December 12, 2017

Justine Damond: Social Justice

Justine and Don Damond
Justine and Don Damond

Barack Obama caused a great deal of damage. Much of that damage is only now becoming apparent, and more will become apparent in the future. It will take many years to reverse the damage, and some may never be reversed; it has become the new normal. The Holder and Lynch Departments of Justice worked tirelessly to hamper the police, to make it impossible to do their jobs. They worked no less tirelessly to immunize criminals, particularly black criminals, from arrest and punishment. The Obama Administration worked on the state and federal levels to all but shutter prisons, to eliminate bail for violent felons, and to impose insane consent decrees on police agencies. It’s little known the DOJ had an office of race hustlers that were sent out to communities like Sanford, Ferguson, Baltimore and others, not to assist law enforcement, but to help BLM, other social justice warriors, and to help organize protests. They provided not only federal funds, but expertise and political arm twisting.

All of the Obamite’s efforts, covert and overt, were interlocked, working for progressive goals, and all have far-reaching, negative consequences for us all. For example, I wrote about the DOJ’s interference in police hiring in Dayton, OH back in 2011 at PJ media:

“Due to dozens of retirements, the Dayton, Ohio, Police Department began a hiring cycle. Using an initial test developed by an outside company to eliminate racial bias, a passing score on one part of the test was set at 66% and a second part was set at 72%. However, despite Dayton’s pressing need for police officers, the DOJ forced Dayton to postpone the hiring process for months, and finally demanded that the passing scores be lowered to 58% and 63%.

Dayton agreed to throw out its internally generated entrance examinations and other procedures objectionable to the DOJ.  The examination used in the most recent round of testing was a result of the consent decree, and was designed — by a company specializing in such matters — to eliminate any possibility of ‘disparate impact’ or race-based discrimination. Yet this exam also failed to provide a quota of African-American applicants suitable to the DOJ, hence the dramatically lowered thresholds and damaging delays.”

Any police agency’s basic eligibility list, post initial testing, does not record those that will be hired. It lists those minimally qualified–in Dayton’s case at 66% and 72%–for additional testing and screening. If the list bears 100 candidates, no responsible police chief wants anything but the top ten or 20 percent. Take the link to see the realities of police hiring.

We are now in a national policing crisis. The Ferguson effect has fully set in, and in many places, particularly Democrat-ruled cities, police officers do as little as possible, do little or no pro-active policing, and do their best to leave black criminals, and the criminals of other progressively favored victim groups, alone. As a result, crime rates skyrocket, murders are weekly, even daily events, the honest and law-abiding are constantly victimized, every police officer that can is fleeing those hell holes, and police recruiting for qualified, competent candidates is nearly impossible. This, in turn, causes police agencies to dramatically lower their requirements for police officers, a problem made far worse in those places already controlled by the DOJ, or Democrat politicians who don’t bother to wait for the DOJ to destroy the ability of the police to do their jobs. Such a place is Minneapolis.

If Minneapolis runs a police department rife with diversity hires, people unqualified for the job in everything but race, religion, nationality or favored victim group status, the Damond case will be likely to expose that folly, and the extraordinary danger it presents. Not that it might make any difference.

Consider this, from Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges:

Hodges gushing about Somalis is embarrassing. While the investigation is not complete, what happened is reasonably clear and easily apprehended. Hodges’ rhetoric about treating Mohamed Noor as every other officer would be treated is welcome, but as I noted in Update 2: Police Panic, Noor is apparently steeped in social justice and political correctness:

“But in this situation he has realized he is probably alone with his legal team and Somali police colleagues.

‘He feels like he is being thrown under the bus and his colleagues are accusing him of not showing proper police conduct on Saturday night.

‘His feeling is ‘I am an immigrant, a Muslim and not white… but that is OK as I know the Somalian community and friends will support me.”

Considering the way Hodges, and likely, high-ranking elements of the MPD have fawned over him because of his race, nationality and faith, his sense of betrayal is probably profound, and understandable. