By Bradley D. Stallings
Mark Anthony Barmore was a convicted felon who was being sought by Rockford Police in connection with another violent offense and was, in fact, committing at least two additional crimes at the time he was shot and killed. Mark Anthony Barmore was not a hero, he was not someone who empowered others to do better. He was a violent offender who committed multiple crimes in our community, and the city of Rockford is a safer place now that he is no longer free to commit further crimes. Did Mr. Barmore deserve to be shot and killed because of the above facts?
I don’t know yet, but until the investigation into his death is complete, I am going to believe and trust the officers that were on scene and that are now being persecuted for doing their jobs. We ask the Rockford Police to protect us, defend us, and in doing so, we ask and expect them to put their lives at risk. We ask the police to arrest criminals, to arrest people who have hurt us, to keep our community safe. Mark Anthony Barmore jeopardized this community’s safety each and every day he was out of custody, and the police attempted to bring him into custody, as asked to by us and as required by law. Mark Anthony Barmore put his own life in jeopardy by fleeing from and resisting the lawful attempts by the officers to arrest him and, in doing so, caused his own death.
Mark Anthony Barmore was also black.
What does Mr. Barmore’s race have to do with anything? The answer is EVERYTHING! Because of Mark Anthony Barmore’s race, the Rev. Brown has labeled the police officer’s actions as murder. Because of Mark Anthony Barmore’s race, Jesse Jackson has come to our city, attempted to make a martyr out of Mr. Barmore, and stirred up racial tensions in our community. The truth is that Jesse Jackson needs a cause and will take any and every opportunity available to promote himself. Jesse Jackson would not be the least bit concerned about Mr. Barmore if he were of another race. The Rev. Jackson has said:
This is not a matter of black and white. It’s a matter of wrong and right.
The Rev. Jackson could not be more misleading in his statement; he made it a matter of black and white the moment he arrived in Rockford, period! The Rev. Jackson also was correct, however, by stating that,
It’s a matter of wrong and right.
Mark Anthony Barmore was in the wrong when he committed the crime that the police were attempting to arrest him for, and he was wrong when he fled from and resisted the officers. The officers were in the right to pursue and attempt to arrest Mr. Barmore. The events that transpired from that point that ultimately led to Mr. Barmore’s death will be investigated, and a determination on the
rightness or wrongness
of those events will be determined. Forensic evidence and autopsies operate outside the realm of race; they exist to determine wrong or right.
Mark Anthony Barmore was not shot because he was black; he was shot and killed because he was a violent felon who was in the wrong, and the city of Rockford does not need Jesse Jackson to lead others to believe differently. Mark Anthony Barmore was not a productive member of this community, and Jesse Jackson should not attempt to portray him as such. Jesse Jackson is not needed in Rockford. Jesse—go home!
Bradley D. Stallings is a Rockford resident.
From the October 7-13, 2009 issue