1. Even humor sites have to do better than this...FARK is an amusing news aggregator that headlines links to interesting stories from around the web with facetious comments, puns and snark, most of the time avoiding gratuitous political slant, This headline, however, was an outright deception: Sure the police might have some bad apples, but a review of 2,400 cases only found misconduct 54% of the time.
If you read the story, you will find that those were not just cases, but cases in which innocent people had been convicted of crimes. A study showing 54% of all cases showing police misconduct would be a damning result, but if someone is wrongly convicted of a crime, there is likely to be misconduct somewhere in the process. For those cases, 54% strikes me as low. Moreover, while the headline implies that all of the misconduct found in the study was attributable to police, that’s not true either. The study found that in the cases studied, 54% showed misconduct by police or prosecutors.
FARK’s headline was just gratuitous and unjust police-bashing. Not funny.
2. For the record…it’s 5:58 am, and I’m still furious over the cretinous response from the Boston sportswriter I discussed in item #4 of last night’s late warm-up.
3. Now THIS is an unethical teacher…and indiscreet!The South Carolina State Board of Education revoked the teaching license of teacher Percy Berry after a student made a cell phone video showing him snorting a substance from the surface of his desk. Berry was subsequently subjected to drug testing, and the results were positive for cocaine, heroin, and morphine.
4. Res Ipsa Loquitur. From the University of Chicago English Department:
‘Note: For the 2020-2021 graduate admissions cycle, the University of Chicago English Department is accepting only applicants interested in working in and with Black Studies. We understand Black Studies to be a capacious intellectual project that spans a variety of methodological approaches, fields, geographical areas, languages and time periods.’…English as a discipline has a long history of providing aesthetic rationalizations for colonization, exploitation, extraction and anti-Blackness. Our discipline is responsible for developing hierarchies of cultural production that have contributed directly to social and systemic determinations of whose lives matter and why… In light of this historical reality, we believe that undoing persistent, recalcitrant anti-Blackness in our discipline and in our institutions must be the collective responsibility of all faculty, here and elsewhere.’
5. I have a feeling the “Shocked…Shocked!” “Casablanca” clip is going to get a workout in coming weeks. During a two-hour Minneapolis City Council meeting on police reform this week, council members told police Chief Medaria Arradondo that their constituents are seeing illegal street racing, daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings.The number of reported violent crimes like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, with more people killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than in all of last year. Property crimes have also increased. Arson is up 55% over this point in 2019. Oddly, police seem reluctant to engage in proactive policing in a community where any situation involving a black lawbreaker has the potential to lead for a result that will lead to vilification, termination and prosecution of the officers involved.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police’?” said city council member Jamal Osman. Where? Lying low, of course, as would I, or anyone rational, in their position. Osman said residents are complaining that their calls for help from the police are not being answered. What could possibly explain this? Coincidentally, 100 officers have left the department or taken a leave of absence in 2020, more than double the normal rate.
Shortly after George Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a “community-led public safety system.” Good plan! And such a supportive message to send to the police force! “Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department,” City Council President Lisa Bender said at the time. “It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe. Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.” Simultaneously, the congresswoman who represents the district, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), called the police department a “cancer.”
Yet, for some mysterious reason, Minneapolis police are not aggressively enforcing the law.
Bender was asked during a CNN interview what would happen “if a killer was running loose and an armed police officer was needed.” Bender responded, “We don’t have all the answers.”