Just not a lot of reason to have high hopes for things getting better, ya know. We will have a full-blown city riot over something in the near future, one that will have the superficial appearance of installing anarchy somewhere. Is that worse than a para-military attack on a police squad, like what happened yesterday? Dunno.
Dayton yesterday: I listened to his afternoon presser. Governor’s vocal quality is that of a stroke victim at this point, but he’s all there mentally. Basically the right words come out of his mouth. Governor is past the point of discussing this in terms of the traditional pieties, which would be something of a false balance that is overly deferential to tropes of ‘how hard the law enforcement job is” and how ‘most cops are good”. Governor was properly biased to acknowledge a problem in law enforcement. Called it out as ‘racism’. I don’t think that’s accurate enough when the problem is moreso a not insignificant bit of racism plus a lot of corrosive institutional / cultural dynamics, but…. that’s a trivial quibble in terms of this moment. He’s taking us to the proper ballpark.
Dayton: “Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white?” Immediate pushback by cultural righties, with the detail of the shooting officer’s non-white guy identity dragged along as a refutation. This thing was racial / racist alright, but we got a word problem here that comes from using ‘racism’ to describe both gutter bigotry and then the way dominant, bourgeois culture / institutions disparately treats minorities and out-groups. Thing is….you stop 20 or 30 middle class people a day on Larpentuer driving their 5-7 year old Camrys and Civics, you stop them under the pretense of equipment violations… City council / mayor would compel municipal law enforcement to cease that because the bourgeois voting class would make them. So these cops disparately select racial minorities to stop, because the implicit assumption is they aren’t part of the bourgeois voting class and out-group members will never coalesce to bring a strong complaint. That’s how it happens, yeah that’s ‘racist’. Cutlural conservatives are obtuse to this. Lefties are indiscrinate in their word choice though, and they love to assert that righties are still gutter bigots.
Dayton sought the DOJ’s involvement immediately. I think that’s fine. It does suggest there’s no confident assumption local authorities will deliver justice. What that also is, is an indictment of Minnesota exceptionalism, IE, that’s there’s no truth in our haughty assumptions of civil superiority over places like Mississippi and …. Louisiana.
The Obama DOJ seems to have said…. hold your horses, we’ll step in if the locals fuck it up. Now, constitutionalists like me think this dual track of state and federal justice is at odds with the principles of federalism, and that there’s an inherent philosophical double-jeopardy conundrum. But ya know, this is where we are in the 21st century, we have a robust DOJ cabinet apparatus that dispenses justice with the goal of establishing national legal norms. So don’t tell me you’ll just backstop the situation here in deference to local authorities when you could just go balls out to establish a precedent on what sanctions get meted out to local police organizations that violate constitutional civil rights. Ya know, there’s this pervasive critique of federal agency overreach into local matters…. which is a true critique… and then there’s this in contrast. Such that ‘this’ is the exception where the Feds don’t want to meddle, it’s because A) the urban / suburban prosecutorial bar is a Democrat constituency and B) Minnesota is a blue state. That’s baloney, what would be right is the true believer lawyers in the Obama DOJ coming to metaphorically reduce to ash the FH and SA and Ramsey County legal apparati if that’s what scales of balance justice dictates.
On that point, heads up…. Saw yesterday that Ramsey County prosecutor Choi is committed to using the traditional process of taking the case to a grand jury, ie he won’t take the decision to prosecute into his own hands like Freeman did with Jamal Clark case. That’s not comforting, though prosecutors have a way of getting the proper result when their future electoral chances dictate it. So ya figure, the prosecutor that argues it to the grand jury will make a case for an indictment on this one rather than act as police advocate. Update: http://www.kare11.com/news/ramsey-co-attorney-we-need-to-do-better/267805289
Bri at WWP on scared cops: Ya know, he’s got a real thing where he likes to other-ize superficially manly-men that are not in the overtly intellectual cliques, likes to assert their psychological inferiority. This column has a good bit of that. But yeah. Where I concur is that I well suspect this informal LEO standards and practices coaching that advises to just shoot the perp and deal with the aftermath later… that germinates in large part from fear of losing physical confrontations to black guys. I mentioned that re Jamar Clark some weeks ago. Other thing he suggests, as he has in past… is that police officers are underpaid say generally and in the capacity of being skilled positions. And underpaid ya know because its public sector work. Ergo, the field probably doesn’t attract good candidates…. I could see pay for suburban patrol officer being ‘modest’ at points. But I kinda doubt a 30 year old doing it 5 years is pulling any less than say $67500. City officers make more, everytime I look up a MPD or SPPD guy on the Pioneer Press govt salary page, its consistently “$85000.” Either case, they are not underpaid.