Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Death of Freddie Gray & Baltimore's Race Riot (Updated)

The headline article in the Daily Mail says: Huge blazes rip through Baltimore as Freddie Gray rioters torch buildings including a nursing home, loot stores and attack police, injuring fifteen officers, as violence rages into the night. Baltimore is indeed convulsing in race riots over the death of 25 year old black male, Freddie Gray. This is reminiscent of Detroit, 1967.

A week ago, Freddie Gray died in Baltimore City Police custody. Here is what we know. Approximately two weeks ago, Baltimore City Police officers showed up near where Mr. Gray was standing in public. Mr. Gray took off running. That gave police probable cause to stop him. Mr. Gray had no outstanding warrants. When police finally caught him, they did a search and found a small knife not unlike what millions of Americans carry around on their person every day, myself included. I am still not clear if it was a valid arrest even under insane Maryland law, but I think it was. Maryland is California writ small in terms of it being a leftist cesspool these days.

Mr. Gray was in good health when he was arrested and placed in the patrol car. Something happened during transport, precisely what is not clear, nor is it clear how long it took the police to get Mr. Gray medical attention. Mr. Gray died a week later of a severed spine sustained within an hour, if not minutes, of his arrest. This could be anything from simple negligence to murder.

The police seem to be doing the right thing in their investigation of the incident, and everything is being carried out in public. There has been no delay in the investigation, nor it would seem any attempt at a cover-up. And yet, Baltimore has exploded in black riots undertaken for no other reason than an opportunity to riot, apparently. The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has been worse than useless. She did not officially ask the Governor for help at the outset of the rioting, and indeed, went so far as to instruct Baltimore City Police to give space to the rioters that "wished to destroy."

The Mayor has gotten more than she bargained for. Thugs have turned Baltimore into a nightmare, with the more feral elements of the black community threatening anyone who isn't black. There is at least one report of a serious racial attack in Baltimore, and already fifteen police have been injured in the riots. Black street gangs have made common cause to stop attacking each other and concentrate on attacking the police. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard.

(H/T Instapundit)

Obama and the left have spent the last six years stoking racial tensions at every opportunity. In the absence of actual racism, they must still convince blacks in our country that we America is nothing more than Selma 1954 writ large. In the nightmarish fantasy world of the left, any effort to insure the integrity of the vote is somehow racism. Applying the same standards to all Americans in whatever context is somehow racist. George Zimmerman was a racist and Trayvon Martin was an innocent youth murdered in cold blood. In Ferguson, Missouri, an evil racist cop shot an unarmed gentle giant, Michael Brown, just as he had raised his hands in surrender.

Before 1968, when the leadership of the civil rights movement was in the hands of a Republican, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the clarion call of the movement was for a colorblind society with equality of opportunity. After the left took over the civil rights movement, they morphed the movement into one where blacks were to become a permanent victim class, a color-centric group forever entitled to special treatment and equality of outcome. Dr. King's niece, Dr. Alveda King, said in an interview yesterday that if her uncle could see the riots in Baltimore, "he would be hearbroken."

I have no doubt that she is right. The people of Baltimore and this nation have every right to be angry about what happened to Freddie Gray and to demand justice on his behalf. That is not what these riots are about. The rioters are people, many in systemic poverty, who have been fed for the past fifty years on a steady diet that they are victims, that their number one problem is white racism, and that they are entitled both to special treatment and to act out. The issues facing the lower socioeconomic strata of the black community - endemic poverty, single parent homes, horrid educational opportunities, violence and criminality - are real and pervasive, but white racism is not among them. And until the actual issues are addressed honestly, they will never even begin to be solved.

And in all fairness to the good people of Baltimore, black and white, the majority are not involved in this riot. It is a clique of thugs and young people, some of whom clearly have parents outraged at the actions of their children. Update: Indeed, indications are that at the heart of this violent rioting are elements of the groups involved in instigating the violence in Ferguson. That would not surprise me in the least. And it is to the honor of the family of Freddie Gray that they have spoken out clearly condemning the violence and rioting that occurred in the wake of Mr. Gray's funeral, and believe it to be motivated by concerns other than the death of Mr. Gray.

