Two Democratic presidential candidates attacked police officers nationwide as being racist on Saturday at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum.
Video surfaced shortly after the event that should have every police officer thinking twice about which candidate they’ll be supporting in the 2020 election.
At the event, a black student asked Sanders how he should handle getting pulled over by a cop.
.@BernieSanders to black student on how to handle getting pulled over by the police: “Identify who the police officer is – respect what they are doing so that you don’t get shot in the back of the head.”
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) October 26, 2019
“Respect what they are doing so that you don’t get shot in the back of the head.”
The question-and-answer session took place at the forum at Benedict College, which is a historically black college.
The student posed to Sanders:
“If I’m your son, what advice would you give me next time I’m pulled over by a police officer?”
Sanders said to identify the police officer “in a polite way.”
“I would respect what they are doing so that you don’t get shot in the back of the head, but I would also be very mindful of the fact that as a nation, we have got to hold police officers accountable for the actions that they commit,” he said.
And make sure it’s being recorded, he said.
“I would be very cautious if you were my son in terms of dealing with that police officer, but I would also defend my rights and know my rights and make sure if possible that police officer’s camera is on what goes on.”
According to CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell, the question seemed to “stump” Sanders and he struggled to answer it, ultimately not getting much applause or crowd approval when he did, she said.
Later in the forum, former Vice President Joe Biden was asked a similar question by a black female student.
“If you were my daughter, you’d be a Caucasian girl and you wouldn’t be pulled over,” Biden said. “That’s what’s wrong.”
Biden double down by tweeting out a clip of his answer, letting America know that cops are racist and he’ll put an end to it.
“Institutional racism should no longer exist. As president, I’ll put forward change to help put an end to it,” he said in the clip.
Institutional racism should no longer exist. As president, I'll put forward change to help put an end to it. pic.twitter.com/DQtPzGIfNq
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) October 27, 2019
Sanders came under attack for his response.
One of those people coming after him was Morehouse College adjunct professor David Dennis Jr., who said:
“Bernie Sanders does not understand race in America.”
Unlike Biden, Sanders didn’t post his reponse on Twitter… instead sharing a clip of him commenting on the criminal justice system.
“If you are wealthy and powerful, or maybe the president, you are above the law. But if you are poor, if you’re black, if you’re Hispanic, it’s a different story,” he said in the clip.
If you are wealthy and powerful, or maybe the president, you are above the law. But if you are poor, if you're Black, if you're Hispanic, it's a different story. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I happen to believe in equal justice for all people. pic.twitter.com/GLLgI3KBVc
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 27, 2019
The justice forum was held by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center.
Senator Kamala Harris didn’t show up. Acting like a petulant child, she canceled in protest because the group awarded President Trump its Bipartisan Justice Award.
It’s an award she received in 2016.
President Trump entering the White House marked a new day for law enforcement. It was a notable turn from the anti-police agenda advanced by his predecessor, and was a sigh of relief for all those of us on the street.
Unfortunately the damage done by Obama was lasting, with liberal judges continuing to fight President Trump every step of the way on all things law and order. And with liberal Governors now deciding that their “feelings” matter more than enforcing the law… we’re seeing an existential threat to democracy here in America.
You need not look any further than the Democrat candidates running for president to see that their party is one in which law and order place second fiddle to scoring votes.
Most of them have something in common – desperate pleading for open borders, a call to decriminalize sneaking into the country, an insistence that police are all racist, a demand to eliminate ICE, pushes to shred the criminal justice system and an insistence that it’s ok to break the law if you don’t agree with the law. Oh, and desperate screaming that President Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, insert “ism” or “phobic” here.
To my brothers and sisters who hold the Thin Blue Line – part of our job is to recognize threats and enemies. And sometimes those threats are right in our backyard.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the candidates. We’ll start with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
On Friday, she called for NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo to be fired after the 2014 death of Eric Garner.
A death that he was CLEARED in.
“Officer Pantaleo should be fired. Eric Garner’s family has waited too long for justice — we need more civilian oversight to hold police accountable when they fail,” the Massachusetts senator tweeted.
