Orwell Was A Pollyanna, Part CVII

Presidents nominating, and Senates confirming, SCOTUS seats via the the process defined in the Constitution is “packing”

Repealing a working-class tax cut won’t increase taxes on the working class.

Nobody’s coming for your guns.

“Anti”-Fa doesn’t exist.

High density cities, with all their accoutrements (mass transit, densely-packed infranstructure) are more sustainable, livable.

The protests are mostly peaceful.

A decade and a half of demonizing police and running a catch-and-release judicial system, combined with open threats to defund or abolish the police, have no effect on crime rates, silly peasants:

The problem isn’t that the Minneapolis Student Council and the president of its Sustainability Club are lying to the people.

The problem is that they know the people who vote for them are too uncritical, complacent, dependent or stupid to know any better.

So far, it seems like a winning strategy.

Politically, I mean.

Tipping Point

Jen at Redhead Ranting, by way of a visit to her her family’s area in a local cemetary, notes a reminder of a crime that had a disproportionate impact on law and order in the Twin Cities a generation ago:

Not far from my grandparents are the markers of the graves of the 5 Coppage children who died in a fire ordered by a rival gang member of their older brother in 1994.

The deaths were horrible. Few in the community were left untouched by the 1994 tragedy. The cops, as they always do with brutal crimes involving children, took it personally and declared war on the gang, building a federal drug case that led to the convictions of about 22 gang members in 1998. (full article)

This happened at about the apex of of the “Murderapolis” years, and I think it’s fair to say it marked a tipping point in law enforcement in Minnesota. People demanded that government do its one unambiguously legitimate job – preserve order, the job that makes living in close conjunction with other people, and the commerce, society and community that result, possible.

What followed was a period of relative (!) order and tranquility – or so it seems in retrospect. Minnesota became, up until this past spring, the safest state in the union that had a major metropolitan area; the Twin Cities, especially Saint Paul, were for all their faults quite a safe metro area.

The stats are up this year – but perceptions about crime aren’t about stats, especially when “rational critical thought” is near the bottom of the priority list.

But eventually, people will demand order. They’ll either get it from government, or they’ll get it themselves (that’s the romantic notion a lot of people have – and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was occasionally one of them) or they’ll get it from whatever “strongman”, be it a street gang or a mob racket or a “vigilante militia” that offers enough of it in exchange for what they take to make it worth it, or worth it enough.

Here’s hoping sane heads prevail.

It’s Better To Look Good Than To Be Good

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

June – Minneapolis City Council President on CNN – expecting police to prevent crime comes from a place of white privilege.

June, July, August – Minneapolis City Council to all Minneapolis Police Officers: You’re horrible people and we’re going to de-fund your entire department, to start from scratch and reinvent public safety

September – Minneapolis City Council to Minneapolis Police Chief: Crime is out of control and residents are terrified.  Why aren’t police officers doing a better job of preventing crime?

The Minneapolis Chief of Police is Medaria Arrando, a Black man.  When the Council fires him, he’ll join the ranks of other Black police chiefs fired as scapegoats for White city council virtue-signaling gone wild including Le’Ron Singletary, Carmen Best, and U. Renee Hall

But firing the Black police chief flies in the face of a study claiming to prove that police departments run by Black police chiefs have Fewer shootings.

It’s almost as if Liberals don’t care about actual results, only about looking good to the media.

Joe Doakes

Among “progressives”, participation trophies are good enough.

Also mandatory.

The Cupboard Is Bare

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Fleet Farm, Labor Day Weekend. No .22, .223, .357, .38, .40, . 45, 5.56mm, or 9mm. Cabellas, the same. None expected. 

People who have confidence in their civic institutions do not panic about defending their families. 

Democrats have much to answer for.

Joe Doakes

As we noted the other day – people seek order.  If government doesn’t provide it, they’ll do it for themselves.  That’s not always a pleasant thing. 

DIY

When people can’t trust “the system” to keep them safe, they take matters into their own hands.

Italian immigrants – with social, religious, linguistic and cultural impediments to assimilation, cutting both ways – brought their underworld organizations from the old country to get some order (at a price) in their lives.

Ditto the Irish in New York and Chicago, and Jews all over the place.

Blacks? Remember Malcolm X and the Black Panthers?