From Hot Air, here is a video of one Baltimore Mom delivering an epic whooping to a son she saw rioting in what Hot Air is calling the "slap heard round the world."


That child doesn't realize it at the moment, but he has a damn good mom.

There is also another video out of a retired Army MSG facing down the rioters in Baltimore. There is no organization as fully and successfully integrated as the U.S. military. It is what our nation should be aspiring to, not the balkanization of the left.

At any rate, the problems giving rise to these riots are not something the left wants to cure. The race hustlers have already started to portray what is happening in Baltimore as an eruption of anger at racist police, just as they did in Ferguson - that even though Baltimore's Mayor, the majority of its city government, and indeed, the majority of its police force are black. It has already started with Representative Elijah Cummings, from Maryland, who recently stated:

"This whole police community relations situation . . . is the civil rights cause for this generation, no doubt about it," . . .

Cummings noted that the Maryland delegation in Congress had asked for the Department of Justice to conduct a civil rights investigation into the death of Gray.

"We've got to take this department apart and try to figure out what is wrong and what is right," he said, referring to local police.

Just sickening. So, there will be another investigation by the DOJ. Prepare for a repeat of the Ferguson scenario. No racism will be found in the arrest of Freddie Gray, though I am sure they will find negligence in his treatment, or it could even rise to the level of murder. Then there will be a disparate impact statistical analysis of incidents in Baltimore and, lo and behold, it will show a higher incidence of arrest among blacks in proportion to their representation in the city. Wait for yet another DOJ lawsuit against the city and more NAACP mailers to raise money off of racism rampant in society, as alleged in the DOJ report. And of course, the next race riot will be in the offing, blacks will continue to vote 90% for Democrats, and their plight, worse now then in 1964 when this embrace of the Democrat Party began, will not improve in the slightest.

Update: From the left wing side of the media, here are ten tweets that really need to be seen to be believed. The least offensive is from Jamil Smith stating that the rioters are merely children attempting to communicate. The most offensive are from Vox, Salon and Te-Nehisi Coates apparently in full support of the violence. On CNN, Anchorwoman Brooke Baldwin has placed the cause of these riots at not merely the feet of the Baltimore City Police, but more particularly, military veterans hired into the police force who she thinks are all too ready to do violence.

This from former U.S. Rep. and former U.S. Army LTC Allen West:

[W]hat is playing out before our eyes is the depraved spectacle of anarchy, violence, wanton criminality and an utter lack of leadership. To have the mayor of Baltimore issue a statement allowing these thugs “space to destroy” is unconscionable. Is the rioting over Gray’s death or just an excuse for the most disgusting aspect of human nature? . . .

But the fact that police officers are being injured and that three black gangs have pledged allegiance in order to attack police is beyond disconcerting. What is there to gain by destroying one’s own neighborhood? Is this the new mantra of “no justice, no peace?”

Perhaps this would be somewhat understandable if it weren’t for the recent episode in North Charleston, South Carolina where a police officer fired several shots into the back of Walter L. Scott, killing him. There were no violent riots and the officer was arrested and charged. The Scott family even went so far as to demand that Al Sharpton not come to Charleston.

But in Baltimore they’ve had to cancel a baseball game and there are warnings for people to stay away from the city. The governor has finally declared a state of emergency to activate the National Guard. But where is the mayor of Baltimore? Where is the leadership for the city? Imagine the horns of a dilemma upon which the Baltimore police find themselves. The mayor basically gave carte blanche to the criminal thugs to take the streets and the police seemingly are only employed to try and contain the “destruction.”

As of now, 15 police officers have been injured. As the NY Post reported, “Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks, broke windows, looted businesses and burned patrol cars in violent protests following the funeral of a black man who died after he was injured in police custody. The riots broke out just a few blocks from the site of the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in northwest Baltimore and then spread through other parts of the city in the most violent demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

Television images showed mobs of rioters jumping on top of a police car, destroying a taxi and setting two other patrol cars on fire after teenaged crowds ignored calls to disperse and clashed with lines of hundreds of police. Gangs had threatened to target police officers, local law enforcement said. Schools, businesses and train stations closed in Baltimore, a city of 662,000 people 40 miles (64 km) from the nation’s capital.”