With that simple comment, Warren decided that due process and law and order do not matter at all if there’s a mob mentality.
This is what leads to war. This is what leads to the collapse of society.
In a country where we have the Constitution, rule of law, and politicians like Warren screaming that President Trump is a dictator, the irony and hypocrisy of those looking to override that law based on their own “feelings” isn’t just terrifying – it’s dangerous.
In April, she was asked at a town hall at St. Anselm’s College in Massachusetts what she would do to keep police safe, Warren the best way to make things safer for the police is to stop them from being racist.
“Our criminal justice system is broken and right at the heart of that problem is race and we have to address this head on,” Warren said. “Study after study after study shows us that African Americans compared with whites are more likely to be — for exactly the same crimes — they’re more likely to be arrested, they’re more likely to be arraigned, they are more likely to be taken on trial.”
Then in August 2018, during a Q&A at Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, Warren called the criminal justice system “racist … from front to back.” Her comments came at the same time that police in her hometown were mourning the murder of a police sergeant.
In 1994, as a Senator from Delaware, Biden helped craft a crime bill signed by President Bill Clinton.
It was the largest crime-control bill in U.S. history, and provided for thousands of new police officers, billions of dollars in funding for prisons and millions of dollars in funding prevention programs.
On top of that, it included a mandatory life sentence policy for repeat offenders – and critics now blame that the mass incarceration of black men in the ’90s.
Biden now says he regrets it and says it’s racist – and that racism is built into policing. At a breakfast hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, he said: “We don’t even consciously acknowledge it. But it’s been built into every aspect of our system.”
His new “criminal justice reform plan” seeks to reducing the number of people incarcerated, give more chances to repeat offenders and “root out the racial, gender and income-based disparities in the criminal justice system”.
He wants to spend $20 billion to pull criminals out of prisons, eliminate the death penalty, remove mandatory minimums and let druggies roam the streets.
Laws and mandates under Biden and Obama lead to what many are calling a war on law enforcement and have devastated morale in departments across the country.
California Sen. Kamala Harris
Her campaign slogan, like most of the Democrats, might as well be “everyone is a racist”.
She argues that her background as a prosecutor makes her the perfect fit. But the thing is… she’s more concerned about prosecuting the police.
Look no further than the slaughter of Officer Isaac Espinoza in 2004 by a known gang member.
The state allowed for the death penalty. Harris said she wouldn’t pursue it. Her argument? The death penalty is racist. She says we need to do a better job of policing the police, and has made that a big focal point of her positioning.
Last November, Sen. Kamala Harris drew fury after comparing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Ku Klux Klan during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
She asked Ronald Vitiello, President Trump’s nominee to lead ICE, whether he shares what she said was the public’s view that ICE was spreading fear and mistrust, in particular among immigrant communities, the same way the KKK did, reported Fox News.
“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels [with the KKK]?,” she asked.
“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels [with the KKK]?”
Understandably, the comparison prompted outrage, with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel slamming Harris for “disgusting” partisanship. “Kamala Harris is trying to launch her 2020 campaign off of comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting,” she tweeted.
“What utter, complete & horrifying disrespect for our law enforcement officers. I get she’s auditioning for 2020, but come on …,” wrote GOP spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.
Moreover, even Geraldo Rivera publicly challenged Harris’ comments on Twitter.
Like lazy trolls who call cops Nazis, it is grossly irresponsible to compare anything other than violent racist terrorists to the #KKK. @KamalaHarris is way too savvy to be so intellectually lazy. She should apologize to #ICE agents now.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 16, 2018
In her maneuvering, Harris pointed to Vitiello’s controversial tweet from 2015 in which he said the Democratic Party was comparable to a “liberal-cratic” or “neo-Klanist” entity. The nominee later apologized and admitted those words were offensive.
“What is the history that would then make those words wrong?” the Democrat then asked, prompting Vitiello to say that the KKK would be labeled as a domestic terrorist group by today’s standards and was motivated by race and ethnicity.
