Yeah, we read it
. He points out some things that we pointed out and makes a column out of it. We're feeling like it deserves a response - an unusual feeling where Steinberg is concerned:
- So when does somebody speak up for the police?
Believe me, I have no interest in being that person. It’s a lose-lose proposition.
We have no interest in you being that person either Neil. You have an ingrained bias, not only as a member of the media, but as being processed through the justice system for your domestic violence arrest. But there you are, and here we are.
- The public — in one long howl of outrage, based on two fatal encounters between young black men and police officers, in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City — won’t appreciate having the perspective of the bad guys of the moment defended, even a little.
That's okay. You can defend the bad....oh wait. The police are the bad guys? In both cases, it was found by the courts that no crime was committed by the police or that a crime had been committed by the deceased. Therefore, the bad guy is the dead guy in both cases. Again - your bias is showing.
- The cops — a closed-rank echo chamber if ever there were — sure don’t want the support of the media, whom they universally despise, and particularly not from me.
Not like the media is a closed-rank echo chamber at all, right? Good god, don't make us drag out example after example And again, not particularly from you for the reasons stated above.
- And, to complete the circle — making it, I suppose, a lose-lose-lose situation — I don’t want to do it. Not to say the issue is unimportant — it is important, particularly if you are one of the African-Americans killed by excessive police force. But if I were to start listing the huge, festering issues facing black America: lack of capital, lack of jobs, bad schools, bad health care — it would be a while before we even got to the legal system skewed against them, incarcerating black men unfairly en masse, and we’d have to list a few more pressing judicial wrongs before we even got around to cops killing people.
But hey, I understand, public attention is not parceled out coolly by the Jedi Council based on objective analysis of our most pressing problems. Debate flashes and strobes, echoing off rare emotional episodes, and one video is worth a thousand studies.
Excessive force was ruled out in both these cases, Neil.
- Back to the cops.
When I set out to write today’s column, I figured it was high time I joined in the clamor. You can only blather on so long about obits and Santa letters while the nation is going through Racial Catharsis No. 342 without feeling a little superfluous.
Not that I was eager to swan dive into Ferguson, with my white-guy naivete. Pundit comments on the situation have tended toward the painfully obvious (one New York Times star began a column “We Americans are a nation divided,” and ended, “There are no easy solutions. But let’s talk.”) Well, duh.
But I thought I had an interesting twist. I’d begin the column, “You don’t need me to tell you that cops are angry and racist; they’ll tell you so themselves,” then hopped onto that mighty online river of anonymous police anger and bile, Second City Cop. I figured I would pluck out a few of the more bitter blasts of thin blue line contempt, vastly familiar to anyone who has ever visited the site, probably the most public face of the Chicago Police Department, given the reactive, we’ll-be-under-this-rock-if-you-can-find-us stance that the administration takes.
If only you had spared us all your "joining the clamor." We may have respected that more. And, ::whoops:: here comes your bias again - "“You don’t need me to tell you that cops are angry and racist; they’ll tell you so themselves,” and you name the blog. Thanks for the plug, but then you don't tell the reader the difference between the writers and the readers and the commentators, nor the fact that we can't prove, nor intend to prove that everyone here is a cop. We've noticed more than a few IP addresses from your building for one. Also, we're insignificant. Superintendents have told us so. Perhaps if the media did a better job tracking down the administration personnel who could answer their queries, or maybe ask Rahm why the superintendent is muzzled, then you wouldn't be labeling us a "public face," a designation we neither want, nor seek.
- I started reading Friday’ post, headlined, “Protests Over What Exactly?”
“Then there’s the fact of the deceased weighing 350 pounds, his extensive heart disease, his asthma, the fact that he was able to yell not once, not twice, but TEN times that he couldn’t breathe — if you can yell, you can breathe, you’re just wasting the breath fighting. Oh, and he didn’t die of ‘choking,’ he died of a heart attack an hour later. But those facts don’t get reported on in the mainstream media.”
Hmm. I paused. Second City Cop is correct, sort of. The cops sitting on Eric Garner’s chest didn’t help, but it isn’t as if he was strangled.
No one was "sitting" on his chest Neil. He wasn't strangled either. "Positional Asphyxia" is a danger in grossly overweight people as they have trouble moving air when their entire body weight is concentrated on their diaphragm. It's also stressful to an enlarged heart caused by morbid obesity.
- He quotes a reader:
“... we actually pay them [the police] to use force when a law-breaking suspect (even one breaking a trivial law) resists arrest. That is the job we’ve given them.”
That also makes sense.
“To say this guy is guilty of murder or manslaughter seems to me to be a case of scapegoating the people we’ve tasked with implementing a policy that we have imposed ourselves ... If trivial laws should not provide grounds for arrest, We should change the laws to say so.”
That wasn't a reader Neil. That was a blog site - AceOfSpades. We linked it right above the portions you quote. It's a conservative site, so be careful if you click over. You might start thinking impure thoughts about "responsibility of the individual" and concepts like "smaller government" and "lower taxes." That's subversive stuff to someone in your circles. The entire linked article is a good piece of writing and people would only benefit from reading it.
- To which Second City Cop says: “The bottom line — if you don’t want cops enforcing the law, then stop passing laws and telling the police to enforce them. When arrested, you don’t get to resist arrest. Period. The law says so. You resist, there are rules in place to overcome your resistance. You are not a ‘jury of one’ deciding what laws apply to you. Cops are authorized by the duly elected authority to overcome resistance.”
You can debate whether that is true, but it struck me as an opinion worth airing. We are a nation of laws, and we call on police to enforce those laws. They don’t always do it in a pretty fashion, but to judge all police by these public incidents is to make the same mistake as those cops who treat every black person as a thug who hasn’t yet reached for his weapon. So to echo my betters at The New York Times, yes, we need a dialogue about all this. But you can’t have a conversation if only one side is doing all the talking.
We address that second-to-last paragraph in a post somewhere below, quoting the Illinois Compiled Statutes as to Use of Force by Police and citizens. That last paragraph is a mostly nice bit of writing. It's too bad that Neil ruins it by "echo[ing] my betters at The New York Times...." That agenda-driven rag is more of a closed echo chamber than the thin blue line Neil. We can't have that conversation because the New York Times and the leftist media won't permit it. Everything is racist, everything is driven by color, everything is in direct opposition to what MLK wished for.
There might be problems in this country, but these two cases are poor examples to be building a movement on. "Hands up, don't shoot" has been proven to be a lie, plain and simple. It never happened. Three autopsies, including one by the family and one by the federal government said so. And the "I can't breathe" nonsense, if you can say it ten times, you're breathing.
Labels: media, scc responds