So we are watching the result of a social media post calling for a “purge” for Monday at 3pm. But this is not just about the death of Freddie Gray, this is about something far more tragic: the breakdown of the inner city and the black community.

Where are the parents of these kids? Where are the adults and community pastors? Why are these kids responding to this call for violence instead of heading home and preparing for end of year final exams? Does anyone believe these looted businesses will be restored — therefore black unemployment in Baltimore will be even worse. Perhaps if there were a thriving job market and better opportunities, these black teens would be working in these stores, not looting them.

When I was watching the TV reports, Baltimore looked more like East Jerusalem than an American city with a proud patriotic heritage — Ft. McHenry the birthplace of our national anthem. And this is a city just some 40 miles away from our nation’s capitol — where is the leadership that demands this behavior is unacceptable?

The Baltimore police are showing incredible restraint because we all know the liberal progressive media is just waiting for some unarmed — although I consider tossing a brick a projectile — black kid to get shot.

My greatest fear is that there will come a day when police basically leave the urban communities to their own devices — in other words, abandon them and let them be overrun by gangs and other perpetrators of deplorable behavior. After all, the anarchist sentiment is to not abide by the rule of law — but rather to take matters into the hands of the mob and establish the rule of mobocracy. And if there are no elected officials willing to support the police — realizing that there are bad apples in any batch — then what is the motivation for police officers to patrol those disrespectful and unwelcoming streets?

Freddie Gray tragically lost his life, we know little about how or why. What we do know is that the black community of Baltimore is not comporting itself in a manner that will garner sympathy — but rather contempt.

The joys of living in the post-racial world of the left. It is obscene, not just that a segment of the black community should be acting out like this, but that the issues actually facing their community go unaddressed.

Update: At Powerline, Paul Mirengoff makes the point that these riots are not about racism or the Baltimore City Police:

The Post’s reporting suggests that, at root, the protests aren’t about the police department (which, as noted, is not a White institution and almost certainly not a racist one). One of the protest leaders said:

Officials are not interested in bettering our neighborhoods. People are tired of their quality of life, and they’re frustrated nobody helps them. They want to be heard, and they will do what it takes.

In other words, a population grown dependent on public officials is lashing out because said officials aren’t helping them attain the quality of life they desire.

I agree that the hard-working people of Baltimore have been let down by public officials. For one thing, liberal public policy has encouraged dependence on “officials.” For another, liberal housing policy helped produce the economic crisis that hit Baltimore so hard. In addition, liberal education policy has undermined educational opportunity. And now, liberal immigration policy seems determined to bring in foreign laborers to compete for jobs with hard-working, low-income Americans.

I find it depressing to see Baltimore in such a sorry state while Washington, D.C., fueled by the federal government, flourishes by comparison.

Obama spoke up on just that topic today, claiming that if Republicans would just pass an infrastructure bill, that would solve the problems actually at the root of the rioting. The left is completely out of ideas at this point. The solutions tried since the Great Society have not simply failed, but have made matters worse, and the only option remaining for the left is to pretend that the problems plaguing inner city blacks are all external. One wonders how much longer that canard will work?


Jeff said...

Just once, I would love to see republicans such as yourself give even 1% of a damn about the epidemic of unarmed men being shot to death as they do about fires and lootings in neighborhoods that they wouldn't dare step foot in.

Watching people on Fox news cry crocodile tears for Baltimore while ignoring the rash of cops planting evidence on dead black men they shot, I can't help but wonder if you guys lack brains, hearts, or both.

GW said...

Jeff, your ad hominem attacks are ridiculous. Point out anything in any of the above post that supports what you have just said. Or point out anything in any post of mine for that matter.

Further, where the hell are you coming up with this crap about supporting planted evidence. Who would possibly support that? Do you listen to yourself?

Point me to someone who does not support the rule of law on the right? And that has to apply to everyone or it's meaningless. So when you have a police officer shoot an unarmed man running away in North Charleston, he is rightly being tried for murder. When they figure out what happened to Freddie Gray, I suspect that at least one officer if not more will be rightly held liable.

You seem to want to believe that I and all on the right are evil in some way. Christ, get your head screwed on straight. If you have any serious points to make, I'll be happy to address them, time allowing. I know your smarter than this, Jeff. Please, make your rational points.