This is ridiculous and embarrassing. Kamala Harris browbeats Ronald Vitiello trying to get him to "admit" that ICE is perceived the same as the KKK. pic.twitter.com/kCZl3l2KFs
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) November 16, 2018
During the dialogue, Vitiello pushed back against Harris’ line of questioning. He said, “I do not see any parallels” between the immigration enforcement agency and the white supremacist group and inquired whether she was asking him if the two were in the same category.
“No, I’m very specific in what I’m asking you. Are you aware of a perception that the way that they …” Harris went on, before the nominee snapped back saying, “I see none.”
Harris continued to force her own bias into the record in the form of a question. She hammered away at the word “perception” as if it were more important than the rule of law.
“Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?” she asked again.
“Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?”
Harris ended her questioning asking whether Vitiello can lead the agency if he’s not aware of the negative views toward it, reported Fox.
“It seems to me that you would understand that when you use words like the words you used just three short years ago, that that would contribute to that perception,” Harris said. “And it’s harmful then, it’s harmful, in terms of the mission of the agency and the work of the individuals there. And it is harmful in terms of leading — innocent people arriving at our border fleeing harm, it is harmful to them.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
His campaign has hired those in the country illegally and flaunted it. He’s against the use of private prisons, a war on drugs, the death penalty and, well, police. Why? Because they’re all racist, he insinuates.
The policing of minority communities is a “huge issue“, he says.
“We are beginning to pay attention to what happened in South Carolina, what happened in Baltimore, what happened in New York,” Sanders said. “Clearly we do need police reform, we need better training. When police officers break the law they have got to be held accountable. It is no longer acceptable to turn away from that reality.”
He’s demanding “major police reform”. Here’s some more on his police perspectives.
Bernie Sanders: The Way The Justice System Treats Black Men and Women Is A National Disgrace
The African-American situation with regard to criminal justice was a national disgrace. Jails from coast to coast were filled with African-Americans, many of whom lacked decent education or job skills appropriate for the twenty-first century. Unbelievably, if present trends continued, one out of four black males born today would end up in jail.
During the campaign, I met frequently with members of the Black Lives Matter movement. This loosely knit organization was successfully educating the nation that in many black communities the police were not there protecting the people, but intimidating them. And time and time again, tragically, cell phone video cameras were recording horrific examples of extreme police brutality, the taking of innocent lives by overly aggressive police action.
There was no question that, as a nation, we had made great advances in civil rights. But there was also no doubt in my mind that much, much more needed to be done.
Bernie Sanders: Black Lives Matter Nails It On Police Brutality
[It’s time to] end the absurdity of the US having more people in jail than any other country on earth. As the Black Lives Matter movement was pointing out, there were too many victims.
Many American, and not just African-Americans and Latinos, are becoming increasingly outraged by police brutality. They are rightfully tired of turning on the television and seeing videos of unarmed blacks being shot & killed by police officers. They want criminal justice reform. They want police department reform. And I agree.
The vast majority of police officers are honest and hardworking. But when a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. Further, police officers must be trained to understand that lethal force is the last response, not, as is too often the case, the first response. I promised that I would make sure that all killings that took place when people were in police custody or being arrested would prompt a Department of Justice investigation.
Bernie Sanders: Fix The Police And You Fight Racism
In the U.S. today we have more people in jail than any other country on earth. We are spending $80 billion a year to lock up 2.2 million Americans, disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American. To my mind, it makes a lot more sense to invest in education and jobs than in jails and incarceration. It’s time for real criminal justice reform.
Among many other struggles we must engage in to combat racism in this country, we must stop police brutality and the killing of unarmed African-Americans. This has emerged as one of the great civil rights issue of the early twenty-first century.
Too many African-Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. Because of over-policing in minority communities and racial profiling, African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police than whites.
Bernie Sanders: Train Police To De-escalate Lethal Force
We must come together with a sense of shared purpose and demand policies to transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of all our people, regardless of race, income, or national origin. We need a criminal justice system that not only protects our people from crime, but is based on justice for all, nondiscriminatory policies, and the understanding that the prevention of crime is a much worthier approach than punishment.
