Falcon Heights And Dallas

I’m going to take a moment to cite Berg’s Eighteenth Law of Media Latency:  “Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.

Yesterday was a pretty crappy day for everyone – except the “let’s force everyone to one extreme or the other, for easier framing” community.

We’ll come back to that.

First, let’s talk about Falcon Heights.

On Edge:  Watch this video:

Kinda scary, huh?

Kinda makes you want to curl up in an armored coccoon, doesn’t it?

Sources in law enforcement tell me that this video is shown to most new police recruits on or about their first day of training, these days.

Not a video of a cop settling a dispute between errant neigbhors.

Not a video of a cop catching a sex trafficker (let’s assume they’re real, while we’re up).

Not one of a cop setting a young stalker straight before he seriously screws up his life.

No – the impression that police departments start their rookies off with is that “any situation you’re in, any contact you make, anything you do and anything you don’t do, can end up with you being gunned down like Old Yeller by the side of the road.  Be careful out there.

What message does this send to new cops?  “There are two kinds of people out there; people in badges, and people who might kill people in badges.  Be careful out there”.    It’s a sort of siege mentality.

We’ll come back to that.

Take a little siege mentality.  Add in what may have been really poor training; the Saint Anthony Police Department has come in for some criticism even before Wednesday’s events.

Part of that poor training, perhaps?   In carry permit training, students (of all races) are warned; handling cops if you get pulled over is one of the most dangerous parts of having a carry permit.  All cops get cautious when the “g” word comes up; some of them go way beyond (notwithstanding the fact that carry permittees are a couple orders of magnitude less likely to shoot anyone, much less a cop, than the general public).  If it turns out Castile was a carry permit holder, and he was (as his girlfriend pointed out in the video she shot from the scene) reaching for his permit as most people are taught in their carry permit training, then at least one cop needed some better training on that subject.

Was Castile the victim of racism?  Perhaps.  Although the herd consensus that there’s an epidemic of racist cops killing black people is not exactly statistically clear-cut, much less unanimous.   All shootings, including those involving the police, are complicated.

So on the one hand, you have a police force that operates from a basis of “force protection”, rather than “protecting and serving the community” – more of a military than civil concept – and a community with some serious beefs over how that works in the community, at a time when racial tensions are the highest they’ve been in fifty years (thanks, President Obama, for all that racial healing), in a state where the dominant political establishment is politically tied to both the police unions and the non-profit “social justice” sector”.

Sound like it’ll be hard to unravel?  You’re probably right.

Dallas:  And any chance of unraveling that first Gordian Knot got blown away in a fusillade of sniper fire last night in Dallas.

I can’t begin to comment; Berg’s Eighteenth Law applies to me, too.

More on the show tomorrow.

44 thoughts on “Falcon Heights And Dallas

  1. Here’s my idea.
    When a cop stops a driver the first thing he asks is “Sir is there a fire arm in you car?”

    If the answer is yes then the cop is required by law to follow a scripted protocol. And the permit holder is required as a condition of obtaining the permit to follow it also.

    Cops are drilled over and over on the protocol. Permit holder likewise.

    Everyone knows exactly what to expect and there can be no misunderstandings or misinterpreted actions.

    The details of the protocol could be hashed out between legislators and gun experts.

  2. DMA, I think the point here is that (as the video Mitch links makes clear) there are any number of cases where the situations police face are fluid enough that a single procedure won’t resolve that much. I’m guessing that accidental shootings of genuine permit holders are pretty low–not the first thing on the Pareto I’d handle.

  3. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 07.08.16 : The Other McCain

  4. I notice, Emery, that they seem to be going out of their way to avoid calling it a ‘killer robot.’

  5. I agree with DMA. There’s a protocol for making a traffic stop. There’s a policy for high-speed pursuits. There ought to be a protocol for Encountering A Lawfully Armed Citizen, taught to cops in cop school, role-played by permit holders in permit class.

    The present training says “tell the officer you have pistol and ask how he wants to handle it.” That’s another way of saying “There are no hard and fast rules, we make up rules as we go along; but if you fail to comply, you die.”

  6. I think the Saint Anthony incident requires an epistemology check.
    How do we know that the guy was pulled over for a broken taillight?
    How do we know that he had a conceal carry permit?
    How do we know that he was reaching for his ID when he was shot?
    How do we know that the woman in the car with him was his girlfriend?