And now? Middle class Minnesotans of all races, creeds and backgrounds. are strapping up. Gun purchase background checks (which, remember, only apply to handguns and “assault weapons”; shotguns, varmint rifles and plinkers require no contact with the government) are up well over 50% between August 2019 and last month.

And – as we’ve observed elsewere – the new buyer is a lot less likely to fit the stereotype Big Left puts out:

Dave Amon, an agent at Gunstop of Minnetonka, said the demand shows no signs of slowing especially as the changing role of law enforcement is in the spotlight, the Star Tribune reported.

“I’ve seen a lot more single moms that are scared and need something to protect them,” he said. “They’re scared when people talk about defunding the police.”

Given how long the DFL has bet on gun confiscation in the past year – clearly drooling over taking control of the Senate – I wonder if this is going to slow down the rush to grab, or accelerate it to try to get ahead of broad social acceptance?

Being a pessimist, I choose “B”.

Via Gary Gross.

This Is What Dismantlement Looks Like

Oddly enough, when you work for a boss that actively disparages, nay, defames the work you do, loudly, constantly and in public, employees are going to react.

The numbers for the Minneapolis Police Department are well-nigh catastrophic:

Nearly 40% attrition in four months. And I suspect the recruit stream has not only dwindled to a trickle, but is heavily made up of people you don’t want wearing badges and carrying guns.

Historically? Minneapolis went through similar (albeit not nearly so drastic) problems in the nineties, and before that in the seventies – and the city paid the price in terms of officer quality both times.

This could well make both of those troughs look like the good times.

Ain’t S**t Indeed

John Thompson – the DFL endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House, who threatened to burn down Hugo, Minnesota – is clearly not a fan of the police.

And it’s causing the DFL problems – while by all indications Ken Martin is keeping Thompson locked up in a closet and not letting him anywhere near the public, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, normally a reliable endorser of DFL candidates, has switched its endorsements in two swing House districts, and possibly more. The kerfuffle – which the media hasn’t been able to bury, despite their best efforts – caused the DFL to bag a fundraiser with Thompson and other DFL officials last week, which is a big deal, two months before an election.

Now, I’ve had a policy since the beginning of this blog: I leave peoples’ families out of it. Some of my various stalkers haven’t been quite as discriminating – and yes, that does make me a better person than them.

And I’m not going to change that now.

But while it seems that candidate Thompson’s son has had some brushes with the law, it also seems that the son also owes his life to one of the Saint Paul cops who, Thompson the Elder reminds us, “ain’t s**t”:

In early August 2018, a St. Paul officer was credited with saving his life after he was shot outside a funeral home on the 700 block of Portland Avenue.

Thompson was found in an alley with gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen after a confrontation with a fellow citizen became violent. The St. Paul Police Department said that officer Mathew Jones aided Thompson and stemmed his bleeding until EMS arrived to transport him to the hospital. It is unlikely that Thompson would have survived without the medical care Jones administered, authorities said.

Reports from Fox 9 and the Pioneer Press identified the man who was shot on Aug. 6, 2018 as Thompson’s son Damarco. The St. Paul Police Department confirmed with Alpha News that Damarco’s life was saved by Jones, who received the Life Saving Award for his actions that day.

“While the saving of a life is generally attributed to the hospital and responding EMS crews, the officers who take those initial actions, such as Officer Jones, should receive the lion’s share of the credit,” St. Paul Fire’s EMS coordinator, Captain Kenneth Adams, said of the incident. “For if it were not for them and their actions, the EMS crews and hospital staff would not have a patient to work with.”

I leave families out of things – but it doesn’t seem remotely unfair to point this out.

Privileged Couple’s Gentrified Night Out Interrupted By Austere Social Scholars’ Mostly Peaceful Protest

OK, that’s not the real tag line on the story.

Yet.

But it doesn’t seem implausible at all, does it?

Minneapolis couple out on the town in the North Loop, attacked by 8-10…

…well, the piece leaves that wide open:

Probably more white supremacist Hells Angels. They’re behind everything that’s wrong in Minneapolis.

Darned white supremacists.

Cop Out

Hopkins School Board Vice-Chair Chris LaTondresse – did he tell you he’s an “Obama administration alum” yet?

The Defund the Police movement hitches it’s wagons into the western suburbs.

In the apparently halcyon days of April 2018, students and school officials of the Hopkins School District gathered together in what was called “National Walkout Day” in memory of the horrific tragedy of the Columbine school shootings 19 years earlier.  Students spoke of issues of gun control and school safety.  And while none of the student speakers were even alive when Columbine occurred, a common theme of seeking safety at school echoed in the various speeches.

