The rioting in Charlotte turned even uglier overnight, after the apparently false claim that a black man was shot dead by police for pointing a book.

All evidence so far shows that the “victim” was a career criminal who had a gun and turned towards police.

This appears to be another false media narrative, just like “hands up, don’t shoot” in the Michael Brown case, but it was enough to spark mobs of racist rioters and looters who attacked people and each other, including people trapped in cars.

Anyone who was old enough to remember the 1992 Los Angeles riots after the police in the Rodney King case were found not guilty is old enough to remember Reginald Denny:

I’ve always wondered what I would do if I were in Reginald Denny’s situation. Would I stop at let myself and my family become victims, or drive through the crowd to get away (lacking a firearm to defend myself). I resolved at the time of the Denny incident not become a victim.

In Charlotte, the scene was as bad as in Los Angeles, with violent attacks on innocent people by the mob:

Charlotte riots try to throw photographer into fire
Looking at a situation out of control with motorists trapped among the racist thug rioters, Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit tweeted:

Instapundit Tweet Charlotte Riots

That got him suspended.

Glenn posts on Instapundit:

Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Was just on Hugh Hewitt talking about this. Since Twitter won’t let me respond to — or even see — my critics, let me expand here.

I’ve always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I’ve been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years.

But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And locking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.

“Run them down” perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance.

Meanwhile, regarding Twitter: I don’t even know that this is why I was suspended, as I’ve heard nothing from Twitter at all. They tell users and investors that they don’t censor, but they seem awfully quick to suspend people on one side of the debate and, as people over at Twitchy note, awfully tolerant of outright threats on the other.

 

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