A crazy police-involved shooting in Nashville illustrates why the notion of defunding police and replacing them with “counselors” or “mental health experts” is not an appropriate course of action.
The shooting in question took place on Friday, March 12th, 2021 at around 9 a.m. local time. Officer Josh Baker apparently ran the plates on a 2015 black Camaro and it popped up six warrants for the owner of the vehicle – a man named Demond Buchanan. Baker pulls the vehicle over in a Dollar General parking lot and there is only one person visible inside, a woman by the name of Nika Holbert.
Nika Holbert got out of the vehicle voluntarily before the officer approached her vehicle after she was pulled over. Baker searches through Holbert’s bag as Holbert is smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone, apparently with her mother. Holbert looks nervous as Officer Baker goes further into her handbag. Once Baker discovers drugs inside the bag, he orders Holbert to put her hands behind her back. That’s when things go downhill and spiral out of control.
Nika Holbert runs around the back of the car near where she was standing, grabs her purse, then gets back into the vehicle in an apparent attempt to drive off. Officer Baker tells her to stop and get on the ground after pulling his taser. Baker deploys the taser on Holbert and it has no effect. He then places the taser directly on her skin and it doesn’t work much better. Shortly after the second taser application, Holbert grabs a gun in the passenger seat (which may or may not have been in her bag that Baker was searching). Holbert then shoots Baker, who shoots back. As the officer falls on the ground and calls for help through his radio, Nika Holbert somehow drives off in the Camaro.
Officer Josh Baker is reportedly stable as of Monday, March 15th, 2020 at about 4:30pm EST. Nika Holbert, however, wound up dying from her injuries. She was able to drive off after being tased and shot but wound up crashing into a ditch. Holbert’s mother wants answers as any grieving parent probably would. But the videotape should be enough.
Several police-involved shootings over the past few months and years get criticized by Monday-morning quarterbacks. Everything from the unnecessary use of a taser, unnecessary use of a gun, and more come into question. Everything in the Josh Baker / Nika Holbert traffic-stop-turn-deadly was captured on body-worn camera and dashboard camera. There is nothing that is up for interpretation. Many shootings that happen are not captured this same way which aids in the ignorance of people who thinks police should be defunded and replaced with some version of social workers. Social workers are simply not equipped to handle the job like trained and armed police officers are. Further efforts to replace police with social workers will simply further endanger the lives of everyone involved, especially social workers.
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