  7. Good questions, there was a report that the Ramsey County Sheriff didn’t have a record of a request for a permit for the driver but apparently he lived in Robbinsdale so if he had one, it would have been issued in Hennepin County. No word yet on whether that was confirmed (or even if it can be).

    I have seen a couple of reports that when the officer approached the car, he said to the dispatcher that the driver matched the description of one of the suspects in a recent armed robbery in the area. That doesn’t mean he was the robber but a police officer approaching a robbery suspect is probably going to have a different mindset than one approaching someone for just a broken taillight.

  8. Well, well, well… what 24 hours can do. Apparently the angel who got shot was not so angelic if new reports are to be believed. Is CCP the new skittles?

  9. Quick – name the last time there was a mass shooting that was prevented by someone who happened to be there and just happened to be carrying a gun?

    America is going to shoot its way to less gun violence.

  10. Which part of the bill of rights says that citizens are allowed arms to stop mass shootings, Emery?

  11. Emery,

    While Bento is correct – it’s not why we have a 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights – I’ve documented 16 cases of “good (civilian) guys and gals with guns” who were in the right place at the right time to prevent mass shootings”. They’re on this page, and yes, I’ve scattered a number of more mundane Minnesota carry permittee episodes in among them, and I do need to break them out into a separate page. If you add in cops and off-duty cops, the list is longer still – but I’m sticking with civilians.

    BTW, I am most likely going to add the episode a few weeks ago in South Carolina to the list, even though it was a “mass shooting” but not apparently a “spree killing”.

    But sixteen episodes (most recently May of 2015) should be a good start.

  12. I wonder if the progressives realize how much they sound like comic opera villains?
    “Those Americans and their foolish attachment to their so-called constitutional rights! Freedom of speech! Freedom of religion! Freedom to bear arms! Only when these have been swept into history’s waste bin will we be able to build a truly liberal and free society!”

  13. MBerg: Would you agree with the NRA’s theory; “more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens will help prevent crime/violence” ?

  14. Where does the NRA propose this theory? Link, please. I can’t find it on the NRA website. The NRA website is mostly about the Second Amendment, which, of course, does not mention crime/violence explicitly.

  15. Emery,

    What Bento said.

    However, I’ve been supporting the theory (which is not explicitly an NRA position) in this space with an endless parade of evidence over the past decade-plus. I’m more than willing to debate it. I do find the argument against that theory factually vacant and logically comical, and in over a decade nobody as convinced me otherwise.

    But feel free to take a run at it.

  16. Well then: “America is going to shoot its way to less gun violence.”

    As an aside, Do you believe this St. Paul incident should be of concern to the C&C community?

  17. “America is going to shoot its way to less gun violence.”

    Nope. Deterrence is what we’re, uh, shooting for. It works.

    Do you believe this St. Paul incident should be of concern to the C&C community?

    I think I referenced it in my piece on Thursday; it’s one of the thing that they warn you about at some length in permit training. Dealing with the police while carrying is one of the most potentially dangerous times for a permittee. Not sure if there’ve been previous incidents, but I got the impression there had.

    It’s always been a concern.

  18. I am an NRA member (I joined for the free tote bag!). I don’t pay much attention to what they are up to politically. Anyhow, I just explored their website. The politics thing is covered under NRA-ILA (ILA stands for ‘Institute for Legislative action’). They don’t seem to have generic political positions, like more guns equals less crime. Instead they write about specific legislation they view as pro or anti-gun.
    Most of what they write or link to is better balanced than the anti-gun web sites. The anti-gun sites (basically all liberal web sites) are quite open in their bigotry and hatred. They also seem to purposely court the ignorant. The effects of the assault weapon ban of the 1990s, for example, has been extensively studied, even by the Justice Department. I am unaware of any reputable study that found that it significantly reduced gun crimes or gun violence. The Justice Department, for example, concluded that the number of gun crimes committed with assault weapons before, during, and after the ban was so small that no conclusion about its effectiveness was possible.

