August 27, 2020


“A white, 17-year-old police admirer was arrested Wednesday after two people were shot to death during a third straight night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake… Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times on Sunday as he leaned into his SUV, three of his children seated inside. Kenosha police have said little about what happened other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute.” AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left supports the protests and calls for police reform.

“Why did officers draw their guns on an apparently unarmed man walking away from them? What threat did he present that justified use of lethal force? Shouldn’t the presence of three small children in the car underscore the need for caution? Some have argued on social media in the police’s defense that Mr. Blake may not have been complying with orders, and a tweet by a right-wing commentator that was shared by Donald Trump Jr. alleged Mr. Blake had a criminal record. Neither noncompliance with a police order nor unconnected past crimes justifies a death sentence, and it is inexcusable to try to use those excuses. Enough is enough.”
Editorial Board, Washington Post

“When anti-racist protesters demand equality and justice, Trump justifies the use of overwhelming police and paramilitary force as necessary to reinstate ‘law and order’ to shut them down. And yet, when white so-called militia members inflict violence on the protesters—or even act on their own in response to a perceived grievance—suddenly ‘law and order’ no longer applies…

“Earlier this week, an unmasked crowd shattered the glass of a government office building to get into a state legislative hearing on public health restrictions in Boise… Idaho State Police made no arrests… Because the Idaho protesters were the right kind—white and conservative—the police exercised restraint in the face of violence because it was not worth the risk to protesters’ safety. Where would Blake be right now if Kenosha officers also believed risking his life wasn’t worth it?
Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones

“There have only been 12 days this year when police did not kill someone… Patchwork proposals and yet more funding will do nothing—even modest reforms like banning chokeholds are being met with open defiance by police organizations. As long as political leaders insist that problems in policing are exceptional, distinct instances of bad apples, it will be impossible to meaningfully assess how far the rot goes. Calls for investigations don’t convince anyone anymore. This is why hundreds of people in the streets want to defund the police. This is why they keep showing up, even as they are tear-gassed and beaten.”
Aviva Shen, Slate

“Having body cameras on the officers in Kenosha would have supplied important additional context to help understand the shooting, and the accountability they provide might have changed the way the officers handled the incident. Such cameras would be required under the federal George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which would impose modest but essential mandates on the nation’s 18,000 police agencies to curb officer violence…

“It’s astonishing and unacceptable that the policing bill, which easily passed the Democratic-controlled House with some GOP support, can’t get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.”
Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Some note that “[a new report] shows that contrary to conventional wisdom… large majorities of residents in low-income ‘fragile communities’ — including in both urban and rural areas — want more police presence, not less. In the more than a dozen low-income urban areas surveyed, 53% of residents want more police presence while 41% want the same — only 6% want less…

“Why do police matter to people in fragile communities? Because these individuals live where safety cannot be taken for granted. While 40% of all Americans believe crime has decreased in their area, only 11% of fragile communities’ residents agree…

“[Yet this] does not mean they are satisfied with law enforcement’s treatment of them or their community… Less than a quarter of Black residents are ‘very confident’ that police will treat them with courtesy and respect… This seeming cognitive dissonance between wanting more police and viewing police skeptically is not the result of confusion as much as lived experiences.”
Gerard Robinson, USA Today

From the Right

The right condemns the rioters and calls for forceful action to restore order.

The right condemns the rioters and calls for forceful action to restore order.

“Rioters say they want justice for Mr. Blake, but instead of waiting on the judicial system they laid siege to the Kenosha County Courthouse, used fireworks as weapons, and attacked police. The Kenosha News reports that arsonists have damaged or destroyed some 30 buildings…

“Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said: ‘There is a process to investigate the shooting. We have to allow that process to take place. The destruction of our city does nothing to assist with the investigation.’ The contrast with the indulgence of violence by mayors and governors in Portland and Seattle is laudable… Public officials have three duties here: calming passions, restoring order to protect the innocent, and providing justice under the law for Mr. Blake and the police who shot him. But you cannot have justice without order.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“The president has not only the authority but the obligation to protect the people of states in which order has broken down and widespread violence, beyond the capacity of law enforcement to quell, has taken hold…

“It is not and would not be the purpose of the armed forces to arbitrate our intense political and cultural disputes. That includes, of course, the debate about whether our divide is the result of systemic racism or other deep societal flaws which we’d rather chalk up to purported systemic racism than address. But we must have the order on which both liberty and a functioning republic depend before we can deal effectively with our challenges. The violence has to end, or it has to be ended.”
Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

“There is a sense from those who uncritically support Black Lives Matter and defunding the police that any and all tactics are appropriate in light of the mission. But there is never an excuse for violence, looting, and arson, even if a serious or deadly physical altercation serves as the catalyst. Furthermore, those outside of these movements who are sympathetic to the cause and understand the need for reform will be much less likely to advocate on behalf of those hurting if these tactics are used…

“If Blake's mother, immediately and permanently affected by the actions of another, can ask for change and peace in the same breath, then those participating in the very destruction she condemns have no excuse to continue in it.”
Kimberly Ross, Washington Examiner

“Wisconsin is a key swing state and President Donald Trump has been struggling with his appeal to suburban women, a once reliable vote for Republicans in Wisconsin. The events in Kenosha, however, may sway people who are turned off by Trump’s style, but never expected safety, law, and order to be a top [issue] in this election. Rioting and violence in Minnesota following the killing of George Floyd has resulted in a tightening of poll numbers in the state that once favored Democrats. The latest poll shows Minnesota in a dead heat with Biden…

“Watching a historic industrial Wisconsin city go up in flames may have a similar impact on poll numbers in the important suburbs of Milwaukee, where violence and movements to defund the police are unpopular.”
Evita Duffy, The Federalist

A record number of people have suddenly developed a new appreciation for our Second Amendment rights and have been streaming into gun stores far and wide to purchase firearms. The numbers are too far above the averages to write this off as some temporary glitch in the usual sales patterns. These aren’t repeat purchasers picking up an extra weapon, either. We’re talking about first-time gun buyers only. As National Review reports this week, we’re talking about as much as a 100% spike in sales in some places…

“When citizens stop believing that someone will answer their 911 call and show up promptly, they begin considering other options. And arming yourself is probably option number one.”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

A libertarian's take

“We should all be angry that this keeps happening, and that anger should be directed toward the police officers who perpetrate these crimes, toward the police departments that produce and protect bad cops, and toward the justice system that fails to hold murderers accountable because they were wearing a badge when they pulled the trigger. That anger should not, must not be directed toward other innocent parties…

“If the root of the injustice in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was the use of violence against an innocent person, more violence perpetrated against more innocent people will increase the sum total of misery and unnecessary suffering… violence against property is still violence. It is not justice—nor is it an adequate substitute for it or a path toward it. Burning private property won't bring George Floyd back to life or save Jacob Blake from the hell he is now enduring. Looting won't hold their murderers and attempted murderers to account.”
Eric Boehm, Reason

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