A time-traveler from that April day in 2018 would have a hard time reconciling the Hopkins School District of just two and-a-half years later as the School Board voted to keep guns out of their schools – guns in the form of local police protection:

The Hopkins school board on Tuesday night embraced a student-led call to remove police from Hopkins High School — with the action to come at year’s end.

The 6-1 vote brings a suburban voice to a national movement that has sought to end the use of school resource officers, or SROs.

The move to defund Hopkins School Resource Officers comes after several months of intense online lobbying by a group calling themselves “CopsOutHHH” and a poll of Hopkins students in favor of the movement – a poll in which only 183 of the District’s 1,600 students voted.  By the end of the year, Hopkins will sever it’s relationship with the Minnetonka Police Department (the Hopkins School District includes parts of Edina and Minnetonka) in a move that supporter and Board Vice Chair Chris LaTondresse bizarrely described as not actually “defunding” the police since the contract was due to expire anyway.

LaTondresse, a DFL endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner who touts his consulting work for USAID as making him an “Obama administration alum” in the same way that I apparently was a member of Congress because I visited Washington D.C. once, claims the move will allows for more mental health funding.  Considering the SRO budget is $113,142 out of a budget of $91,502,418, the idea that shifting 0.01% of the School Board’s resources away from security and towards mental health will address either issue is laughable at best and incredibly dangerous at worse.

It’s also a conclusion that files in the face of peer-tested research.  Carleton University conducted a two-year study of SRO programs and in their report, published by Routledge in 2019, they concluded that for every dollar invested in the program, a minimum of $11.13 of social and economic value was created.  While attention would likely focus on the role the SRO could or did play in the estimated 525 school shootings over the past decade (a number in partial dispute as it groups any gun-related incidents on a school campus together), left unreported are the number of incidents prevented by early SRO intervention.  The group Averted School Violence has begun to attempt to collect and analyze such data, a task made somewhat difficult by the very nature of the endeavor – incidents that don’t escalate into violence rarely make the news.

LaTondresse and the Hopkins School Board also want to cite that SROs make students of color fundamentally uncomfortable.  While data can’t contend with feelings, even a Brookings Institute report from 2018 which was less than fully supportive of SROs as agents of school safety didn’t see any correlation between SROs and race.  Brookings believed context for arrest records and racial backgrounds were lacking and thus a poor metric to judge whether or not SROs were more likely to discriminate or otherwise negatively impact minority students.

But no amount of data – or even common sense – was present on Tuesday night as the Hopkins School Board voted to eliminate basic security without even so much as a concept of what would replace their School Resource Officers.  Instead, a small but vocal minority has continued to push a partisan agenda that endangers students for the goal of striking symbolic blow against the police.

A Quarter

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m not certain the headline accurately reflects the general population feeling, but let’s say it does. 

Three quarters of the public want to eliminate the department.  Why not do it?

Well, there is that pesky city charter – you know, the enabling legislation that created the city – which requires a police department and sets the number of required officers.

But hey, that’s a 100-year old document written by dead White men at a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote and Blacks were still subject to Jim Crow laws.  Plainly, it has no moral authority so it can safely be ignored or, at worst, interpreted as a living document in light of current events so as to reduce the number of required officers to zero.

Charter – schmarter, who needs it?  Now, about that Electoral College . . . .

Joe Doakes

The founders were right about the whole “democratic mob” thing.

Waves Of Schadenfreud

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minneapolis Police Chief tells residents to prepare to be robbed, to hand over cars, wallets and cell phones, to obey criminals. 

Wonder if lack of law enforcement will affect the rape situation around the U of M?  Outstate parents still thinking of sending their daughters to college in Minneapolis might want to reconsider.
Speaking of reconsidering . . . do Minneapolis crime victims have any thoughts on reviving Stand Your Ground legislation?

Joe Doakes

It’s been a little depressing, reading the number of Powderhorn Park residents on some of the neighborhood social media who think that they deserve what they’ve got coming to them.

And when you think about it, they’re right, although not for the reasons they think. They think their “privilege” makes them justifiable targets.

Call it schadenfreud, but I say it’s “60 years of voting DFL as if it’s the only option you have”.

But there are a few that are getting the message.