Jeff said...

You quote Allen West, who spends 99% of his rant talking about protesters, rather than the actual man who lost his life.

Breitbart (a meet-up for right wing knuckle-draggers) has studiously avoided any mention of the black men who have been killed by cops in the past month. You couldn't find an article about Eric Harris or Walter Scott anywhere. But they suddenly can't shut up about the riots. Hmmm...wonder why... Maybe it feeds into their psychological need to see black men as apes and hoodlums.

Turn on Fox News tonight. See if that moron Hannity or the braindead Barbie or the drunk Irishmen actually spend more than two seconds discussing what happened to Freddie Gray or how the investigation is unfolding. Or if they'll finally bring up the man in Tulsa who was shot by a rich shit who bought his way onto the police force. None of these things will be mentioned. But Hannity for sure will be more than happy to rail about Sharpton and Jackson. After all, everyone's crazy right-wing uncle needs something to scream about.

I went to Rush Limbaugh's site (shudder). Lots of posts about riots. Doesn't give a damn about the man whose death started them.

My god, could I go on. You guys are the party of loud dog whistles. To your credit, you do spend quite a bit of your original post actually discussing the man who died. But your intentions are certainly not shared by your kinfolk. Though it honestly makes me think that you're just smarter about paying lip service.

The glee with which the right try and dig up dirt on dead black men to make their deaths seem justified (see Trayvon, see Michael Brown) is sickening. And if you can't see it, then you never will.

You complained recently about states being locks for democrats in national elections. You might as well kiss the presidency goodbye for republicans, because every republican who gets on tv and blames blacks for framed their own murder is just reinforcing the KKK image that the republican has rolled around since before the days of Atwater. Republicans can always count on people like those in the Ferguson police department who regularly traded racist emails. But those people are dying out, thank God.

GW said...

Jeff, thank you the comment. My two part response is below.

I don't quote the full post from Allen West. In there, he makes the point that there is an ongoing investigation of Freddie Gray's death and that there appears to be no coverup. We don't yet know what caused the severe injury to Freddie Gray. Indeed, as in my post, Allen West leads with that. What more can he say?

The story, unfortunately, is that these riots seem disconnected from what is happening regarding Freddie Gray's death. Surely, you aren't going to take the position that riots that convulse a major American city aren't in and of themselves news.

I don't understand why you think that any news organization, blogger or radio show host would have to mention Walter Scott or Eric Harris in a story about the Baltimore riots. As to Walter Scott, I haven't blogged that, but I have been following it. Something bad happened in that case and the officer is appropriately going to face trial for murder. I have not followed the Eric Harris case so am not willing to comment.

That said, 111 people were killed by police in March, 2015. Do you expect everyone to be discussed on the right before discussing the riots? Or just the one's the left wants to highlight at the time?

Do you honestly, for a moment, actually believe that anyone on the right (not counting the fringes on either side of the aisle) sees blacks as "apes" or "subhumans?" That is a caricature built by the left, and it is an incredibly insulting one. It is one I believe that the left uses so they don't have to address the core issues that remain unsolved in far too large a portion of the black community. Far easier to claim conservatives are frothing racists than to have to rationally address why the Great Society programs, now half a century old, have been singularly unsuccessful.

People are talking about the riot because they are horrified by it, and not just WASP Republicans. It is equally troubling to most blacks in Baltimore, the large majority of whom have nothing to do with the rioting. Take a look at the two videos I added in updates, the one of the mom who recognized her son in the riots. The other is of a US Army E8 retired, who said precisely what I would expect from any soldier - I'm not black, red, green, white or yellow, I'm an American. Follow the link to the parents of Freddie Gray and their pastor who are horrified at the rioting.

I know of no one claiming that Freddie Gray is not entitled to full justice. I know of no one claiming that this should be brushed under the carpet. Are you suggesting that there is anyone on the right who is saying otherwise?

I said earlier, everyone deserves rule of law and justice before the law. What makes the Baltimore riot particularly troubling is that justice is not at immediate issue. If there was the slightest evidence that there was a cover up or anything of that nature, as Allen West alludes to, then at least that would make the riots understandable.

GW said...