  19. Law prof Tom Smith on why he wants guns:

    What these idiots don’t understand is, it’s a common pool problem. If everyone could just agree to not use violence against each other, then coitenly, we could dispense with guns. But I live 15 miles from the border, have had three SWAT style raids in my neighborhood for drugs (pretty cool, actually) and it takes the sheriff a good 30 minutes to get to my house, assuming they pick up my 911 call at all. Much more likely is a recording saying “your emergency is very important to us! Stay on the line and yada yada!” Meanwhile the crazed meth-head is lumbering up my stairway. Really? This is OK? I’m supposed to put up with this just so what? How about we keep our guns just until you put together a cogent argument that includes a high level of security for me and mine. Then of course, there’s always earthquakes, EMPs, and Zombies. All somewhat possible.

    http://rightcoast.typepad.com/rightcoast/2016/07/the-horrific-predictable-result-of-a-widely-armed-citizenry-the-new-yorker.html

  20. Justplainangery wrote: “Apparently the angel who got shot was not so angelic if new reports are to be believed. Is CCP the new skittles?”

    Which of those pieces of information justifies shooting him?

  21. I had a snarky reply ready, but I’ll not post it because honestly, I agree with much of this and it was better than I expected. I don’t agree there isn’t a problem with cops in this country having a problem with color. The cause is hard to say is one thing or even two, but it seems quite clear that partly it’s simply a matter of having to go into too many poor areas, poor homes, poor lives, poor parenting, mistrust, and abuse. Abuse at home, abuse by cops, abuse of cops… it’s a tremendous problem this country faces, but is not alone in facing, Europe faces a similar problem with it’s immigrant population, people who believed in a message, came to a country and found they were unwelcome, they were destined to be an underclass, probably imperpetuty in that country. Most of Europe is not like the US, they profess openness but they practice exclusion. One of the things about which I am proud is that my country tries, albeit haltingly, fleetingly, but it tries to be better, it tries to bring people into a better place. But we have failed here. Whether we want to blame them, whether we want to blame ourselves, we have in fact failed. Any culture which must trains it’s young boys to not run in public for fear of being shot, is one which rightly feels persecuted. Our police must be better trained, but equally, there is no excuse for acting out against the police (or the state). I would ask you, all of those on the right who read this, didn’t this man feel he was fighting back against a repressive state? I think so, but I don’t think he’s justified in being violent, not now, not ever unless there is NO chance, none, of a just outcome in the court, and that hasn’t been established. I would ask all of you who think it’s right for YOU to take up arms against the state, why would it be ok for you and not this man? The answer is, it wouldn’t be right in EITHER case.

    Mitch, I’d challenge you about your statements about cops not being oppressive toward blacks. There are HUGE amounts of data to back up the claim that they are oppressive, unreasonably so. But likewise I commend you for recognizing that police are being trained to fear first, and that fear leads to tragedy. Fear cannot be that which rules us or we lose all reason.

  22. better than I expected

    So was your comment!

    🙂

    I don’t agree there isn’t a problem with cops in this country having a problem with color. The cause is hard to say is one thing or even two, but it seems quite clear that partly it’s simply a matter of having to go into too many poor areas, poor homes, poor lives, poor parenting, mistrust, and abuse.

    True. There are some social problems you don’t fix with handcuffs.

    Most of Europe is not like the US, they profess openness but they practice exclusion.

    It’s not that they even have to practice it; it’s part of being European.

    I speak German fairly fluently – but I’m not German. So if I were to try to immigrate to Germany, Austria or Switzerland, I could maybe become a citizen – but I could never become German. Either could my kids, if I had them with a German wife.

    Same goes for every culture in Europe – and almost the entire world. And the other exceptions? Australia and Haiti were prison colonies in fact or effect. Brazil is a failed kingdom. And on and on. We are pretty unique.

    Any culture which must trains it’s young boys to not run in public for fear of being shot, is one which rightly feels persecuted. Our police must be better trained, but equally, there is no excuse for acting out against the police (or the state).

    Of course there’s an excuse for acting out against the police and the state! To say we’re not is to say we’re a feudal fiefdom, and we are peasants and the cops are knights, and we peasants should know our place!

    It’s why we have a First Amendment! Of course, the rights to speak, assemble, petition and publish are not rights to harm other people. But it is the DUTY of a free people to hold the state accountable!

    I would ask you, all of those on the right who read this, didn’t this man feel he was fighting back against a repressive state? I think so, but I don’t think he’s justified in being violent, not now, not ever unless there is NO chance, none, of a just outcome in the court, and that hasn’t been established.

    I would ask all of you who think it’s right for YOU to take up arms against the state, why would it be ok for you and not this man? The answer is, it wouldn’t be right in EITHER case.

    First, I don’t know any sane person who’s advocating armed revolution today, or any time soon.

    But by your logic, we should still be British subjects.

    Mitch, I’d challenge you about your statements about cops not being oppressive toward blacks.