We must reexamine honestly how we police America, and the federal government can play an important role in establishing a new model police training program that reorients us in the way we do law enforcement. First and foremost, we must develop new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people, especially people who have mental illnesses. Lethal force should be the last response, not the first.
Bernie Sanders: Get Rid Of The Death Penalty
It is long past time for the United States of America to join almost every other advanced country on earth in abolishing the death penalty.
The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. It is applied disproportionately to people of color. It has been proven to not deter violent crime.
The inevitable endless judicial appeals tie up the courts for years, at the taxpayer’s expense. And far too many people are now thought, after they were put to death by the state, to have been innocent.
Bernie Sanders Buddies Up With Hillary Clinton On Police Reform
Hillary Clinton: We have to restore policing that will actually protect the communities that police officers are sworn to protect. But, I would also add this. There are other racial discrepancies. Really systemic racism in this state, as in others, education, in employment, in the kinds of factors that too often lead from a position where young people, particularly young men, are pushed out of school early, are denied employment opportunities. So, when we talk about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration, we also have to talk about jobs, education, housing, and other ways of helping communities.
Bernie Sanders: We need fundamental police reform. I would hope that we could all agree that we are sick and tired of seeing videos on television of unarmed people, often African-Americans, shot by police officers.
Bernie Sanders: Police Bust More Black Men And Women
What we have to do is end over-policing in African- American neighborhoods. The African-American community and the white community do marijuana at about equal rates.
The reality is four times as many blacks get arrested for marijuana. Far more blacks get stopped for traffic violations.
We need fundamental police reform when we talk about a criminal justice system. What we have got to do is make it clear that any police officer who breaks the law will be held accountable.
Bernie Sanders: De-militarize Police And Investigate Them
Question: I believe there’s a huge conflict of interest when local prosecutors investigate cases of police violence within their communities. Most recently, we saw this with a non-indictment of the officers involved in the case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. How would you presidency ensure incidents of police violence are investigated and prosecuted fairly?
Bernie Sanders: This is a responsibility for the U.S. Justice Department to get involved:
- Whenever anybody in this country is killed while in police custody, it should automatically trigger a U.S. attorney general’s investigation.
- Second of all, if a police officer breaks the law, like any public official, that officer must be held accountable.
- And thirdly, we have got to de-militarize our police departments so they don’t look like occupying armies. We’ve got to move toward community policing.
- And fourthly, we have got to make our police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity.
Bernie Sanders: Police Are Part Of Institutional Racism
Today we have more people in jail than any other country on earth, 2.2 million people. Predominantly African-American and Hispanic. We are spending $80 billion a year locking up Americans. I think we need a major effort to come together and end institutional racism. We need major reforms of a broken criminal justice system. What does that mean? Well, for a start it means that police officers should not be shooting unarmed people, predominantly African-Americans.
Bernie Sanders: Police Are Jailing And Killing Blacks
Black Americans are disproportionately overrepresented and overcharged in our current justice system. According to a 2013 report by the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group, one out of three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime, as compared to only one out of 17 whites.
Isn’t the justice system meant to protect all citizens? It should. But while black people make up only 13% of the population, they account for 31% of all victims killed by police. Blacks make up nearly 40% of unarmed individuals killed by police with a gun and 42% of unarmed individuals that are killed by police by means other than a gun. (And remember: statistics on police shootings are self-reported, so this data probably underestimates this depressing state of affairs.)
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
“Until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with the bigger problem of the fact that there is a wall of mistrust, put up one racist act at a time, not just what’s happened in the past, but from what’s happening around the country in the present.”
These are the words of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is also the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana. These words came after an officer-involved shooting.
The response of South Bend police? Potential mass-exodus from the SBPD.
“Morale around here has been terrible. We do nothing,” one police officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, told Fox News. “We call ourselves firemen, we sit around in parking lots until we’re called and then we go to the call, because if you say or do something wrong, then you get hung.”
Another officer said it couldn’t get any worse.
“At an all-time low,” another officer said of morale. “It’s been really demoralizing and hard to come to work lately.”
