What’s going on in Baltimore?
It’s a show trial. Right now it’s Marilyn Mosby’s fifteen minutes of fame.
Mosby is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, who represents areas of West Baltimore where riots erupted earlier this week. The couple have two young daughters.
“She’s a strong woman,” Nick Mosby told CNN. “She was built for this … I was at church service the other day and they were
talking about being at the right place with the right person at the right time. I know her heart has always been convicted to ensure that justice will be served fairly and equally across the board.”
Baltimore’s heroic mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, finally called in Uncle Al the Enforcer to bully off Fox reporters. He took her to school, probably took some money, (that is after all what he does) and showed her how to stop confessing that she let the city burn down because she thought if you let the homies do a little pillaging they’d get bored and eventually go away. He instructed her on how to give a standup on-camera lecture with a straight face, about systemic racism in your own black city with a black mayor and city council and black population and black cops and black police chief. Rawlings-Blake is proof that the stereotypical blonde airhead isn’t alone on the planet. She has a “black community” equivalent. (And she’s got a great “conk.”)
As Charm City mobs tore up shops and burned down stores, Rawlings-Blake allegedly told Baltimore police, “Let them loot, it’s only property,” Fox News’ Leland Vitter reported, citing an anonymous law enforcement official.
Asked directly if the order was from Baltimore’s mayor, Vitter’s source said, “You are goddamn right it was.”
Al Sharpton’s almost singular contribution to the Baltimore Fiasco is to propose that the Justice Department swoop in and take over policing the city. Mayor Airhead has already essentially abdicated policing anyway, so maybe it’s not as foolish as it sounds–apart from the wholesale unconstitutionality of it all. The Sharpton-Rawlings-Blake solution sounds like it would come as quite a surprise to the Commissioner of Police, Anthony Batts.
…“we are part of the problem” in the wake of charges brought against cops in the high-profile death of Freddie Gray.
“The community needs to hear that,” Batts told CNN. “The community needs to hear from us that we haven’t been part of the solution, and now we have to evolve. Now we have to change.”
The Baltimore Police led an investigation into Gray’s death for several days with a 40-plus force of investigators before handing the case over to the local prosecutor, who charged six officers with a range of crimes including second-degree murder. Gray died after sustaining injuries while in police custody. Batts learned that prosecutors would press charges only minutes before it was announced publicly. The decision left him “surprised,” he said.
Well Mr Commissioner, you’re not going to evolve, you’re out of a job. Grab the federal cops and let’s get this kangaroo court in session. I have to dance with Prince at a big rally and CD release. (And get my hair straightened.)
Baltimore is supposed to be all about the mysterious death of one Freddie Gray, who suffered fatal injuries while being transported in police custody in the back of a “Paddy Wagon.” (Which I am now told by CNN’s Don Lemon is a racial slur and should never be used. That’s news to my Irish friends.) But that’s not all that’s going on in Baltimore lately. I’ll tell you what almost happened in Baltimore the other day:
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of things about Freddie Gray. I’ll give you the basics and you can believe the hype floating around if you want. First, if you still want to pretend to be intellectually honest, you must confess and concede that there are no grounds for most of the charges Mosby is filing against the six cops involved at all. And I mean at all at all. The most asinine charge she’s tossing at them, is her attempt to claim the arrest wasn’t legal to begin with, which is a childish lie of quite a low order. Unlike Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Mosby isn’t just stupid or ignorant of the law. She’s deliberately over-charged these officers to ridiculous lengths and the “legal knife” allegation is so shallow and transparent that only a rigged jury and a rigged court could ever entertain its validity–and that’s exactly what they hope to prepare after contaminating the jury pool making it impossible to get a fair trial in the tiny little state. But then again, that’s the same spectacle they set up for George Zimmerman and they still couldn’t flog that old racism wagon across the finish line.
