Cleveland

Important Reading

Samaria Rice and her daughter Tajai, left, in Cleveland near where Ms. Rice's son Tamir, 12, was killed by a police officer. (Credit Michael F. McElroy for The New York Times)

It really should be required reading, this article from Shaila Dewan and Richard A. Oppel Jr. of The New York Times:

Seconds later, the boy lay dying from a police officer’s bullet. “Shots fired, male down,” one of the officers in the car called across his radio. “Black male, maybe 20, black revolver, black handgun by him. Send E.M.S. this way, and a roadblock.”

But the boy, Tamir Rice, was only 12. Now, with the county sheriff’s office reviewing the shooting, interviews and recently released video and police records show how a series of miscommunications, tactical errors and institutional failures by the Cleveland police cascaded into one irreversible mistake.

Yes, we have considered these aspects before, but, you know, just who the hell are we and why would we matter?

And Rachel Maddow covered some of these questions in December, but, you know, liberal media conspiraciess and all that. So now we have the New York Times.

Oh.

Right, then. Let’s just cut to the chase, since we all know what the FOX News headline would be: “No Second Chance: Racist msnbc Thugs Hate White People Who Are Trying Really Hard”.

Meanwhile, back in reality, yes, Dewan and Oppel’s article really should be required reading.

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Dewan, Shaila and Richard A. Oppel Jr. “In Tamir Rice Case, Many Errors by Cleveland Police, Then a Fatal One”. The New York Times. 22 January 2015.

NBC News. “‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ for Thursday, December 4th, 2014”. Transcript. NBCNews.com. 5 December 2014.

Pass/Fail

"TRUE OR FALSE: Objecting to certain police tactics is the same as hating all police officers."  (Jen Sorensen, 30 December 2014, via Daily Kos Comics)Remember how the cycle works.

It is a really simple idea: We would like to be able to support our law enforcement institutions and personnel.

This argument has been going on for a while; cartoonist Jen Sorensen asks an obvious question. Indeed, it is so obvious a question one need not wonder why the public discourse flees it in screaming terror.

So here’s the thing: When an ugly episode arises involving law enforcement, we are reminded that these episodes come about because of a proverbial few bad seeds. Yet these few seem rather quite protected by other police traditions that require the participation of the rest of those allegedly good officers. Didn’t see a thing, or the guy was definitely reaching for a gun, or what, do you want a guilty person to go free just because of a technicality?

But that is just a fallacy, a fundamentally dishonest reaction. It always seems to come down to an all-or-nothing proposition put before us by police supporters.

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The Curse of Seeing: I Did, Therefore You Must, Also

Do you really want to know?If you really, really want to know, Dave Segal explains:

At first I thought the bar staff was having a laugh, but looking around at the clientele and knowing the general horrid level of care that many Clevelanders take with their bodies, I wasn’t entirely sure if this was comedy or a genuine deal.

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Segal, Dave. “Today in Irresponsible Signage”. Slog. 16 June 2014.

Silly Beyond Belief

“You had adults fighting adults, juvies fighting juvies, and so forth. You just had a melee here.”

Cmdr. Wayne Drummond

It’s the sort of lede that, really, we don’t expect. That is, angry parents on the sports field are an unfortunately common phenomenon, but come on, this is beyond stupid:

KinderbrawlA brawl that started over spilled punch at a kindergarten graduation ceremony Friday resulted in the arrest of eight people, authorities said. Police were called when one participant pulled out a pipe and another a hammer.

Two teenage girls apparently started hitting each other at Michael R. White Elementary School, and their families joined in, Cleveland police Cmdr. Wayne Drummond said. The fight involved adults and minors, he said.

“You had adults fighting adults, juvies fighting juvies, and so forth,” he said as parents streamed into the building to pick up their children. “You just had a melee here.”

No one was hurt, Drummond said. It wasn’t clear whether the hammer and pipe were brought to the school or were grabbed during the fight from a janitor’s supplies or elsewhere, police spokeswoman Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said.

I mean, come on. Hockey fights? Sure. Heck, I remember once when a guy named Jim Denton, my elementary school principal, manhandled one of his students during a Little League baseball game; the kid’s father rushed the field, then, and we nearly had a brawl on the diamond. These sorts of things are stupid beyond belief.

But a kindergarten graduation ceremony? Seriously?