Officers made these statements to Fox News, requesting not to be identified in fear of retaliation by Buttigieg’s administration. They went on to say that they are aware of multiple officers who are considering handing in their badges or taking retirement if eligible, all in response to the mayor’s handling of the shooting.
“That’s the big discussion, is who’s staying and who’s going. I think you’re going to see a mass exodus, our administration is a joke,” one officer said.
All of these statements stem from the Mayor’s handling of the shooting death of Eric Logan. Logan was shot and killed by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill.
While Buttigieg claims he has not taken sides, he has certainly not challenged the narrative of angry protestors, that the shooting is connected to police racism.
At a presidential primary debate last month, Buttigieg described the shooting as “a black man …killed by a white officer” and said he “could walk through all of the steps we took, from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan. And when I look into his mother’s eyes, I have to face that fact and nothing that I say will bring him back.”
Even with these statements, it was a very specific comment that appears to have been the final straw.
In June, the Mayor said, “all police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism.”
Said one officer:
“To me, it’s like he kind of convicted Sgt. O’Neill before anything was even out, making comments like that. It wasn’t based on the facts of what happened, because we don’t even have all the facts of what happened. It’s like pouring gas on the fire.”
The court of Buttigieg opinion has already convicted, they say.
“I feel like we’re guilty until proven innocent,” said another.
In addressing the impact of the potential exodus, one officer warned that it will significantly impact the hiring of good, new officers to replace them:
“When you see the politics and the way police officers are treated by the media and by politicians, it’s like, why would anyone want to sign up to do this job right now?”
South Bend Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Harvey Mills said that he has spoken to five or six officers considering retiring or resigning because of the administration’s handling of the shooting.
Another officer told Fox News that he believes as many as 10 people will quit in the next year and said he has also considered stepping away.
“It’s very discouraging that something I’ve always wanted to do, that God called me to do, that I’m questioning that and wondering, thinking about not being a police officer strictly because of politics and things that are going on that are completely out of my control,” he said.
More about Buttigieg’s role in this, he has been seen holding the hand of Logan’s mother, and The Washington Post reported that he was in attendance at a “police accountability” march.
While doing the above, he has had little interaction with police during this entire situation. Mills indicated that the Mayor does not attend the annual fallen officer memorial services, although he recently sent over a dozen pizzas. Mills called the gesture “lame.”
“We have 240 officers that really need that support when every call we go to is already weighing on our minds and it’s a lot of stress and they don’t need the additional stress knowing the city administration doesn’t support them,” he said.
Where does this go? It is obvious that Buttigieg has no intention of supporting the law-enforcement community of South Bend. Why would we believe that as he continues to pursue his bid for the White House, that he would support the law-enforcement community at the national level?
The men and women of the SBPD are already considering turning in their badges, all because of his failure to have their backs. Should he manage to win a presidential election, what does that do to the perception of our close to 1 million law enforcement officers around the country at the local, state and federal levels?
He was Obama’s HUD Secretary and has what’s arguably the most expansive police reform plan out of all of the candidates. Why? Because he said police are racist.
“If police in Charleston, South Carolina can arrest Dylann Roof after he murdered nine people worshipping at Bible study, without hurting him then don’t tell me that Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, and Aiyana Jones, and Eric Garner, and Jason Pero, and Stephon Clark, and Sandra Bland shouldn’t still be alive today, too,” Castro said in January.
He’s targeting police.
“I’m proud that I’m the only candidate so far that has put forward legislation that would reform our policing system in America and make sure that no matter what the color of your skin is, that you’re treated the same, including Latinos who are mistreated too oftentimes by police,” Castro said during the June 26 debate.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio
He straight up went against the ruling in the death of Eric Garner, (the “I can’t breathe” false narrative), even though the officer’s actions were justified, and then announced a new city policy that would require immediate disciplinary proceedings following a police officer’s involvement in the death of an “unarmed” civilian.
Never mind if the officer was in the right. Let’s just baselessly punish us right off the bat. Great.
De Blasio’s track record shows that he really doesn’t support cops.