According to events laid out by the Baltimore Police Department and Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, Gray ran from police officers “after making eye contact” with them at 8:30 a.m. on April 12 at the intersection of W. North Avenue and N. Mount Street, an area known for drug dealing. Three police officers — one on foot, two on bicycles — pursued Gray through the West Baltimore neighborhood, eventually stopping him at the 1700 block of Presbury Street.
…Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts acknowledged that mistakes were made during and after Gray’s arrest. The police department will issue its preliminary report to prosecutors this Friday, he added. Gov. Larry Hogan said an autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner is also forthcoming.
“We know our police employees failed to get [Gray] medical attention in a timely manner multiple times,” Batts said.
Batts also said there were no excuses for officers to not buckle Gray into his seat. As such, some have speculated that Gray’s injuries were possibly caused by a “rough ride,” an unsanctioned — and illegal — technique.
“By policy, detainees are supposed to be seatbelted and secured inside a van,” The Sun’s Luke Broadwater told the NewsHour, “and anytime an officer drives erratically to try to throw somebody around and injure them, that is intentionally causing harm, and that is not allowed under police procedures.”
Freddie Gray, as originally reported, bolted from the cops just because they looked at him–which constitutes sufficient probable cause to pursue and detain him. (They also don’t every bother to mention he was a known heroine dealer with a lengthy rap sheet, and a career criminal. He was no stranger to the police.) He was found to have an illegal knife, which was originally designated a “switch blade,” but now we see that Ms Mosby, apparently just to pander to a mob, has tried to re-interpret the nature of the weapon to be merely a “spring assisted knife,” which would be legal in the state because the state law is worded slightly different than Baltimore City Ordinance. Because this knife apparently doesn’t have a “button” to actuate the blade, Mosby’s decided to now deny that it is a “switchblade,” and call it an illegal arrest. Thus she can charge the officers, all of them, with unlawful detention. She has however, true to purpose, taken a stretch at charging false imprisonment, basically having fluffed the charges up to kidnapping. Unfortunately, city ordinance doesn’t care what the specific release mechanism is on a spring-assisted knife. If the blade is spring assisted in any way, and can sproing out at the snap of the finger, it’s clearly and obviously illegal to carry it in the City of Baltimore. If the knife is illegal, if the legality of the knife can even be reasonably questioned, then Freddie Grayk’s arrest is entirely legal, and all the charges against all six officers with one exception, upon any legal examination will disappear in a puff of reality.
Let me clarify: If the officers made a wrong call on the knife, if it turns out to be legal to posses in the city of Baltimore, all these cops are required to prove to make the arrest legal is a reasonable belief that it was an illegal weapon–which is a very low standard that’s already been met in the bold light of public examination. Everyone from the mayor to Mosby herself has already been calling it a “switchblade,” which designation is fundamentally illegal on both state and city levels. That leaves this up-and-coming, career-making State’s Attorney with only the allegations against the (black) driver of the van–who she has grossly over-charged with 2nd degree, “depraved-heart murder.” Now, that goes way beyond simple manslaughter or negligent homicide. To make that one stick, she has to prove that the driver deliberately and wantonly desired to kill Freddie Gray. Simply neglecting to put a seat-belt on him doesn’t get you there. And a panic stop or two, eventually sending Freddie’s head into a bolt on the steel wall in the back of the van probably wouldn’t get you there either. At best that likely only gets you negligent homicide. (Unless you contend that this driver drove around for hours deliberately and repeatedly bashing Freddie’s head off the walls, laughing and singing, “I’m’a gonna’ kill you! I’m’a gonna kill you Freddie! Ha ha ha! Tra la la ka-diddly doodly da!” But I don’t think you’re going to find a witness to that behavior.)
