ADULTHOOD'S END: Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing?

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2020

The facts are still always wrong:
Yesterday morning. we shared a highly important though somewhat surprising fact:

The facts are always wrong! We refer to the standard sets of facts which emerge as our own tribe's sachems describe emotional incidents involving race and gender.

Yesterday, it was Chris Wallace whose factual statement seemed to be wrong. In fairness to Wallace, he was simply repeating a claim which had been widely stated all over "cable news" during the preceding week.

Wallace's highly familiar statement may well have been wrong. In fairness, the facts always are! Consider what happened next:

After we finished yesterday morning's report, we proceeded to read this post at New York magazine. Below, you see the very first paragraph of the very first post we read after noting that the facts are always wrong:
LEVITZ (6/1/20): A white police officer pinned a handcuffed black citizen to the ground by the neck. The black citizen said that he could not breathe. Some bystanders asked the officer to cease obstructing the man’s breath; the three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion. The officer kept kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds—long enough to take the life out of George Floyd’s body and George Floyd out of the lives of his friends and family.
The three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion? Wearily, we turned to the analysts, and they were crying:

The facts are always wrong, we told them again, with aplomb.

In the videotape of the incident in question, the behavior of Officer Derek Chauvin looks remarkably heinous. We remind you that, according to a pair of authoritative professional studies, 3-5 percent of adult males could be diagnosed as sociopaths.

Chauvin's behavior that day would have been astonishing in the dark of night, at 2 A.M., behind some abandoned warehouse. It's astounding to think that he did the things he did right there, in broad daylight, with bystanders taping his actions.

In this morning's Washington Post, Kathleen Parker calls Chauvin a "monster." To our ear, she seems to say that the other three officers are monsters too.

After all, "the three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion." By now, the whole nation knows that!

That said, who are the monsters—is it them, or could it be us? We ask because we've read the official "Statement of probable cause"—the criminal complaint which charged Office Chauvin with murder and manslaughter.

In places, that document is very murkily written. But along the way, as you can see, the document says this:
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE (5/29/20):

[...]

The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd's back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd's head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can't breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please" as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

The officers said, “You are talking fine" to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, "Should we roll him on his side?" and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him ." Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever." The defendant said, “ That's why we have him on his stomach." None of the three officers moved from their positions.

[Body camera] video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him onto his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd's right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn't find one." None of the officers moved from their positions.
"Lane" is former officer David Lane, one of Parker's apparent monsters. At the time of the awful events in question, he was a rookie policeman in his probationary period.

Chauvin, who had his knee on the neck of the late George Floyd, was am 18-year veteran of the force.

Because we ourselves aren't monsters yet, we think what follows should perhaps and possibly matter:

Readers of New York magazine now know, or think they know, that none of the uniformed monsters suggested that Chauvin should stop. According to the document which charged Chauvin with murder, that seems to be another one of those familiar facts, the ones which are always wrong.
.
The fact that the document makes an assertion doesn't prove that the assertion true. But according to that official document, Lane seems to have made that suggestion at two or three different points.

As noted above, Lane was a rookie officer in his probationary period. Chauvin was an 18-year veteran.

What else should the rookie cop have done? To date, we've seen no such discussion.

What kind of training do police cadets receive to prepare them for such situations? We haven't seen that discussion either.

We mention these points for one main reason. We mention them to help establish our basic award-winning point:

The facts are always wrong.

The facts are always wrong, at least in these types of cases. The facts are always part of a novelized tribal account, a moralized rendering of some situation which may even start to resemble a fairy tale.

In these moralized renderings, we are the very good people; targeted others are vile. If facts must be changed to establish such narratives, the facts will just have to be wrong.

Once again, we recommend our basic finding—the facts are always wrong. As we do, we look ahead to tomorrow, when we'll ask the following question about this appalling event:

Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing on that terrible day? If we don't want to be monsters ourselves, it's a question we maybe should ask.

Tomorrow, we're going to broaden that question, skillfully asking this:

Has Kathleen Parker ever done the right thing during her journalistic career? Beyond that, how many people in the upper-end press corps have ever done the right thing in a similar situation?

Go ahead! Can you name even one? (We can think of a few.)

What should Officer Lane have done that day? We've seen few discussions of that question. Are rookie cops trained for such situations? If not, why not? Have you seen a discussion of that?

We've seen no such discussions. Instead, we've seen attorney Crump spreading a claim which is probably false, trying to get Lane arrested too. We the people want to see the very bad others locked up!

Crump has spread misinformation before. Has Kathleen Parker ever done the right thing when it comes to matters like this?

Tomorrow: Parker is a good decent person. Her column is highly instructive.

