A debate over the much discussed #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter phrases moved beyond the internet comments section yesterday with tragic results.
It began as a Facebook “debate” between two individuals who had known each other through church: 20-year-old Tyler Gebhard, and a police officer whose name hasn’t yet been released.
(1/2) At appx 5:50p an off-duty St. Louis County police officer was involved in a shooting after a suspect broke into his home in Lakeshire.
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) July 10, 2016
According to police, Gebhard rang the doorbell at the officer’s Lakeshire, Mo., home shortly before 6 p.m. When the officer’s wife answered the door and refused entry, police said, Gebhard, a former high school football star, threw a 50-pound concrete planter through a rear window and attempted to enter.
(2/2) The suspect, who was known to the family, demanded entry & threw a planter through a glass door. pic.twitter.com/dnDmNRmgEZ— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) July 10, 2016
Making the situation even more grim, it was revealed that Gebhard (who is being described as “bi-racial”)had suffered from bipolar disorder and had been refusing his medication, which likely contributed to his erratic behavior
Belmar said the officer’s wife, mother-in-law, a toddler and an infant were in the home at the time of the incident and that the family members heard the officer tell the intruder to “get down” before shots were fired.
Gebhard’s uncle, Patrick Brogan, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his nephew had become acquainted with the officer “through a church connection” and that the two “had been arguing on Facebook about Black Lives Matter.”
According to another source, Gebhard had made threats to the officer’s family and other members of the community during the break-in. The officer’s wife, mother-in-law, and two children were escaping through a bedroom window when Gebhard was shot.
“Tyler was going over to fight,” Brogan said. “When he got there he was met with a gun and the guy killed him.”
Belmar said the officer’s actions were justified.
“I don’t think the officer had a choice,” Belmar said. “I honestly don’t.”
Gebhard’s uncle, Patrick Brogan said the circumstances of his nephew’s death are all the more painful because several members of Gebhard’s extended family are in law enforcement.
“We are sick for both families because it was senseless,” Brogan said. “It was a senseless death.”
Yes it was. And this is yet another reminder of the sorry state of race relations under Obama’s presidency, which, by every measure, get worse with each passing day he’s in office.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]