A Commie On The Trail, A Monarchist In The Courtroom

The Democrats are proposing Kamala Harris as the next President (after, let’s be honest, Creepy Joe’s inevitable resignation or removal).

It’s not like I’m in any danger of voting for any Democrat, ever – that shouldn’t be a surprise.

But I wouldn’t vote for Kamala Harris if she were a fiscal conservative free-marketeering Second Amendendment advocate (which she has never been and will never be).

Let’s just cut to the chase: there is no circle of hell cold enough for prosecutor with Harris’s dubious relationship with honesty, ethics and morality.

She’s not ethically fit to be President – even in the post-Bill-and-Hillary Clinton sense of the term. Or even the post-Trump sense, if you’re wired that way.

She’s not morally fit to be mulch.

A little background: I support capital punishment for every reason but one – the inevitability, whether through accident or deliberate prosecutorial malfeasance, of executing innocent people. It’s already happened at least once, and at least 14 executions in the last since the death penalty was rebuilding a 19 7600s of people have been released directly from death row, their convictions “beyond a reasonable doubt“ vacated, very frequently because of prosecutorial misconduct.

That’s a sign, if you think about it, somethings very, very wrong with capital punishment.

Kamala Harris is one of those things that is very, very wrong.

I have a little personal background with a case of a man wrongly convicted in a grisly rape and murder case,

He spent those 22 years on death row because a prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence that would have led to his acquittal in the initial trial.

There is no circle in hell cold enough for a prosecutor who withholds exculpatory evidence in any case – least of all a death penalty case.

Kamala Harris has a long history of playing fast and loose with ethics rules, including gundecking exculpatory evidence in capital cases.

People like that aren’t fit to be president of the United States.

People like that aren’t fit to be mulch, morally speaking.

Until Proven Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is the kind of analysis the jury is likely to hear in the Floyd case, which is why I’ve been saying all along that it’s going to be a tough case to win.

Not saying this guy is correct, or that the jury will find his analysis persuasive, but this column shows why serving on the jury is not as simple as watching the video before voting to convict.  The defense gets a turn, too.

Joe Doakes

Attorney friends tell me Earl Gray is the real deal, defense-wise.

In other words, buckle in and pray for an April blizzard.

“Terribly Sad”

Can you imagine the tone if the two “idealistic young lawyers” in this story had worn MAGA hats?

I’m sure those young lawyers will do just fine pleading “moment of madness’ in court.

Mr. Spoor (a prog lawyer who has the most wonderfully occoponymous name, if you speak any Dutch at all) says that young people are prone to doing stupid things (true), and that we should have some forgiveness in our hearts. Throwing a firebomb shouldn’t rate 35 years in federal prison.

But forgiveness without atonement is meaningless – and I wager a shiny new quarter that the overentitled, over-schooled, under-educated wannabe Che Guevaras in this story feel no remorse whatsoever.

Regret over being caught? Sure.

Remorse? That’s for plebes.

Shot In The Dark: Today’s News, Months Ago

Someone in the press leaked the body cam video of the George Floyd arrest. Taking nothing away from the tragedy or the anger that went along with it – “knee on the throat” isn’t a good look – but seeing this, I’m thinking Keith Ellison would need Vasily Ulrikh on the bench to get a Murder conviction.

I have little to add, except that this piece from two months ago is looking better and better.

Oh, yeah – strap in. Officer Chauvin will be acquitted of “Unintentional Second Degree Murder”, and the other three will get away with lesser included charges. It’s going to make the last week in May look like a kindergarten full of kids who broke into the Koolaid.

Seattle: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Seattle cops, barred the use of tear gas and other non-lethal force, are telling businesses “sorry – you’re on your own”.

Given that “keeping order” – making a city a safe place for law-abiding taxpayers to be – is one of local government’s most unambiguously legitimate missions, this should really wake all but the most deluded Seattleoids up.  

I said ‘should”. 

Mister Feminist

Keith Ellison says cops shouldn’t be the ones responding to rapes.

Emphasis added:

“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault and the assailant has ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm, right?” he asked.

Ellison posed this question during a broadcast featuring himself, Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass and Yamiche Alcindor, PBS’s White House Correspondent on July 17. As he spoke, both the congresswoman and reporter looked downward and did not interrupt.

The Republican National Committee research team discovered the clip and posted it across social media.

Side note – “…the assailant has ran away?”

