WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2021
Lessons in novelization: Merrick Garland seems to be getting way out over his skis.
He seems to be doing what mustn't be done! According to the New York Times (headline included), he's messing with novelization:
BENNER (4/21/21): Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department
The Justice Department will investigate the policies and operations of the Minneapolis Police Department, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced on Wednesday, a day after the former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd in a rare rebuke of police violence.
“The Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” Mr. Garland said in brief remarks at the Justice Department.
Such investigations are often the precursors to court-approved deals between the Justice Department and local governments that create and enforce a road map for training and operational changes.
Mr. Garland’s announcement came a day after the conviction of Mr. Chauvin, who was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department last year after gruesome video of him kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes sparked protests across the nation.
Investigators will seek to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests; whether it engages in discriminatory conduct; and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful. They will also review the department's policies, training, supervision and use-of-force investigations, and whether its current systems of accountability are effective at ensuring that police officers act lawfully.
Garland is messing with novelization! Here's what we mean by that:
Derek Chauvin's behavior last May did indeed result in some "gruesome video." When it did, the press corps quickly scripted a novel about the event—and Chief Medaria Arradondo was cast as one of the good guys.
For all we know, Chief Arradondo really is one the good guys! That said, we thought he moved very quickly last May to throw two rookie cops under the bus, while painting himself as the sensitive hero of this gruesome event.
Needless to say, our upper-end press corps bought it. Very few questions were ever asked about the overall conduct of the MPD. Right up through the Chauvin trial, every flattering representation of Arradondo's policies and operations was swallowed whole by Our Town's news orgs, absolutely no questions asked.
During the actual trial, the chief sat through several hours of pointless non-questioning from the prosecutors. Arradondo is very personable; he supplied several hours of soft-soap answers to several hours of soft-soap questions.
Very few questions were asked by the press. Now, someone else is going to ask.
We don't have the slightest idea what this probe will (or won't) reveal. Concerning the practice of novelization, we can tell you this:
On cable TV, our childish stars couldn't stop repeating the pleasing claims which came from an array of MPD officials. This established the basic storyline, in which Chauvin was the puzzling renegade who betrayed the good works and the good intentions of all those other people.
It may turn out that that's the true story concerning the MPD and this horrible incident. But here in Our Town, we liked that story. The lack of curiosity was general. Now, Garland has apparently decided to take a look for himself.
By coincidence, we read through Arradondo's testimony earlier this morning. There was very little to it.
Concerning those (first-week) rookie cops, we'd ask Garland to investigate this:
What kind of training did those rookie cops receive before they went out on the job? More specifically, what were they instructed to do if, during their first week on the street, the veteran cop who was supervising them suddenly engaged in the craziest conduct ever seen on the planet?
What was their specific training for that? What were they told they should do?
Back in May, we thought Arradondo throw those rookies under the bus very quickly. We thought he quickly kissed up to the press. Needless to say, the press bought it.
We thought those rookies got thrown away fast. So what was their actual training like? One inquiring mind wants to ask!
At present, Gene Robinson is trying to get those (first-week) rookie cops thrown into prison. He's doing so through such squalid misconduct as this:
ROBINSON (4/20/21): [Schleicher] reminded jurors that the encounter began when a different officer—who also faces criminal charges—approached Floyd’s car with his gun aimed at Floyd’s face, which was obviously terrifying. Schleicher explained that Floyd was not resisting arrest but experiencing claustrophobic anxiety about being shoved into the patrol car. And he pointed out that when Chauvin and the other officers brought Floyd back out of the car, Floyd politely told them “thank you.”
Thomas Lane didn't approach Floyd's car in the manner described, and Schleicher didn't say he did. Robinson's statement is baldly inaccurate. He and his equally squalid editors pretty much don't seem to care.
(For details, see yesterday's report.)
We're going to offer more examples from Robinson's recent columns in the days ahead. His conduct shouldn't be tolerated.
That said, no one within the guild is going to challenge Robinson for his ongoing misconduct. Our journalists posture about codes of silence within the police while maintaining their own sacred code.
Garland is going to conduct a review of the MPD. It's an unvarnished attack on the novel.
No one will challenge Gene Robinson's work. Dearest darlings! It just isn't done!