Those disciplinary proceedings would begin unless the victim’s family asked the police commissioner to allow a criminal trial to proceed first, or unless a judge convinced the city to allow a prosecutor to first conduct their investigation.
He used his biracial son for political attention after repeatedly having to warn him of the “dangers of police brutality.”
“I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over our country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police.”
He’s continually publicly chastised police and only continues to widen the divide between police and the public. Does he not realize the things he says have an effect on people that we face in the streets on the daily?
He skipped out on a 9/11 memorial dedication for fallen heroes so that he could go to the gym and drink his morning coffee.
Then he missed a 9/11 hero’s wake in order to ‘campaign’ for the position of Commander in Chief. You remember Luis Alvarez and his harrowing testimony which begged members of the government to provide the benefits that the heroes of ground zero deserved.
He’s pushed for lesser sentences for heinous crimes. He’s pushed for the jails to open their doors and release a bunch of criminals back onto the streets, then slaps a sticker on it that brands it as “criminal justice reform”.
Give me a break.
Cuomo skips 9/11 hero’s wake to zipline, de Blasio blows off funeral to campaign to be president.[/caption]
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to bust your ass every single day in order to make sure the bad guy ends up exactly where he belongs, just to find out a judge or a politician is helping them go free?
Where is the law and order? Where is the condemnation of criminal behavior? How am I suddenly the bad guy here, and the gangbanger the victim?
Why even bother anymore?
He almost completely glanced over the water assaults on the NYPD last week. Mayor de Blasio: your city is falling apart and your employees are under attack. Your lack of action, support and backbone are leading us into the perfect storm.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Earlier this year, Reuters bragged that it had a scoop that Democratic presidential candidate Beto R’Rourke was once involved in a notorious hacker group.
But they intentionally sat on the story until after O’Rourke lost his Texas Senate race to incumbent Ted Cruz.
The story dropped by Reuters’ Joseph Menn. It came out that O’Rourke, who is a former member of Congress and the latest Democrat to throw his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential race, had a secret membership in an infamous hacking group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC).
It’s the oldest and arguably the most influential collection of hackers in America, and although he was a member as a teenager, the group has protected his secret for decades so they wouldn’t damage his political career.
Menn has a book coming out about the group, and first learned more than a year ago – in 2017 – that O’Rourke was a member. He said on Friday that he sat on the story until AFTER O’Rourke’s high-profile Senate race in exchange for an on-the-record interview. He claims he was “on leave” from Reuters at the time so he could work on his book.
Menn had been diving into the CDC for years and “found out that they had a member who was sitting in Congress … and then I figured out which one it was.”
He claims they wouldn’t confirm that O’Rourke was the member in question unless he agreed to hang on to the information “until after the November election” in 2018.
To be clear, I offered @BetoORourke an embargo because it was for a book I was on leave to write, not for my day job, and because no one else who knew would confirm the facts before the election.
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 16, 2019
He agreed, then approached O’Rourke for an interview with the promise that it would not be published until after his Senate race. O’Rourke agreed.
Menn, of course, defended his reporting decision on Twitter. He said he only had a “guess” that O’Rourke was the CDC member in Congress and “zero sources.”
Gosh this is fun. I did not have the story before the November election because no one would talk.
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 17, 2019
He did not, however, explain how he came to guess O’Rourke’s involvement and if he had enough information at the time to independently verify his hunch without the CDC’s confirmation. He also went on to say he agreed to CDC’s terms because he “wanted the full story” for his book on the group “rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote.”
No one in cDc would talk about O’Rourke until I promised not to publish before the 2018 election. That was OK: I wanted the full story for my book, which spans decades, rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote. I offered O’Rourke the same terms. He accepted, and we spoke. (8/10) pic.twitter.com/psZCnSD9ZP
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 15, 2019
Shocker – CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter defended the decision on Twitter, writing, “Reporters who are writing books sometimes hold back certain info till their book comes out. That’s what the reporter says happened in this case.”
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) March 17, 2019
Responding to criticism about the decision, he added, “What’s your proposal — no books?”