He went to law school, for chrissake.

But yes – he think social workers, not investigators, should be the first to respond to rapes.

“Keith Ellison clearly is not even aware of the MN Post Board standards for police training. Licensed police officers receive a variety of training in multiple subjects including how to interview a rape victim. As a state leader he should be more familiar with state standards before he makes assumptions,” says the officer. This is the same officer who has delivered verifiably factual information to Alpha News previously.

The fact that Ellison apparently doesn’t believe there’s an investigative component to responding to sexual assault should make everyone in Minnesota with a female in their life really, really angry.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Minneapolis mulls a proposal to supplant police with “citizen patrols”.

And its primary mission – transfer money from taxpayers to favored “community” organizations – is front and center:

The Minneapolis City Council Budget Committee has approved moving $500,000 from the police budget and putting it into the Office of Violence Prevention to help pay for civilian safety patrols.

Jamil Jackson is a paid consultant with the Office of Violence Prevention and he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he’s been asked to put together a proposed plan to implement the civilian patrols.

“It would have to be multiple groups that get the money,” Jackson said.  “But, how the money is going to be disbursed hasn’t been decided at this point, because those are things that are still being tweaked and worked out.”

The – for sake of argument – proposal involves groups of 20 civilians each, patrolling the North and South sides, and another in downtown.

And when – not if – danger sprouts up?

Jackson says the civilian patrols will not be doing any police work and they will not be out in the community fighting crime. The group will not be armed, but men with permits to carry will be allowed to do so if they choose.

Ooof – acting as a surrogate cop in a climate of hatred for cops and their surrogates, with none of the legal protections a cop gets? Thanks, but no.

The possibilities are endless:

  • What a wonderful place for people with latent Dwight Schrute-like tendencies to exercise their need to control others?
  • Could there be a better springboard for corruption, both for the ‘patrols’ as well as the organizations sponsoring them?

Anyone in for a pool on how long the patrols last before they dissolve in a welter of corruption and scandal?

The Unmarked Van Of Remorseless Logic

I’ve had a couple people ask what I thought about Federal law enforcement, driving rental vans and wearing generic mil-cop camouflage, grabbing individual “protesters” off the streets of Portland.

To be honest, I’m not of two minds about it. Maybe three or four.

Bear with me, here.

I was a Libertarian with a capital L. I’m still a libertarian with small “l'”. I read my Soviet history (which is why I’m not a DFLer or a “progressive”). Cops descending out of nowhere and throwing people into vans and driving off is not a good look.

And if you can show me that those people have disappeared without a trace – as opposed to appearing in federal court being arraigned on charges involving destroying federal property and other federal crimes – then we’ve got something to talk about.

On the other hand:

I will wager a shiny new quarter that every single one of these “peaceful” protesters is going to appear in enough video, witness statements and other credible evidence to support at least an indictable allegation that they were involved in destroying federal (as in “you and me paid for it”) property, and/or travelled across state lines to organize other peoples’ felonies.

Now – given that Portland has in effect been turned over to “Anti”-Fa [1], and in effect told its own police to leave them alone and get out of the way, what’s going to be the best way to get these alleged violent conspirators – rolling up in a van labeled “FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT”, warning the wannabe tough guys to form a mob and get their bats and bike chains and guns out, and starting yet another riot?

Or maybe take the subtle approach, get the organizers they want, and leave without letting the mob destroy the neighborhood – again?

On the other, other hand:

All of you people demanding openness and transparency in law enforcement in tracking and arresting (for sake of argument) people who are credibly alleged to be organizers of violent riots that have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to private, local and federal property: Where were you brave, iconoclastic souls in 2011-2013, when prosecutors in Wisconsin were serving no-knock “John Doe” warrants with SWAT teams armed not one degree behind the Specal Forces fashion curve, along with gag orders signed by courts that the Kangaroos released a statement saying they didn’t want to be associated with, against people accused of…

…supporting Scott Walker for Governor?

Where were you?

Is opaque government only a problem when it’s the people you agree with (?) getting arrested under unseemly circumstances?

And on the other, other, other hand:

Is Federal law enforcement and the whole federal justice system, with its 98% conviction rate and its indulgent rules that allow federal prosecutors to squeeze people to choose between guilty pleas or having their lived completely destroyed and being personally, legally and financially ruined forever, too powerful?

