Whatever the problems in the criminal justice system, an attack against the police is an attack on the very law and order that holds this nation together and allows it to prosper. In the rush to judgment following the horrific deaths Wednesday of officers Justin Martin and Sgt. Anthony Beminio in Des Moines, Iowa, many assumed the killings were somehow connected to the Black Lives Matter movement, despite the organization’s repeated condemnation of violence against police. Those same people then must have been surprised to learn the killer was actually Scott Michael Greene, a middle aged white man with a history of arrests and racial provocation.
Law enforcement in Urbandale, Iowa, just outside Des Moines, are well acquainted with the 46-year-old Greene. In April 2014, he was charged with interference with official acts, after refusing to be patted down by officers who suspected he was armed. According to the police report, he was hostile and fought with officers, who eventually had to use a Taser to subdue him. Two days later, he was arrested for harassment, after threatening to kill a man in the parking lot of his apartment complex and calling him “The N-word.”
On October 14, Greene was asked to leave a football game at Urbandale High School, which his daughter attends. He had brought a Confederate flag and was waving it in front of a group of African-Americans. Greene filmed his encounter with police as he was escorted off school grounds, later posting it to YouTube. Two days later, police were called to his mother’s house, with whom he was living, after a dispute. His mother would go on to accuse him of abuse and financial exploitation. She ask for an order of protection against him, and for him to be removed from the home, which was granted by a court Wednesday.
That night at 1am police responded to reports of gunfire by Urbandale High School football grounds. When they arrived on the scene the found Officer Martin, whose car had been riddled with bullets. A half hour later, Sergeant Beminio was found dead, the victim of a similar ambush. Though it is unclear what evidence they had, the police soon fingered Greene as their suspect. Greene turned himself in later that day.
Photo: Des Moines Police Department