In fact, though commissioner Batts says “there’s no excuse” for not strapping down a detainee in transport, in reality, department policy only changed to mandatory seat belts from “officer’s discretion” nine days before the incident, and Mosby would have to prove the officers were officially briefed and signed off on the new policy to even make that a binding issue. Passing a memo around, word-of-mouth, or posting a note on the board wouldn’t entirely strap that new policy down into a legally binding constraint. The same policy memo also allegedly clarifies a change in department disposition on providing medical care, from providing care at the “officer’s discretion,” to “when requested.” So that “requirement” isn’t hard-and-fast either.
In all of Mosby’s machinations however, the race card simply isn’t going to work to supply the wicked motivation for the allegedly illegal actions of the accused. Indeed, though it’s been the automatic fallback excuse in all such recent contentious racial “outrage” issues, it hasn’t actually worked yet in any of the last string of similar incidents, from George Zimmerman to Mike Brown. Both of those allegedly racist “murders” were scrutinized for years by the very black Eric Holder’s Justice Department, and what they discovered is that race never entered into either “murder,” and in fact, neither one of them was a “murder.” Mosby is obviously just throwing crap at these cops and hoping eventually some of it will stick so she can be a hero in the “black community.”
Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” according to his police colleagues who spoke to the Daily Mail Online.
The twice-married officer who lives in Baltimore with his wife Paula, a nurse, and who has two daughters, was among six officers arrested last week after state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced she had found probable cause to bring charges.
Mr Goodson faces up to 63 years in jail over the April 19 death of Mr Gray who allegedly suffered a ‘catastrophic’ spinal injury while in police custody.
So now we have the black mayor of Baltimore, (who told police to stand down and let rioters loot and burn their own neighborhoods for a week) begging to have our black president and new black attorney general investigate a black chief of police in a department assembled and hired by a black city council and mayor, in a majority black city, for “systemic racism.” This is blacks investigating blacks who are in charge of a black power structure investigating themselves for racism against themselves. This is you investigating you about you ‘murdering” you. How does this come back down on me, as a plain dumb white guy? If attorney general Lynch eventually manages to find a “white” guy in the BPD, even if turns out to be a janitor, does than mean it’s all his fault?
You simply can’t hang this on “Whitey.” There are no “Whiteys” in this story. No roving packs of murdering rednecks shooting down little black kids just for being black. You don’t even get a “hands up don’t shoot” scenario here. Three “white” cops chased him down, but the problems arose when they turned him over to black officers, and went back to peddling their bikes. It’s so absurd, the “black leadership” is now down to arguing with itself over who can call black thugs “thugs.” President Obama signed on to the “thug” epithet and so did Baltimore’s mayor–until councilman Carl Stokes had a snivel-fit on CNN claiming “thug” was “white” code for “nigger.” Stephanie Rawlings-Blake backed off and apologized, but to his credit, the president stood by his assessment. But the truth of the matter is, the word “thug” was first made common in application to football (soccer) hooligans in the UK, and likewise, the term “hoodies,” was first applied to roving gangs of mostly poor white street punks in England. While the “Justice for Trayvon” crowd is celebrating the universal “thug” uniform as a harmless fashion statement and a fundamental part of “black” identity, and while the American Left in general worships at the altar of EU-style socialism, the UK has in contrast, chosen to outlaw the “hoodie” and ban gangsters and gangster wannabees from congregating in them. See, that’s what happens when you aren’t encumbered by a contrived racial angle, that prevents you from actually solving a serious, nationwide social problem.
In this liberal, black Democratic “village” called Baltimore, apparently all its proud black leaders and authorities are only too keen to be organizationally strip-searched by the federal government, apparently bright-eyed and eager to prove that they’re disproportionately thumping their own people around more often than they’re thumping around “Whitey.” It’s not encouraging at all for the “black” cause. It’s a complete abdication of the entire black city leadership of Baltimore, as if none of them were in charge of their own failure. It’s heroic, it’s not brave as it is boasted to be. It’s shameful.