Expected on Saturday: "Who killed Willie Moore?" (Way back when, Bob Dylan asked.) Featuring major Minnesotans of the present day!

63 comments:

  1. "We remind you that, according to a pair of authoritative professional studies, 3-5 percent of adult males could be diagnosed as sociopaths."

    What's curious is that all of them appear to be working as public servants in various Liberal Paradises; Minneapolis, in this case.

    "The facts are always wrong!"

    Meh. Only in your goebbelsian zombie media, dear Bob.

    Of course other publication do get them wrong too, but only occasionally.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. "That said, who are the monsters—is it them, or could it be us?"

    Is Somerby really suggesting a moral equivalence between getting some fact wrong in a story and kneeling on a man's neck, ignoring pleas, until he dies?

    I realize Somerby intends a collective "us" that encompasses humanity, but there is no equivalence between these acts whatsoever, nor do I or any liberals think that what Chauvin did was OK, and THAT excludes us from collusion with him in his act, and also excludes us from brotherhood with him and his ilk.

    Is Somerby being deliberately provocative with this suggestion? If he is, using a situation that has strong emotional meaning for so many people as a rhetorical device suggests that maybe it is Somerby who belongs in the monster category, along with those 3-5% of psychopaths.

    It is wrong to discuss this situation in such appalling terms.

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    Replies
    1. But it was one you, dembot, who did the kneeling. A civil servant employed by Liberal Paradise city, where all government authorities, without a single exception, are liberals.

      Delete
    2. And then the Liberal Paradise City burned Mao's Establishment buddies friends businesses to the ground, and Mao decided that killing black men, to protect his Establishment buddies friends businesses is A-OK, like he was a common David in Cal.

      Delete
    3. I find it very meaningful, dear psycho-dembot, very symptomatic indeed, that Liberal Paradise cities are now actively destroying themselves.

      I also find it quite interesting that you psycho-dembots like it so much. But I do understand: the liberal cult has its priorities. Oh well.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. When's a cop going to put his knee on Trump's neck for Trump killing 100,000 Americans through Covid-a-lago?

      Delete
    6. Speaking of cults:

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/politics/congress-republican-reaction-trump-church/index.html

      Delete
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  3. "none of the uniformed monsters suggested that Chauvin should stop."

    This is a true statement. Lane inquired whether Chauvin should perhaps reposition Floyd. He didn't say stop at any point.

    Someone as literal in his demands for accuracy should not be converting these vague worries, easily allayed by his supervisors, as a suggestion much less a demand to stop what Chauvin was doing.

    We don't even know what Chauvin was doing or why Floyd was taken out of the car. Somerby never worries about that either.

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  4. Police have the same right to disobey an unlawful or illegal order as the military does, but Lane wasn't involved in holding Floyd down or doing anything with him. He was an observer. He should be included in whatever action is taken against these officers, because he was with them, and then the courts can sort out what his responsibility was legally.

    Morally, he should have made a bigger fuss. But notice that the response of "You are talking fine." to Floyd. Police seem to believe that if someone can talk, they are not having life-threatening breathing difficulties. Because Floyd had apparently complained about several things, from claustrophobia to nausea, the police seemed to be considering him a malingerer, although perhaps they removed him from the car so he wouldn't throw up in it. He was being placed prone so that he wouldn't inhale vomit if he did throw up. If many prisoners complain about being unable to breathe but few actually have difficulties, the longer experience of Chauvin may have worked against Floyd's survival, since Chauvin's prior experience might have taught him that ignoring such complaints does not endanger a prisoner who is complaining.

    It sounds like all of the officers were showing concern for Floyd's welfare. Elsewhere I've seen it reported that 44 of these knee-on-neck maneuvers have been used during the past week of demonstrations. None of these has resulted in death. It is unclear whether that is a usual amount under these circumstances or whether officers are deliberately using this restraint to make a statement of support for Chauvin. It seems obvious that it is part of police training and not just Chauvin's act of brutality.

    None of this explains why a person who was merely suspected of passing a bad $20 bill is being manhandled or even arrested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Floyd complained about having difficulty breathing while standing outside the police car, before anyone put any restraint on him.

      From Snopes:

      "The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, which encompasses Minneapolis, had yet to complete a full autopsy report as of this writing. It had released preliminary findings that do not “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” According to those findings, Floyd “had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of [his] being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

      The autopsy conducted by Floyd's family disagrees with this and states that cause of death was asphyxiation.

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    2. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled Floyd's death a homicide.

      Try and keep up.

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    3. I quoted the Probable Cause Statement. It is a snapshot of a point in time. You don't go back and update a document when you are quoting.

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    4. Sorry, quoted Snopes (the other statement is elsewhere).

      Delete
  5. "Has Kathleen Parker ever done the right thing during her journalistic career? Beyond that, how many people in the upper-end press corps have ever done the right thing in a similar situation?"

