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On Wednesday morning something truly peculiar happened.
Police near Boston spotted a parked car that was clearly out of place on a dirt road near a swanky country club. When the officer, Matt Crown, asked for the license and registration from the man in the vehicle, he not only said no, but rolled up his window, which pinned the officer in as the man sped off.
The man behind the wheel dragged the officer on the ground for over 100 yards before he was able to get free. The man then drove through the greens of the country club, through one town, then another, and another — all while speeding, crossing medians, crashing several times, and weaving in and out of traffic. On multiple occasions police confronted his vehicle along the way, but refused to open fire.
You may have already surmised that this suspect was a white man. If so, your sense of logic and command of how these go are both solid. Black and Latino men, women and children are regularly shot and killed by American police for far less.
Had Michael LeBlanc from Abington, Mass., been Malik Johnson from Brooklyn, this story would not be one of beautiful restraint and a commendable willingness to avoid violence, but an obituary. This isn't conjecture — we see it often.
In Cleveland, police fired 137 shots at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a car chase. They didn't drag an officer 100 yards. They weren't armed. Police assumed the worst, though, and made unmistakably sure Russell and Williams didn't live to ever do such a thing ever again. Nobody to went jail.
In South Carolina, Earnest Satterwhite, an unarmed 68-year-old grandfather, was shot and killed by police after a car chase near his home.
Jessie Hernandez, an unarmed 17-year-old girl, was shot and killed by Denver police as she and several of her teenage friends were joyriding in a vehicle.
Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old mother who had her 19-month old-daughter in the backseat, was shot and killed by police in Washington, D.C. She was unarmed and in her own car, but appeared to be having a mental health episode.
Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams, Earnest Satterwhite, Jessie Hernandez and Miriam Carey each deserved the type of extreme patience and grace LeBlanc received on Wednesday, but police, in each case, clearly decided they had enough.
LeBlanc was allowed to flee for 24 miles without police ever firing a single shot in his direction. When he was apprehended, he didn't get the snot beat out of him. He didn't emerge covered in blood like University of Virginia honors student Martese Johnson, whom police falsely accused of showing a false ID at a local club.
Despite assaulting an officer and endangering people all over Boston, LeBlanc was treated with dignity until the very end. That's a good thing — now, apply that same restraint to people of color across this country.