I don’t think Mosby in particular is doing anyone any favors. She’s setting her own people up for more heartbreak. She also has a glaring conflict of interest being married to the councilman of the district where the residents are crying for blood in the streets, and she’s been intimately involved in a number of political and social “causes” determined to gain political advantage in the neighborhood. Perhaps she should change her name to “Pontius Pilate,” but he at least washed his hands of the travesty of justice before him. He didn’t pitch in and help out the Sanhedrin like Mosby’s doing. And who knows, maybe she can deliver the crucifixion the mob is craving. But if this black cop goes to jail at the hands of a black lynch mob–who does this help? How is this anybody’s problem but an entire city full of black people completely funded, in-charge, and running their own city the way they please for the last 50 years?
Only a few years ago, Baltimore’s black, Democratic leadership got almost 2 billion dollars out of Obama’s “stimulus” stash as a partisan payoff for delivering the majority black, Democratic vote. What did they do with all of that? Who’s pocket did that go into? It certainly didn’t go into the neighborhoods this black city’s black leadership now claims to be so un-funded by the mean, white Republicans. They got everything, every cent they wanted and more. It’s not a matter money. That obviously doesn’t work.
I know it’s just damned unfortunate this cop turns out to be black, but how does this set of absurd charges, and sending one black cop to prison, advance the cause of truth, and promote racial harmony?
The bottom line of this debacle, is that there is no “Whitey” going to end up responsible for this tragedy. Not even a “white Hispanic.” If anyone goes to prison for a very long time it’s going to be a very dark cop, and if the Justice Department turns up any institutional racism in Baltimore’s police department, it’s going to be the fault of a very dark Commissioner of Police, a very dark Mayor, City Council, and state representative.
If demographic predictions are correct, some day soon all cities in America will be black and brown and there will be no “Whiteys” anywhere to blame. The national government will be run by black and brown people. All the cops and politicians will be black and brown, elected or appointed by black and brown people. Who will be the excuse for political and social failure at that point?
Hint: I blame Bush…
For the ironically impaired, that means the blame will be placed on long-dead “white” people from previous generations stretching all the way back to the slave-mongers who founded the nation. The sad thing about that proposition is, if you really believe this, though you soothe your own immediate soul by blaming all your moral and intellectual shortcomings on “Whitey,” and the allegedly terminal social arrest of a long-past history of slavery, you are also conceding that this ignoble heritage has left the “black community” permanently damaged. You are defining yourself and your people essentially as a sub-species of inferior human beings. You are confessing that as a race, as a result of this longstanding persecution, though now in the distant past, you remain today and forever, incapable of self-motivation, self-rule, self-regulation, self-control, or self-betterment.
But I’m not black so I’ll never understand the crippling oppression of racism and the legacy of slavery. OK. I’m no authority on “blackness.” So here’s a guy who looks pretty black to me:
Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri – but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.
Totally ignored was the fact that a black policeman in Alabama fatally shot an unarmed white teenager, and was cleared of any charges, at about the same time that a white policeman was cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
In a world where the truth means so little, and preconceptions seem to be all that matter, what hope is there for rational words or rational behavior, much less mutual understanding across racial lines?
When the recorded fatal shooting of a fleeing man in South Carolina brought instant condemnation by whites and blacks alike, and by the most conservative and most liberal commentators, that moment of mutual understanding was fleeting, as if it were a threat to a vision of “us against them.”
That vision is nowhere more clearly expressed than in attempts to automatically depict whatever social problems exist as being caused by racism or a “legacy of slavery” in particular. Like most emotionally powerful visions, it is seldom subjected to the test of evidence.
The “legacy of slavery” argument is an evasion of responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the prevailing social vision of our times, and the political policies based on that vision.
Such trends are not unique to blacks, nor even to the United States. The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England.
One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.
Thomas Sowell is a syndicated columnist. Readers may write to him at www.tsowell.com, at firstname.lastname@example.org(with his name in the subject line) or Creators Syndicate, 5777 West Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.