    Presumably, Somerby is upset because Parker reportedly called Chauvin a monster. I can't verify that because her linked story is behind a paywall. But assuming that she did call him that, how does that justify what Somerby has said about her entire career?

    Somerby is hesitant to call a man who killed another man while he begged for air, a monster, but he has no restraint when it comes to calling a female journalist names (after perhaps admitting that she is a good, decent person). If Somerby wants to show that Chauvin is not a monster, let him do so. If he wants to claim that Parker is a bad journalist, he needs to present some evidence beyond saying that she has never done anything right in her career. Otherwise, he is just being an asshole, again.

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  6. The bystanders urged the officers to “cease obstructing the man’s breath.”

    None of these remarks from the officers is equivalent to that:

    “Should we roll him on his side?"

    “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever."

    “want to roll him onto his side.”

    The officers also did not move.

    Note that the third quoted statement occurred after this: “At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him onto his side.”

    The other officers were fired, so the police department apparently felt they did something wrong or didn’t do enough.

    It says something that Somerby tries to put himself in the shoes of a rookie police officer, but not in the shoes of George Floyd.

    Asshole.

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  7. “What else should the rookie cop have done? To date, we've seen no such discussion.”

    Maybe act like a regular, decent human being and urge Chauvin to stop killing a man for no reason?

    Just spitballing here.

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  8. “We refer to the standard sets of facts which emerge as our own tribe's sachems describe emotional incidents involving race and gender.”

    Somerby could at least acknowledge that Kathleen Parker is a conservative, not a liberal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. conservative is Somerby's tribe.

      Delete
  9. Parker quotes Stephen King: “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.”

    Then, she says:
    ‘The past, William Faulkner reminded us, is “not even past.” From genocide and slavery to Jim Crow, lynchings and the bloody beatings at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the breath-shunting knee to George Floyd’s neck — mayhem is part of our legacy. ‘

    And, at the end:
    “The monsters in this nightmare are real, sure enough. But we know their names.”

    She may be referring to the police officers.

    And from the point of view of George Floyd, those guys were monsters, snuffing out his life for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Parker quotes Stephen King: “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.”’

      Those inner ghosts and monsters have been winning every night for a week.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, those 1st-Amendment boogymen are at it again. When will they ever learn that it's the 2nd-Amendment boogeymen that turn on the likes of Cecilia.

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    3. I miss the old days, Anonymouse 4:17pm.

      When people knew and accepted that civil disobedience might come with a civic price, depending upon local ordinances, and weren’t psychopaths who argued that violence and destruction of property was constitutionally protected speech.

      Delete
    4. "violence and destruction of property "

      Collateral damage in a war for human rights of black people.

      Your tears over the fate of buildings, instead of human rights, is duly noted.

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    5. No. You don’t get to burn down people’s property and livelihoods and then label it collateral damage for the greater good.

      If you do it anyway, then you do it under the full expectation and acceptance that you will answer for it under the law of the land and that you will face resistance from your fellow citizens whom you seek to damage in this way.

      Delete
    6. There is a right way, and a wrong way to fight for the human rights of black people.
      Remember, Kaepernick took a knee on a Sunday, and by Monday morning police brutality against black people stopped.
      We need more like Kaepernick, who are willing to be blackballed out of their careers for not burning buildings and destroying property.

      Delete
    7. Since MLK, Gandhi, and Mandela were such losers, when do we hit your..eh...I mean- your parents’ house?

      Delete
    8. Re: MLK and Ghandi.

      "I like people who weren't assassinated."

      Delete
    9. I admire people who wrote their wills before marching, rather than a making a list of stores to hit.

      Delete
    10. Fuck off Smarmlet. You're a facist traitor just like your hero.

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    11. When having their stores burnt to the ground becomes to much of a burden on them, store owners could get their Chamber of Commerce to focus on police reform, instead of focusing on keeping the federal minimum wage at $7.25/ hour.

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    12. 7:38,
      Won't anybody think of the poor buildings?

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    13. "You don’t get to burn down people’s property and livelihoods and then label it collateral damage for the greater good."

      Hedge funds do this every day of the week. The difference is you don't think respecting the human rights of black people is a "greater good".

      Delete
    14. " ... psychopaths who argued that violence and destruction of property was constitutionally protected speech."

      Conflate much?

      Delete
  10. And from the point of view of anyone with a moral conscience, those guys were monsters, snuffing out George Floyd's life for nothing.

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  11. Very good points today Bob. What more could a rooky do against a veteran of 18 yrs. And a bad fact is that the victim may be was talking. You can't talk if you are choking-no air though the throat- can you?

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    Replies
    1. Your Russian-to-English Dragonspeak really sucks.