Part 2:

I take offense at you suggesting that my concern for justice is mere "paying lip service." There is nothing in the above post or any other thing I have written that suggests that I would be satisfied with less justice for any American because of their skin. You really need to stop those types of ad hominem's Jeff. Your arguments will be stronger without them.

I will grant you one point - people on the right tend to reflexively assume that the police story is the accurate story. That is unfortunate because, within reason, every American should be skeptical, and I say that based on experience.

Those of us with a bit more knowledge of police and police procedure are still willing to give some very limited leeway to police because it is a difficult job. But it is indeed limited to only very gray areas.

As to digging up dirt, Jeff, a person's background is a huge clue to how they are more or less likely to act in a particular situation. That goes to both sides of the equation, actually. Having sued the police several times as well as defended them in cases that included police homicide, I can tell you that the background and history of the officers is every bit as much at issue as that of the other party. That is basic stuff, Jeff. If you are trying to get to the truth, deliberate ignorance of the past doesn't help.

In the Michael Brown case, his background was particularly important in as much as it in fact supported the conclusion, along with all of the other evidence, that he was the aggressor. I am sure that you are not suggesting George Zimmerman or Darren Wilson should have been summarily sacrificed on the alter of racial politics without attempting to determine their guilt or innocence. That would be a lynching.

In the above case of Mr. Gray, I don't think that he should ever have been arrested. His own background - a rap sheet for drugs, etc. - is meaningless to his death in this case. Those are bad facts. But we need to know them to then evaluate them up against what is relevant to his death. And against that - and his arrest for merely having a pocket knife - those bad facts are, it turns out, irrelevant. No American on either side of the aisle is going to say his death by spinal dislocation was justified by his rap sheet, regardless of what crimes it contained.

As to your concluding paragraph, most of that is just ridiculous and I will ignore it. That said, you are right about one thing. My generation grew up with ethnic humor of all sorts. The pc culture, which I think goes well overboard in so many other areas, has made such ethnic humor unacceptable. That is probably a good thing in the long run, and the jokes made in the Ferguson PD were inappropriate. My question to you, though, do you know the political affiliation of any of the people who traded those e-mails? Are are you just jumping to a conclusion because it fits with the caricature of the right you have in your mind?

The problem I have with caricatures is that, if you are not willing to realize their limits, they forestall rational argument. At any rate, you seem willing to engage, Jeff, and I appreciate that.

Jeff said...

I don't understand why you think that any news organization, blogger or radio show host would have to mention Walter Scott or Eric Harris in a story about the Baltimore riots.

You misunderstand. I said that right wing news organization barely mentioned or outright ignored those other cases, but went hog wild talking about the riots. This is not by accident. Racists are much more interested in black violence than being confronted with incidences of police brutality against blacks.

As to Walter Scott, I haven't blogged that, but I have been following it.

Case in point. And that should be a case that conservatives find common cause with. Cop murders a black man and then plants evidence. I thought you guys hated big government? Maybe only when it involves white ranchers in the desert who haven't payed taxes.

I have not followed the Eric Harris case so am not willing to comment.

Probably because you don't go outside your Fox bubble. In that case, a rich man bought his way onto the police force and had higher-ups falsify his records so that he could do ride-alongs. He's out on bail now and the judge allowed him to go to the Bahamas with his family. Find me a case of a black man under arrest for manslaughter who finds his way to the Bahamas while out on bail. There are two types of justice in this country and if you followed such cases, maybe you would have a bit more empathy.

Do you honestly, for a moment, actually believe that anyone on the right (not counting the fringes on either side of the aisle) sees blacks as "apes" or "subhumans?"

Look at this tweet from today by Charles Johnson, right-wing muckraker.


Or any Breitabart comment section about Michelle Obama. Or the Ferguson report. Or, hell, it doesn't take a long Google search to find racist comments about Obama. The web is teeming with right wingers who have no shame and say such things.

That is a caricature built by the left

The shoe fits. You just don't see it because you're in the bubble.

People are talking about the riot because they are horrified by it

True. Everyone's talking about the riots. And they've been roundly condemned. But republicans are NOT talking about the rash of police shootings. And that's the difference.

Jeff said...