O’Rourke spoke positively of the CDC in his interview with Menn. It’s a group which engaged in illegal activity… that apparently O’Rourke himself was part of.
According to Menn’s reporting, O’Rourke accessed cracked gaming software and stole credit card numbers in order to place free long distance phone calls.
“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said of the group. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.”
The holding out of information is reminiscent of when NBC News sat on newsworthy information about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in September of 2018.
That was when Julie Swetnick claimed Kavanaugh had participated in gang rapes. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said it was an allegation that could be corroborated by another woman.
But in late October – weeks after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings – NBC revealed that the second woman contradicted Swetnick’s story during a phone interview on September 30.
Instead of publishing the information DURING the hearings and allegations in the Senate, NBC decided to intentionally hold out until AFTER the judge was confirmed.
No bias here, folks. As long as you’re on the right side of the media. Or should we say the left side….
Study destroys argument that white cops are shooting black men
A new study that was just dropped in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences absolutely destroys the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings. It completely rejects the argument that white officers are engaged in an epidemic of racially biased shootings of black men.
Turns out, according to the study, that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians.
And as we’ve long known, it reinforces the fact that it is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer.
Here’s what it comes down to – the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects – no matter what that racial group is – the greater the chances that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer.
It gets even more interesting. The study found if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians.
The authors are faculty at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park. They completed the study by creating a database of 917 officer-involved fatal shootings in 2015 from more than 650 police departments.
When examining those shootings, 55 percent of the victims were white, 27 percent were black, and 19 percent were Hispanic.
Between 90 and 95 percent of the civilians shot by officers in 2015 were attacking police or other citizens and 90 percent were armed with a weapon.
There were very rare cases of what’s called threat-misperception shootings, in which an officer shoots an unarmed civilian after mistaking something for a gun.
It’s not the first study to shoot down the idea that white officers are biased in shooting black citizens.
There’s also a shift underway right now thanks to political pressure for police departments to hire on race, based on the theory that doing so will decrease police shootings of minorities.
Buttigieg, for example, was attacked by his presidential rivals for not having more black officers on the South Bend force after a white officer killed a black suspect this June.
In that case, the officer had responded to a 911 call about a possible car-theft suspect, saw a man leaning into a car, and shot off two rounds after the man threatened him with a knife.
Back in 2016, the Obama administration pushed for police departments to lower their entry standards in order to be able to qualify more minorities for recruitment.
By that point, departments had already been deemphasizing written exams or eliminating requirements that recruits have a clean criminal record – it’s a trend that significantly intensified after.
Take, for example, the Baltimore Police Department.
They actually changed their exam to such an extent that the director of legal instruction in the Baltimore Police Academy complained in 2018. He said rookie officers were being let out onto the street with little understanding of the law.
Biden’s criminal-justice plan would take that a step further. It would require police hiring to “mirror the racial diversity” of the local community or not get federal funding.
The PNAS study concluded that this effort to increase minority representation will not reduce racial disparities in shootings. Why? Because it found white officers are not responsible for those disparities; black crime rates are.
To make matters worse, dropping hiring standards can lead to bad police work and corruption.
Just look at the 2015 Justice Department study of the Philadelphia Police Department.
It found black officers were 67 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect.
It also found that Hispanic officers were 145 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect.
The study didn’t address whether lowered hiring standards are responsible for those disparities.
So what’s causing the belief that we’re living through an epidemic of racially biased police shootings?
Simple – selective reporting.
Look at the year the PNAS study focused on – 2015.
That was the same year the white victims of fatal police shootings included a 50-year-old suspect in a domestic assault in Tuscaloosa, Ala., who ran at the officer with a spoon; a 28-year-old driver in Des Moines, Iowa, who exited his car and walked quickly toward an officer after a car chase; and a 21-year-old suspect in a grocery-store robbery in Akron, Ohio, who had escaped on a bike and who did not remove his hand from his waistband when ordered to do so.
Because they were white, their stories never hit the mainstream media – which tends to focus only on stories that they can spin to be race-centric.