Well, I agree – and if you root for that same system when they pick out a white collar criminal to hound to death (read Howard Root’s “Cardiac Arrest” for a great local story by a guy who beat the rap – at the cost of $25 million), but get the vapors when it’s an entitled, upper-middle-class, over-schooled but under-educated “progressive” anarchist, then yes, I am going to point out your (let’s be polite here) inconsistency.

A State Of Cowards

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Looking at the spike in violence, Christian Science Monitor asks: “Who owns the streets?

In Minnesota, it’s the criminals.  Minnesota is a mandatory cowardice state.  You cannot stand your ground to defend yourself.  You have a legal duty to run away from criminals.  They can roam wherever they want.  You cannot. 

The man quoted in the article isn’t worried about the lack of cops.  He carries a gun for protection. Good for him.  But he’s in Georgia, which is a stand-your-ground state.  He can fight to protect himself on the street.  Minnesotans cannot.  

Yes, there is technically a loophole.  You don’t have to retreat if you can’t do it safely.  But guess what?  In order to use that loophole, you first must admit you killed the person, then the burden is on You to convince the judge and jury that you were allowed to kill him because you could not retreat, it wasn’t safe.  If they aren’t convinced, you’ve just pled guilty to murder.

Republicans tried to pass Stand Your Ground in Minnesota.  Democrats blocked it. 

I guess we know whose side they’re on.

Joe Doakes

Self defense reform – including the reforms commonly called “Stand Your Ground” – was passed by a bipartisan majority, but vetoed by Governor Flint Smith.

I know, I know, it was Dayton. Pffft.

And yes – it gives criminals an advantage on the street, and in court, where they are innocent until proven guilty, while citizens defending themselves effectively plead guilty and then hope their lawyer can overcome jury prejudice and the jury instructions from a judge who may have a less enlightened take in citizens’ rights but who has absolute power nonetheless.

The title is a reference to Jeff Snyder’s classic monograph “A Nation of Cowards“, by the way, a seminal article in the history of gun law reform from almost thirty years ago. It’s very germane. If you’ve never read it, do.

Rounds Two And…Three?

Like a lot of Twin Cities residents, I’m eyeing next spring – sometime after the scheduled March opening of the Derek Chauvin trial – nervously, remembering that the LA riots (at least the ones everyone remembers) began not with the pummeling of Rodney King, but with the acquittal of the four officers involved.

And here’s a fearless prediction (one I’ve already made): Chauvin will be acquitted of Second Degree Unintentional Murder – not because of any legal cop-fu, but because while I’m not a lawyer, I don’t think you need to be a lawyer to see why it’s going to be very hard to show that Chauvin was – check the emphasis, taken from the statute for 2nd Degree Unintentional Murder…:

(1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting; or

Is a cop responding to a call “the commission of a felony?” I can see Alondra Cano believing that – but Ellison? Someone who’s ostensibly been to law school?

Unless there’s some bodacious lawyer-fu in store, or the Attorney General’s office plans on tampering with the entire witness pool, I’m just not seeing it.

But does the concept of qualified immunity mean there could be yet a third adverse verdict for George Floyd’s supporters and the Twin CIties’ far left’s many professional and amateur hooligans?

Was it “clearly established” on May 25 that kneeling on a prone, handcuffed arrestee’s neck for nearly nine minutes violated his Fourth Amendment rights? The issue is surprisingly unsettled in the 8th Circuit, which includes Minnesota.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit blocked civil rights claims in two recent cases with broadly similar facts: handcuffed detainees who died after being restrained face down by several officers. Unlike those detainees, Floyd was not actively resisting at the time of his death, except to repeatedly complain that he could not breathe.

While that distinction could make a difference in the constitutional analysis, we can’t be sure. Even if the 8th Circuit concluded that Chauvin’s actions were unconstitutional, it could still decide the law on that point was not clear enough at the time of Floyd’s arrest, meaning Chauvin would receive qualified immunity.

The 8th Circuit could even reach the latter conclusion without resolving the constitutional question, as courts have commonly done since 2009, when the Supreme Court began allowing that shortcut. To defeat qualified immunity in this case, says UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz, a leading critic of the doctrine, Floyd’s family “would have to find cases in which earlier defendants were found to have violated the law in precisely the same way.”

The whole piece is worth a read – and the whole concept of seriously reforming qualified immunity is something conservatives need to take an enlightened lead on.

Because it’s for damn sure the other side won’t.