Hot enough for ya?
1. Let’s see exactly how much disinformation the pubic will follow and tolerate.
- Yesterday I and everyone else heard Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz claim that most of the rioters were from out of state, claiming that “the best estimates” were that “outsiders” comprised about 80% of the people arrested. It was nonsense. The arrest statistics showed the opposite was true. As of 11am CST on Saturday, a sample of data from the Hennepin County Jail’s showed that 86% of those arrested provided a Minnesota address to police. Later in the day, St. Paul released arrest information showing that two-thirds of people arrested since Thursday gave police in-state addresses.
- CNN reporter Reza Aslan actually tweeted that Trump supporters were doing the rioting. Accountability for this ridiculous, straight up lie? None.
- Cherry-picking isolated episodes from riot scenes around the country, Slate wrote that “Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide,” and that “law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.”
2. Let’s see exactly how much disinformation the pubic will follow and tolerate, (cont.) A typical effort: on Thursday, a New York Times front page story announced “Fury in Minneapolis Over The Latest in a Long Line of Police Killings.” What was that “long line”? It was nowhere to be found, at least not in the article. We are told that the Minneapolis police have received “many excessive force complaints, especially by black residents.” Complaints do not equal misconduct. We are told that “Mr. Floyd’s death — and the recent shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia — has also prompted comparisons to previous killings involving the police and black people, including those of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.”
Those are terrible, dishonest comparisons, though, and competent journalism is obligated to explain why. Ahmaud Arbery’s was not a “police killing.,” in addition to taking place in Georgia. Michael Brown, despite the apparently immortal false narrative (“Hands up! Don’t Shoot!”) , was not police brutality or misconduct. Eric Garner’s case does provide the basis for some comparison, but that case was in New York, and five years ago. Nor is there any credible argument that the officers in that case were deliberately trying to harm Garner.
3. Oh, never mind. Details, details. We are told by the Times that blacks have accounted for more than 60% of the victims in Minneapolis police shootings from late 2009 through May 2019. Absent details, however, that’s a loaded statistic. How many of those shot were armed? How many were resisting arrest or threatening officers? . African-Americans account for about 20 % of the city’s population; how much of the city’s crime are they responsible for? We are told they are more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have force used against them than white residents, according to Police Department data. Is there any reason for that other than racial bias? Are we supposed to assume racial bias? Obviously we are.
We are told about Justine Ruszczyk, a white woman who was fatally shot by a black police officer in 2017, and whose family was awarded $20 million in a settlement with the city three days after the officer was convicted of murder. The Times story also mentions Chiasher Fong Vue, who was killed in December of last year during a shootout with nine officers. In the midst of what was a apparently a domestic dispute, Vue emerged from his home holding a Soviet-designed assault rifle. He ignored police commands to drop the weapon, pointed it at the officers, and was brought down by more than 100 bullets. That’s not exactly the George Floyd scenario, is it? Also the deaths of Vue and Ruszczyk didn’t trigger any rioting and looting. Are we really supposed to believe that those incidents were even faintly on the minds of the Minneapolis rioters?
Also never mentioned in the article: the fact that Floyd was under arrest for what appears to have been criminal activity. The fact that he was being legitimately detained does not mitigate the circumstances of his death, but it is still essential information without which the account and the understanding of the police consuct is distorted.
4. Somehow, I think this is worthy of disbarment: Two Brooklyn lawyers, including an Ivy League graduate corporate attorney, are facing federal charges for tossing a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD vehicle early yesterday morning during a NYC protest regarding the police killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Lawyer Colinford Mattis, 32, was charged along with fellow attorney Urooj Rahman with the attempted attack on an empty police cruiser parked outside the 88th Precinct station house.
5. The academic view: Steven W. Thrasher, Ph.D., an apparent lunatic who is paid as the Daniel H. Renberg chair of social justice in reporting at Northwestern University, as well as an assistant professor of journalism and a faculty member of the Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, writes at the previously mentioned Slate, which has now apparently jumped the shark entirely, that
“…there should be absolutely no confusion about the logic of destroying a police station in response to the police killing of George Floyd. You can agree with or disagree with the action. But you cannot deny that there is a logic in targeting a police station after the police have lynched a man in broad daylight, on video. It’s an attempt to create a different order in the society.”
Uh, ethics? Logic? This guy teaches students at a university? Let’s see:
- The death of Floyd was not a “lynching,” symbolically or otherwise. It was brutal, stupid policing. The officer was not trying to kill him, just brutalize him. That’s unconscionable and criminal, but not a “lynching.”
- There is no logic in burning down a building in pure revenge for what a single or several individuals headquartered there may have done. There isn’t even a logical argument to be made. Obsviously the act is irredeemably unethical, as well as illegal.
- Oh, look! Earlier, Thrasher refers to “the police killings of Michael Brown or Freddie Gray.” There was scant evidence that police “killed” Freddie Gray, and the killing of Mike Brown was justified.
So would Thrasher argue that it would make sense for police officers to set the NYC Bar offices on fire because of what those two lawyers did? Why not?