This whole idea that “police are racists” is simply increasing anti-cop tensions in minority communities. It also makes cops unwilling to engage in the proactive policing that can save lives.
Just look at the viral videos last month in Harlem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn as people assaulted passive New York Police Department officers. The videos demonstrate that hostility toward the police in inner-city neighborhoods remains at dangerous levels.
It also pulls away from discussing real solutions to criminal justice problems, which includes high rates of black-on-black victimization.
Black men are murdered at eight times the rate of non-Hispanic white men.
But they aren’t being killed by cops – they are being killed by other black men.
If we’re going to really have a conversation about racial justice, we need to start there.
Let’s talk about police use of force. It’s time to systematically destroy the argument that cops are racist killers. And I’ll break this down pretty simply so everyone can understand.
- The U.S. population is about 314,000,000 people.
- There are approximately 670,439 police officers.
- That means there are less than 2.2 police officers per 1,000, or 2,133 officers per million.
- Police officers are less than .22 % of population.
- Officers come into contact with 17% of the population annually.
- That means 53,380,000 contacts …
- Which led to 26,000 excessive force complaints against officers.
- That’s 0.049% of contacts.
- Only 8% of those complaints were sustained.
- That’s 2,080 out of 53,380,000 contacts, or .0039%
A good friend of mine who is a Chief of Police put that into perspective:
- You are seven times more likely to be murdered …
- 15 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident …
- 42 times more likely to be raped …
… than to have a police officer use excessive force on you.
But we’re just warming up. Let’s look at 2015 police shootings – a time during which some argue police “brutality” spiked.
990 people were shot by police in 2015. Here’s the demographic breakdown of those “victims”:
- White — 494, 50%
- Black — 258, 26%
- Hispanic – 172, 17%
- Other — 66, 7%
- Mental illness played a role in 25%.
- 25% involved fleeing suspects.
- In 75% of the incidents, the officer was under attack or defending someone that was.
- Indictments of police officers tripled from previous years.
Listen. I’m not suggesting racism doesn’t exist in law enforcement. It exists everywhere – that’s the sad truth of it.
And yes, black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers (per capita) than their white counterparts. But let’s dive deeper into why this is.
Statistically, minorities come to police attention far more than their population would suggest.
- Black Americans make up about 13% of the population.
- But according to the FBI, they account for about 50% of murders, and about 38% of all violent crime overall.
Chicago gives us some great examples. And let’s not forget the insanely strict gun laws there, by the way. For example, during the first eight months of 2016 (the most recent period for which the numbers are available), 2,818 people were shot — only 12 by police. (That’s one-half of 1 percent).
In cities with large black populations, homicide rates have skyrocketed during that same period:
- In Washington D.C., homicides are up 54%. In Cleveland, up 90%. Overall, homicide is up 17%.
- The U.S. Department of Justice says that Black people make up 15% of the population in the 75 largest counties in the United States, yet account for 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, 45% of all assaults.
So what’s going on here? Are we confusing the color of one’s skin with poverty or inequality? It’s a fair argument. Black people tend to be greater offenders, statistically speaking, because they tend to be more disadvantaged, living in poorer urban areas with less access to public services.
Then of course there’s the argument about the “violent subculture theory.” This is the idea that some black communities have developed cultural values that are more tolerant of crime and violence.
I want to leave you with a few recent studies.
First, a 2016 study by Roland G. Fryer Jr., who is an economics professor at Harvard. He found that no racial bias could be detected in police shootings, in either the raw data or when accounting for controls. He also found racial bias was detected in lesser use of police force, but not deadly encounters. His recommendation?
“Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behaviors of police and other external forces.”
Second, there were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014 according to FBI Data — the most recent year for which such data are available — compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.
Finally, police officers — of all races — are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.
Seems to me like the real problem here is socioeconomic disparities along with a public perception issue thanks to biased reporting. And let’s not forget the huge role that social media plays in disseminating false narratives and creating emotional, knee-jerk reactions.
It’s important to have very real conversations about racism in America and accountability among those who hold the thin blue line. Let’s just make sure we’re basing those conversations on facts and not feelings.
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