      Delete
    2. Both Chauvin and Lane thought Floyd was exhibiting signs of excited delirium. Lane thought he should be put on his side. Chauvin thought the stomach down position was better. They were both trying to do the right thing.

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    3. "One of the officers suggested Floyd just “relax" while Chauvin's knee rested on his windpipe, which is as perfect a description for the relationship of white and black people in America as you could find."
      --Stephen Robinson

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    4. ‘"One of the officers suggested Floyd just “relax" while Chauvin's knee rested on his windpipe, which is as perfect a description for the relationship of white and black people in America as you could find."
      -Stephen Robinson“

      Yes, it’s still 1950.

      When you read hyperbole on this level, go check on your kids and pets, lock your car if it’s out, see if you still have your handbag or wallet.

      You’re about to be scammed.

      Delete
    5. 7:50,
      I get that feeling when I hear, "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?"

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    6. More often than not, you would be right.

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    7. If this isn't 1950, Cecelia, why is Floyd dead?

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    8. Delirium is a thing — acute confusion and cognitive dysfunction. It can be dismissed as dementia in elderly nursing-home residents, which is unfortunate since those with delirium are at a greater risk of death or brain damage.

      Not all medical authorities agree that excited delirium is a thing. A brief trip through the google leads me to believe that it’s cop talk for “the dude’s on PCP and might attack with the strength of hundreds.”

      The “right thing” to do with a suspected case of excited delirium is to make sure the victim’s diaphragm is free to operate. The position of the victim isn’t the most important factor. Next is an immediate and urgent call for medical help to check for and if necessary control dangerously high body temperature. Finally, ketamine or the like to knock down agitation.

      For all I know, Chauvin and Lane thought they were doing the right thing. They just weren’t doing it right.

      Delete
  12. “If this isn't 1950, Cecelia, why is Floyd dead?”

    We’ll work toward a year when police officers aren’t corrupt and authoritarian or poorly trained, Anonymouse 8:31pm.

    Until then, try not to hate and destroy everything before we get there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "We’ll work toward a year when police officers aren’t corrupt and authoritarian or poorly trained, Anonymouse 8:31pm."

      But working towards police not racist is a bridge too far. This is still America.

      Delete
    2. “This is still America”

      Why do you so hate it?

      Delete
    3. The Right-wing.

      Delete
  13. Did the person who wrote this:
    "We’ll work toward a year when police officers aren’t corrupt and authoritarian or poorly trained, Anonymouse 8:31pm.

    Also call this hyperbole:
    ‘"One of the officers suggested Floyd just “relax" while Chauvin's knee rested on his windpipe, which is as perfect a description for the relationship of white and black people in America as you could find."

    Cecelia,
    Your shameless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could call you shameless if I was sure that you understood extrapolation.

      I’m not, so I won’t.

      Delete
    2. Relax, Cecelia.
      I realize we might eventually get to a place where the police don't murder black people for passing fake bills, no matter how many decades it might take.

      Saying Right-wingers care more about buildings than the human rights of black people is many things (truth, obvious, etc), but hyperbole, it ain't.

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    3. Oh, go on with your either-or self.

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    4. "Why do you so hate it?"

      The systemic racism.

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  14. I don't get the part of the statement of probable cause that the cops pulled Floyd out of the squad car. I think elsewhere in the report it said Floyd wouldn't get into the squad car due to claustrophobia, and lied down on the ground, resisting being put in a squad car. How did he then get pulled out of a squad car? Is that a typo? Or is there another explanation?

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    Replies
    1. There was a video of what appeared to be a struggle inside the police car. I saw it. But now I can't find it in youtube.

      Probably removed by the Thought Police, as contradicting the establishment narrative.

      Delete
    2. Meanwhile Trump's Covid-a-lago death count is over 106,000.

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    3. It would be nice if this were explained by the media. No doubt there is a narrative (though I disagree that it is any more "goebbelsian" than various counter-narratives, and like a lot of narratives there is some truth in it). I would think that this aspect should be covered more (maybe it is, I hardly read or hear everything). And I don't know which position on the politics of this would be more or less helped by what the facts were on this point. Like, if he was already in a squad car, why would the police pull him out of the car, if the whole knee thing arose out of his refusal to get into a squad car? That seemingly would be a negative for the cops' position. But I would think there is more to it, and I likely am missing or misstating something; that's why I'm asking about it.

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    4. Here it is, though it's not much:
      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-video-shows-minneapolis-officers-appear-struggle-george-floyd-back-n1220856

      I believe the current official zombie narrative is that he didn't resist arrest. It's still early in the game, still fluid, so it might change.

      Delete
    5. Those businesses burnt to the ground were no angels.

      Delete
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