I know of no one claiming that Freddie Gray is not entitled to full justice. I know of no one claiming that this should be brushed under the carpet. Are you suggesting that there is anyone on the right who is saying otherwise?

No, I'm suggesting that is clear from their actions that many prominent figures would like to see it brushed under the carpet.

If there was the slightest evidence that there was a cover up or anything of that nature, as Allen West alludes to, then at least that would make the riots understandable.

They are angry that this has been covered up time and time again. This time we have it on video. Even before they put him in the van, they were in the process of breaking legs. That's the reason he's screaming in pain as they throw him in the van. But I'm sure this is the first time that police have covered up brutality.

a person's background is a huge clue to how they are more or less likely to act in a particular situation.

But it is usually irrelevant to the situation they find them in at the time. The fact that Michael Brown knocked off a convenience store is irrelevant to what happened to him afterwards. But we all know why that information was released - to give the Fox News crowd their racist dogwhistle.

The fact that Trayvon Martin smoked dope (oh no!) is irrelevant to his being murdered. On the other hand, you're right that background can be relevant in cases. We on the left knew from reading about him that George Zimmerman was a psychopath Walter Mitty who had a history (and a history since) of arrests and domestic violence. But the right was happy to overlook that. And as sure as the sun shines, we're going to find out that these cops in Baltimore have a history of violence as well.

My question to you, though, do you know the political affiliation of any of the people who traded those e-mails? Are are you just jumping to a conclusion because it fits with the caricature of the right you have in your mind?

Well, the fact that the emails denigrated blacks, welfare, the President and First Lady (who they called 'subhuman' and 'apes') doesn't really suggest Democrat voters. We tend not to call our President subhuman. You can call that unfair, but to posit that these were a bunch of Democrats is lunacy. So, no, I'm not jumping to conclusions in any way.

PS. Thanks for the dialogue. You are by far the kindest blogger on the right I have ever come across. The majority shut down conversation or just scream and insult. Your willingness to engage me and challenge me is refreshing. I am sorry that you see my comment about racism in the republican party as ad hominem, but I've just seen too much evidence in public and in my own experience that it can't be ignored any longer. Believe it or not, I used to lean center-right. But I ran away from that at full speed as I started to really pay attention to the hatred that exists both on the fringe and among the politicians who clearly love their country but hate most of the people in it (or 47% of them anyway...)

GW said...

Thank you for the kind words Jeff. I do appreciate that, as well, as I say, your willingness to engage. This will be a multipart response:

Riots that engulf a city are huge news, so they are going to get play. Local stories pretty much only become news nationally if they egregious and show injustice, or, in the alternative, they are emblematic of a systemic problem.

There is no question that those riots are an outgrowth of systemic problems. The left wants to paint them as anger at racism. I think that the problems are in large measure a failure of the left's policies. Now, how to solve those issues, I won't even pretend to have all the answers. But until we can agree on exactly what are the problems, there is no chance of solving them. And that is in large measure the frustration that you are seeing from the right. I'll have a post up on that tonight that I invite you to read and comment upon.

At any rate, because most on my side of the aisle see the problems facing a significant portion of the black community different than the left, we will always key on things that reflect our own beliefs. All sides do that.

I saw no need to blog Walter Scott's case because I did not see that as an issue unique to race, nor did I see the event, tragic as it was and fully demanding of justice, as being improperly handled. Within three days, before the news even became national, the police officer had been arrested and charged with murder.

Jeff, there were 111 police involved shootings in March alone. The left seems to like to play this as a race issue, but if the numbers that I see are correct, they involve more whites than blacks as the target.

Further, there is a knee jerk reaction on the left to claim that anything bad that happens to a person in a victim group has to have been caused by racism. That view grossly distorts reality. Now, it may be my background in the integrated U.S. military gives me a perspective that is not sufficiently sceptical. But I will not assume racism as a motivation unless it is obvious on its face or unless there is actual evidence proved in the aftermath. The mere fact that something bad happened is not, in and of itself, proof of anything other than the event.

As to Eric Harris, in order to respond, I went to the Fox News site (one of about 40 places I visit a day by the way, along with the NYT) to reacquaint myself with the facts. A 73 year old reserve deputy grabbed his gun instead of his taser, by mistake. Indications are that his training records were subsequently falsified. It also appears that the deputy had probable cause to make the arrest.

