Vigilantes deserve credit for service
Recently, in Bronx County, N.Y., a man named David Williams was beating the 19-year-old mother of his child.
According to the report published by The NY Daily News, Williams was in the middle of pummeling the girl when a stranger walked in on the situation.
The man reportedly asked him what Williams was hitting her for, and why he didn’t stop. Williams got into the man’s face, after which he was shot above the left eye by the intervening vigilante.
The stranger then fled the scene. Williams, who had been arrested 10 times over domestic violence charges involving his girlfriend and child, was rushed to the hospital where he died. The police have been searching for the shooter.
The general response from authorities has been that this was just another shooting crime and that the vigilante must now be brought to justice.
This is unfair; the vigilante stepped in to stop a beating from taking place, and responded at first by trying to rationalize with Williams. But after analyzing quickly that Williams would not respond rationally, and was beginning to act as if he would hurt and possibly kill the girl and himself, the vigilante reacted defensively.
The vigilante not only saved the girl’s life, but possibly his own and the man’s daughter. And now that vigilante is being hunted for a crime of self defense and defense of another (whereas in different areas of the country, he’d be regarded as a hero.)
Notably absent from the site of a woman being beaten were the police themselves, or anyone else stepping in to stop the beating. No one thought to call any sort of authority, or no one cared enough to stop.
Is this a regular occurrence where Williams lived? If so, this is shameful that the police are now hunting down a man to do their job — preventing violence on the streets.
If they had spent more time hunting down men who beat women rather than men who stop other men from beating women, maybe there wouldn’t have to be a civilian stepping in, and perhaps Williams wouldn’t have lost his life.
And yes, technically he broke the law. But sometimes the law restricts justice. The law is in place to prevent the very thing the shooter stepped in to stop. Obviously, repeated arrests haven’t stopped Williams from beating his girlfriend ten times.
It might be that the police, while officially searching for the shooter, aren’t trying that hard to find him, and may even be quietly cheering for the vigilante who saved a girl’s life when the law could not.
It might be that they have recognized the fact that a man stepped in and ended a problematic situation, and that sometimes, even if it is against the law, swift justice can be the best solution.