    I stated no such thing!

    I said that there is evidence (which I cited above, from that noted conservative tool, the University of Washintgon) that indicates cops (among others) are more hesitant to shoot black people. It’s evidence. Not a conclusion.

    There are HUGE amounts of data to back up the claim that they are oppressive, unreasonably so.

    Huge amounts of data? Perhaps! But then, there is a huge amount of data, full stop. Forming that data into conclusions, and validating those conclusions, is the hard part.

    Oppression as a general thing? Sure, that happens. I’ve known black guys my age (back when I was in my 30s) who got pulled over several times a year, when I’d get pulled over….well, when I did something stupid when a cop was around. I don’t doubt it exists.

    But black men are about 6% of the population, are about 30% of those shot by police…and are 52% of the murder and 56% of the armed robbery arrests. (Don’t yell at me about the numbers; they’re from the FBI). Even if half of those arrests are racist miscarriages of justice, blacks offend at several times their share in society – and I’m going to guess if you looked purely at males 16-30, and sorted it by zip code, it’d be even more lopsided. In fact, the only category in which African-Americans are arrested in proportion to their percent of the population is DUI. Which is an interesting angle on the “Driving while black” idea.

    Not saying there isn’t racism – it’s just not the only problem.

    But likewise I commend you for recognizing that police are being trained to fear first, and that fear leads to tragedy. Fear cannot be that which rules us or we lose all reason.

    And that, right there, is a huge point to agree on. if police adopt a siege mentality, justice becomes impossible. Heck – even if you treated crime as an insurgency (and I hope we never do), it’s lousy counterinsurgency tactics!

  23. “I would ask all of you who think it’s right for YOU to take up arms against the state, why would it be ok for you and not this man? The answer is, it wouldn’t be right in EITHER case.” — European serf.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” — American citizen.

    I’ll take Option B, please.

  24. Off topic, but —
    Perhaps because I am descended from Quakers, I take my revolutionary catechism from the American equivalent of the red-letter verses of the bible: the Declaration of Independence. When is it permissible to take up arms against the state?

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    There is more at the source, including a very long list of grievances.

  25. I think it helped that he carried a sidearm. An armed society is a polite society.

  26. kel: What BLM fails to grasp is that most but not ALL high-profile cases in the news turns out (upon investigation) to have been someone committing a crime, on their way from having committed a crime, or on their way to commit a crime. Which makes me think the best way to avoid being shot by police is maybe… no, it’s too much of a stretch.

  27. You might want to not read my previous comment, Emery. It might hurt your Loyalist eyes.

  28. Regarding Pen’s comment, one thing comes to mind; program after program, from the tax code to the Health Insurance Deform Act (Obamacare) to day care subsidies to various welfare programs, provides financial incentives for people to people to bear and raise children outside of marriage. Now if marriage is going to have beneficial moral impacts for homosexuals, it will for heterosexuals as well.

    You want to fix the hood? You want to fix minority relationships? Fix our government’s approach to marriage, since “unwed parents” is a far stronger predictor of criminality than anything else.

  29. But black men are about 6% of the population, are about 30% of those shot by police…and are 52% of the murder and 56% of the armed robbery arrests. (Don’t yell at me about the numbers; they’re from the FBI). Even if half of those arrests are racist miscarriages of justice, blacks offend at several times their share in society – and I’m going to guess if you looked purely at males 16-30, and sorted it by zip code, it’d be even more lopsided. In fact, the only category in which African-Americans are arrested in proportion to their percent of the population is DUI. Which is an interesting angle on the “Driving while black” idea.

    Thank you for bringing this up. Too often, these stats are overlooked or ignored by the left because they don’t align with the narrative, and are overlooked or not mentioned by the right for fear of inducing the racist card being thrown.

  30. Repost because I can: The Constitution says whatever the Upper House of the Legislature (i.e. the Supreme Court) wants it to say. Didn’t you learn about our tricameral legislature in civics class?

  31. Bento and Joe, you overlook the very real possibility that teh peevee’s spawn are members of the Spies.

    He has no choice but to keep his mind right.

  32. I wonder why so many people seem to be unwilling to adopt the position that the cop may have been completely in the wrong AND that race had nothing to do with it? I am completely comfortable with the idea that the cop F’d up and killed a law-abiding citizen, without good cause.