Again, where is the evidence of racism? Something bad happened. (Continued in next part)

GW said...

Part 1 (Continued)

Indeed, I have seen that scenario with tasar/gun at least two other times over the past several years on those facts alone? As to what the judge allowed or didn't allow for bail, if you are going to allow a bailee to travel outside of the state, what does the Bahamas have to do with it? It would be one thing if this was a murder charge, but it's not, nor do I suspect that the judge has any reason to doubt that the deputy will return to the jurisdiction to face charges.

As to some commenters at a blog site, c'mon Jeff. As to Charles Johnson, I'll take your word that he is a nutter, in truth I don't even know who he is. I do not define people on the left, of whom there are millions in this country, by the comments I see at Daily Kos. To make the jump from a few commenters to paint the entire right with racism is such a leap in logic it qualifies as a non-sequitur.

I would invite you to look to PJM or Instapundit or Ann Althouse, right wing sites, that are very much concerned with police abuses. But those abuses are largely colorblind. There are real issues over police militarization (which in fact includes police shootings in its ambit), over the misuse of laws, and over our treatment of the mentally ill who seem to make up most of those who end up dead in police shootings. What you won't find is a lack of concern for justice for anyone wrongly hurt or injured by police, nor a knee jerk reaction in the absence of evidence that racism must be the cause of something bad that happened to a black person.

GW said...

Response Part 2:

Jeff, I went back and reviewed the video of the arrest. It begins after Mr. Gray was tasered. There is no evidence of police brutality on that tape, nor of broken legs. Yes, Mr. Gray is making sounds of pain every few seconds, but if you look, he also stands on the bumper of the vehicle in the moments before he is placed inside. There is no beating of him. Indeed, from my perspective, beginning after he was already on the ground, the arrest was wholly unremarkable.

I also reviewed the information released about the autopsy (the report itself has not been released yet). The investigating officer was explicit that the only injury Mr. Gray sustained was the severing of his spine.

I have been present in more than a few arrests and have seen people complain about pain. It happens quite often, and the police often take that as crying wolf to be honest. That is why, in far too many cases, they end up being held liable for not providing treatment in a timely fashion when it is actually warranted.

I have also seen more than a few people who refuse to walk after an arrest. That said, Mr. Gray may also still have been experiencing weakness from the taser, we will never know which is true, I suspect.

There is speculation that Mr. Gray was subject to a "rough ride" to the police station, which more and more seems likely to be what killed him. But we will likely know more about that in a few days. If so, then at least one officer will be charged with reckless homicide.

As to "clear from their actions that many prominent figures would like to see it brushed under the carpet," Good lord, why? What actions? That is just pure demonization, Jeff.

As to Michael Brown, you're kidding, right. The DOJ Report of the evidence shows that officer Wilson was responding to the calls of that theft at the time he encountered Brown, and that he was literally in the process of trying to get out of his car to make an arrest when the incident actually took its violent turn. Moreover, past acts of violence are always of note when trying to determine whether someone acted violently on a particular occasion.

As to Martin and dope smoking, certainly his prior dope smoking was irrelevant. As to whether there was any pot in his system at the time of his death, of course that is at issue, as it objectively effects judgement.

As to Zimmerman's background, of course that was relevant. But I certainly don't recall it as you do. I recall some particularly egregious falsehoods made about one incident involving his attempt to help a small child. As to the rest, I agree that one could argue that he was a Walter Mitty type on the evidence. It is another matter entirely to claim in any way, shape or form that he was motivated by racism on that evidence.

So bottom line, of course you are jumping to conclusions, Jeff. C'mon, you have a strong suspicion, but until you can verify one way or another, that is all you have. You know, I would never have suspected that the nutter in charge of Westboro Baptist Church was a Democrat candidate for office until I looked it up.

I will go so far as to grant you this. Whoever traded those e-mails had no place being employed in a police station.

And P.S. Enjoying the arguments. Thank you.

GW said...

Interesting take on this from Judge Napolitano at Fox News: http://video.foxnews.com/v/4204691859001/next-steps-in-freddie-gray-investigation/?#sp=show-clips