist. The FB page was “rife with threats targeting African American leaders such as the Reverend Al Sharpton” replete with images such as “Hurt ME and your [sic] gonna feel pain, hurt my BEST FRIEND and your gonna need an ambulance, hurt my FAMILY…I’m gonna need a shovel.” One particularly disturbing image showed “a blood-spattered 18-wheeler cab with human limbs sticking out of it” with the caption; “JUST DROVE THROUGH FERGUSON, DIDN’T SEE ANY PROBLEMS.” The Facebook page has since been removed.
Sentinel Mayor Dlugonski praised Chief Ross and said, “We are all stunned by this. Lewis has been here about a year and he has done an exceptional job. He is well liked in the community. People love him and we just pray that he will get better. The man and his wife were taken into custody and questioned for several hours by the OSBI, but they are not under arrest because investigators believe he really may have been unaware it was officers who entered his home.” Except for the Chief and five police officers screaming they were police and to show hands, the racist’s story must have sounded particularly convincing to investigators; most certainly because he is white.
One just has to wonder if an African American resident shot a white police officer four times and claimed they were “unaware it was officers screaming they were police and to show hands,” if investigators would have been in a forgiving mood. That certainly was not the case last May in Texas where the right of self-defense via the Castle Doctrine (Stand Your Ground) is dependent on race.
In the early morning at 5:30 a.m. in Killeen Texas, SWAT officers acting on a bogus tip broke into an African American man’s home while serving a “no-knock” warrant looking for marijuana; none was found. The resident shot and killed a police officer who had broken and climbed through a window. That African American man was promptly charged with capital murder regardless he claimed the “Castle Doctrine” defense to protect his and his wife’s life. In that case, the police did not identify themselves or scream to “show hands.” Also in Texas, in an identical situation a white man being served a “no-knock warrant” for marijuana (a lot was found) also shot and killed an officer and was acquitted because he was a white man “defending his and his girlfriend’s life” in what a grand jury concluded was a “completely reasonable act of self-defense.”
It is a mystery why, after seeing the chief of police shot four times, the other five officers failed to open fire on the racist gunman. Likely, as law enforcement is wont to do, they lovingly “requested” that the white man surrender his firearm so they could talk about why he “mistakenly” shot the officer. One wonders if in the privacy of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s consideration to file charges if they just winked as they concluded “white privilege” prior to letting the shooter walk free. After all, this is America and the white guy did shoot a Black man.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.