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Two Events, Juxtaposed

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Today was revealing about the place of policing in this country.

As Kent noted, it saw the naming of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as the first featured office holder to speak at the Democratic National Convention.  Ms. Rawlings-Blake has presided over three quite notable episodes during her tenure: the Freddie Gray riots, in which she directed the police to stand down; an ensuing huge increase in the number of murders in her city; and what at this point must be considered a largely concocted case against six police officers, not one of whom has been convicted of anything.

As this was going on, Baton Rouge buried Montrell Jackson, the last of three policemen to be gunned down in a staged attack eight days ago. To my knowledge, neither Ms. Rawlings-Blake nor any other Convention speaker mentioned Jackson, his murder, or his funeral.
Databases are all to the good  --  if you take the time to look behind the data. Unfortunately, people in the press and academia have become experts at putting out "databases," then citing them for a distorted rendition of what they actually show. They do this knowing that only a fraction of readers will get beyond the article's first few paragraphs.

Hence this story:

Baton Rouge cop killer Gavin Eugene Long and others who have killed police officers in the line of duty are included in The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-award winning "Fatal Force" database, a review conducted by The Daily Caller finds.

The database also counts Omar Mateen, the Islamist who was killed by police in Orlando after slaughtering 49 people at a gay nightclub, as one of the 533 people killed by cops so far this year.

The database, which includes demographics of individuals fatally shot by police as well as details about their background and the circumstances of the shooting, has been touted by reporters and activists for filling in a gap left by the FBI's limited statistics.

But the database -- which counted 990 police shooting victims last year -- is often cited by activists without the important context that many of the people killed by police officers deserved it.

 

The Collateral Consequences of Acquittal

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Those who see criminals as victims tend frequently to complain about the collateral consequences of conviction.  And while it's true that there are likely to be such consequences if you're found guilty of, for example, being a smack pusher, con artist, strong arm or thief, etc., our opponents misapprehend the true source of the problem.  

It's not that the offender has an adverse adjudication (although certainly that's in the mix). It's the behavior that led to the adjudication in the first place. An adjudication of criminal conduct provides a prospective landlord or employer with a more reliable than usual indication of potential problems any sane person in that position would want to know about  --  and, in this day and time, probably has to know about to avoid liability if an employee whose, shall we say, behavioral anomalies the employer could and should have learned about through due diligence  --  but didn't  --  goes on to harm a co-worker or customer.

Who do you think will be on the hook for that?

But I digress.  Those showing the most concern about the collateral consequences of conviction oddly show none at all about the just-in-the-news collateral consequences of acquittal.

Now you might be saying:  Hold on there.  How can there be collateral consequences when you're acquitted?

Selective Mourning

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We're often admonished by the Left not to draw conclusions until all the facts are in. That's sound advice, in the abstract.  The problem is how it gets applied.  When a Jihadist engages in mass murder shouting "Allahu Akbar," we are told not to "jump to conclusions" about his motives.  But when a white policeman shoots an African American, it is assumed on the spot that the motive is racism.  This itchy eagerness to smear the cops was nowhere better illustrated  --  and its injustice nowhere more evident  -- than with Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO.  It is being repeated full bore with the shooting episodes in Baton Rouge and in Minneapolis, even though in each of those cities, as was the case early on in Ferguson, the full facts are not yet known.

The Washington Times reports that Hillary Clinton has nonetheless met with the family of the man shot in Minnesota, Philando Castile, as part of a campaign swing.

Question:  Has Ms. Clinton met with the families of any of the eight policemen assassinated in Baton Rouge and Dallas?

Answer:  Not that I've heard about.  I will stand to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Question:  Why not?

Answer:  Partly because, facts or no facts, she's goosing the BLM vote, but has (understandably) given up on the police vote.  Mostly  --  and let's just say  it out loud  -- because she could care less.
Amanda Lee Myers reports for AP:

Minutes after former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca acknowledged failing the public by lying to federal authorities investigating jail beatings, a judge overseeing his corruption case shocked a packed courtroom Monday by rejecting the ex-lawman's plea agreement as too lenient.

Hillary Fans the Number One BLM Hoax

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The Black Lives Matter movement took root principally in the shooting death of a an 18 year-old African American, Michael Brown, by white Ferguson, MO, Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson was tried in the press and convicted of racist murder:  The narrative was, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot": Wilson gunned him down in cold blood while Brown had his hands up in surrender.

