Thursday, June 30, 2016

You think you know...

There's a line somewhere in the Police Administrator manual about responding to all video evidence of abusive behavior with some version of, "#Actually that is entirely appropriate."
Col. Mike Edmonson, the State Police superintendent, said Tuesday that the trooper’s use of force was justified under the circumstances. He said the cellphone video showed that Hoffman was “belligerent” and was resisting arrest.
Anyone who watches the video is probably inclined to respond, well, no, he's not belligerent so much as he's just drunk and stupid.  Whatever the case, it's clearly the trooper who escalates the confrontation into an act of theatrical violence.  But, according to Edmonson, we aren't qualified to pass judgement on the things we see with our eyes.

This sort of thing also happens after mass shootings. Gun lobbyists and enthusiasts leap in to counter calls for tighter regulations with lectures about how #actually, aggrieved victims aren't technically qualified to discuss what is or isn't an "assault rifle."

Only gun lobbyists are qualified to talk about guns. Only police are qualifies to talk about police brutality. Only the coach is qualified to talk about the pass rush. And so on. 

For example, we may have observed, that the State Troopers seem to be spending most of their time in New Orleans writing brake tag tickets and beating people up in the French Quarter. But Mitch Landrieu absolutely loves having them here and keeps begging them to stay.  And he's the expert so we'd better listen to him.

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