    My own mental scenario is that the cop panicked when the citizen announced he was armed, pulled his weapon with poor trigger discipline, while suddenly yelling commands that countered his previous just-issued command, accidentally discharges his weapon, and then responds to hearing the gun shot (his own) by firing 3 more times. The miracle is that his partner did not start shooting on hearing the shots.

    Maybe, maybe not.

  33. And I’ll say it again. This is EXACTLY why every officer who sets foot outside the precinct station should have a body camera that A) cannot be turned off, and 2) cannot be erased by any patrol officer/sergeant/lieutenant. If the officer screwed up, the evidence is there to hold him accountable. If Castile WAS trying to pull his gun, the evidence would be there to exonerate the officer.

    There is no excuse not to do this Advancements in technology have made this logistically (size-wise) possible. The costs that will be incurred by SAPD (and by proxy, SA taxpayers) over local, state and federal (civil rights) investigations into the matter and the inevitable civil lawsuit will more than outweigh what equipping every officer with this gear would be.

    I read that the SAPD chief had said a few weeks ago, that he was not in favor of body cameras. That instantly puts a cloud over him in my mind, because my natural question would be “What are you trying to hide?”

  34. Justplainangery wrote: “Apparently the angel who got shot was not so angelic if new reports are to be believed. Is CCP the new skittles?”

    Which of those pieces of information justifies shooting him?

    None, you blithering idiot. Just pointing out the inconsistency in the video. You must be really proud to have learned to attribute words to people they have never spoken. But I do not expect you to understand. Nor do I expect you to understand very simple logical constructs and statistics – like areas where CCP is allowed, there is less violent crime, hence safer. Compare and contrast with Chicago, you blithering idiot, oops, there I go repeating myself again.

  35. Pen, the Times column you cite merely assumes that the right comparison is overall population, not proportion of the criminal population. If you do it with the latter, you would find just the opposite conclusion. So it’s assuming one of the basic points being debated.

    And really, the key issue isn’t whether a disproportionate number of people of a given description are being killed, but rather whether they’re being unjustly killed–and I don’t know that anyone has the evidence to draw a conclusion there.

    So if you will kindly stop throwing fuel on the fire with nonsense like that column, it would be greatly appreciated by millions whose lives and property are protected as the police arrest criminals and investigate their crimes. Thank you.

  36. BB, that “column” was an opinion piece from a very opinionated jackass. Barely a shred of objectivity and cherry picking of data, as you pointed out. And then sheheit used bogus data to make their argument more dramatic – one percent each wrong way goes a long way.

  37. Really, the bigger thing than cherry picking of data, JPA, is the circular reasoning implicitly used by the author. He’s assuming his conclusion–that disparate impact in one regard establishes racism. Not so. We don’t even need to look at his evidence and its authority; we simply need to ask ourselves what our response would be if we had 500 people in “our” community (say caucasians of various stripes) shot by the police.

    And we do, and our response is “were they shot justifiably or not?” No? If it’s clearly justifiable, I really don’t care of 95% were white–I’m glad they’re not in my neighborhood.

  38. If you think it is fair to compare the races of people killed by cops to the general population, it is also far to compare the genders of people killed by cops to the general population.
    Blacks are three times more likely to be killed by a cops than a non-Black.
    Men are FIFTY TIMES as likely as non-men to be killed by a cop.
    In for a penny, in for pound. Lets talk about what the federal government is morally and LEGALLY bound to do, under existing civil rights laws, .to eliminate gender disparity in police shootings.
    Right off the bat, they could stop shooting men while continuing to shoot the same number of women, or they could drastically increase the number of women they shoot. You gotta start the ball rolling.

  39. :^)

    Scary thing is how widespread the Obama administration has used “disparate impact”, and how many black people stand to suffer and die for that. It’s along the same lines as when we went soft on crime in the 1960s, reducing sentences and banning the death penalty, murders tripled.

    Ugly fact of the matter is that we cannot be perfect. Which error do we make: 500-1000 deaths (mostly of guilty people) at the hands of the police, or an additional 20,000 murder victims each year, thousands of them having nothing to do with drugs or gangs?

  40. Bento Guzman wrote:

    “Right off the bat, they could stop shooting men while continuing to shoot the same number of women, or they could drastically increase the number of women they shoot. You gotta start the ball rolling.”

    Which is exactly why you should feel a little ill when someone mentions “eliminating health disparities”. You could assume the best of your bureaucratic betters, but that’s a losing bet. Maybe “best intentions”, but what could you pave with that … ?

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