It was a pack of lies.  Brown, who had just committed a small-time robbery of a convenience store and shoved the clerk (half his size) on the way out, did not have his hands up and was not trying to surrender. (The tape of the robbery is here; the shoving episode is at 0:27 to 0:33).  To the contrary, moments before the shooting, Brown had tried to wrestle Wilson's gun away, and was on his way back to the patrol car.  This is not the finding of Fox News; it's the finding of a grand jury convened by Barack Obama's Justice Department.

Brown was 6'4" and weighed 292 pounds.  That is bigger than the average NFL player.

Showing the extent of her embrace of the venomous BLM movement, Hillary has now invited Brown's mother to the Democratic National Convention.  The story is here

If there is a reason any police officer in the country would trust Hillary with the Presidency, I hope some reader will tell me what it is.


Summer of Blue Bloodshed

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We are at war, and Black Lives Matter is the enemy, says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who brilliantly took down Don Lemon in this heated exchange last night on CNN following the deadly ambush of three Baton Rouge police officers.  In this piece on The Hill, which includes a longer version of the exchange, Clarke writes:

Americans watching the news of the murders of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are observing a civil war unfold within our borders. A war between rule of law and anarchy-seeking hate.

The murders in Baton Rouge, and before them Dallas, were not acts of domestic terrorism but guerrilla urban warfare against the police - who represent law and order - against the Constitution, and against the American way. The police, the men and women whom I as the Sheriff of Milwaukee County ask to put their lives on the line, are on the front lines of this war.

He continues:

The targeting of police for hate and for murder is by Black Lives Matter and their accomplices [and], in actuality, the targeting is our rule of law. Groups like Black Lives Matter, blessed by the progressive left and most recently our own President Obama, need to be exposed and condemned for their true aims: revolution.

Black Lives Matter organizers hold the same values of America's age-old enemies, who have always fought the ideals of our Constitution and our nation. That they have now taken on as their costume a false concern for Black America only adds to their depravity.

Dear Ms. Mosby: Give It Up and Go Home

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This morning, the highest ranking police officer of the six charged in the Freddie Gray case, Lt. Brian Rice, was acquitted on all charges.

That makes the record of the State's Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, perfect.  She has tried four officers on several counts each, ranging from homicide to dereliction of duty, and has failed to secure a single conviction.  In 18 years in a prosecutor's office, I do not recall even one time that we charged multiple defendants in one episode and could not convict any defendant on any count.

I was one of the few conservatives who was willing to give Ms. Mosby a chance, notwithstanding her inauspicious beginning, starting with a glitzy courthouse "news conference" that resembled a campaign rally more than anything else.  The circumstances of Gray's death were too suspicious and too fraught for me to conclude ab initio that no charges were warranted.

I now confess error.  I suppose it's still possible that there was criminal wrongdoing somewhere in the police handling of Freddie Gray, but Ms. Mosby is too ideological, too inbred in a culture of racial snarling, and, frankly, too much of an amateur to prove anything.
Many readers will already have heard about the episode today in which a "protester's" response to the police "murder" of Alton Sterling became, ummm, overly enthusiastic, resulting in an unfortunate situation that we could have avoided if the cops would finally own up to their years of racist oppression.

That, at least, is my first draft of the forthcoming Black Lives Matter press release.

What actually happened, obviously, is that several police were lured to an ambush murder.  Thus far the number dead is three.  Three others lay wounded.

I should perhaps be more circumspect so soon after this incident, but I've found that "circumspection" has become liberal code for "keep your mouth shut until we figure out the spin this time."  Today, I'm not biting.

BLM and its allies and enablers, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and a goodly chunk of (almost all Republican) libertarian politicians have spent years putting out sulfuric condemnation of the police.  Sometimes the hatred just underneath is decently well concealed; other times, not so much. Criticism, of course, is fine.  Skepticism is fine. But when it's hatred  --  and more and more, that's what we're seeing, no matter its skimpy disguise  --  there will be an outcropping. We saw the outcropping in Dallas. We see it today in Baton Rouge.  We'll see plenty more of it.

We have free speech in this country, for the moment.  Obama, Clinton, BLM and libertarian stump speakers can say whatever they want, as long as it's not direct solicitation. But it's time that they get called on the violence they encourage and abet. And that they take, rather than indignantly deny, their share of responsibility for it.
Here at C&C we have been strongly critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we will continue to be.  That group is not part of the solution, it is a major part of the problem.

Just to be clear, though, we do not deny that there are legitimate complaints of discriminatory law enforcement.  In this video, Senator Tim Scott describes his experiences.

Time to End the Demonizing of Police

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Heather Mac Donald writes for the WSJ:

For two years American police departments have endured relentless attacks from the Obama administration, its media allies and the Black Lives Matter movement alleging that U.S. law enforcement is a racist, deadly threat to African-Americans. A handful of disturbing videos depicting police shootings helped galvanize widespread hostility to law-enforcement officers, and cops began backing away from the proactive policing that stops crime but has been repeatedly denounced as racial oppression.

The result, especially in the first half of this year, has been an appalling increase in shootings and murders in many cities across America. Most of the victims, in this poisonous era spawned by Black Lives Matter, have been black. Now the consequences of this stream of falsehoods about police may be spinning out of control, with the assassination of five police officers in Dallas last week and the attacks on cops in other cities since then.

Make no mistake: Assertions about systemic, deadly police racism are false. That has been true throughout the period following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014; recall that the cop involved was ultimately exonerated by the Justice Department. But no number of studies debunking this fiction has penetrated the conventional story line.

The President's Speech in Dallas

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The little boy in my last post had no words for what had happened to him.  President Obama, by contrast, had all kinds of words  --  words of understanding and sympathy for the grievance culture that brought the boy his father's casket.

For once, could our President leave the agenda at home and have the decency it takes to remember that a memorial service for the dead is supposed to be about the dead?

No. It's not going to happen  For Obama, the service  --  any service  --  is about him. His sense of himself as performer is inescapable in his remarks, making them all but unwatchable (they're here for those who care to).

But that, unfortunately, is not the end of it.


No Words Necessary

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Or possible.

From Dallas.
I've often said we don't need more data to know how to fight crime.  We already have 50 years of data.  When we have more police, more aggressive policing, and more incarceration, crime goes way down.  When we don't, it goes way up.  Those who refuse to see this are in denial  --  either that or they're lying.  From liberals, the defense bar, and the White House, there's plenty of both.

If more data were needed, however, we have that, too.  It's the city of Baltimore, a liberal mecca that brooks no police misconduct.  Indeed, it brooks so little that it puts the police on trial for murder, whether or not they're guilty (thus far, after three tries in the Freddie Gray case, no court has found that a single one is).

After Baltimore welcomed its rioters and targeted its police (metaphorically, for the moment), the predictable happened.  It has become the murder capital of the East Coast. The spike in violence is shocking by any standard, and particularly shocking if you think black lives actually matter, since most of the victims are black.  If you're waiting for an Obama speech  about it, however, you'll be waiting a long time.
The brilliant Prof. Richard Epstein takes a look at President Obama's handling of possible instances of gross police abuse, and the ambush murders of five policemen in Dallas:

Many have praised President Barack Obama for what they regard as his measured remarks on the killings in Louisiana and Minnesota,..But the President's carefully crafted message may well have prejudged the situation in Minnesota, as it did with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

To be sure, he ends his speeches by saying some version of: "We have extraordinary appreciation and respect for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line every day." But the words ring hollow when they follow his indictment of police for institutional racism. The killings in Louisiana and Minnesota, he said, were not "isolated incidents," but were "symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities in our criminal justice system."  But that linkage has just not been established in these two most recent cases.

No one should be foolish enough to say that the criminal justice system is beyond improvement...But the matter has to be kept in perspective. We are not living in the age of Jim Crow. The first thing that the President should do is acknowledge the enormous progress that has been made. Instead, he lists a dubious set of statistical claims: blacks are pulled over more frequently for traffic stops, and they are subject to higher arrest rates for homicides. Obama has rightly been criticized on this front by the ever-alert John Lott for ignoring the underlying rate of violations, especially in connection with arrest rates for homicide, which are twice as high for blacks even though they are six times as likely than whites to commit homicide. Underenforcement looks like the more serious charge.

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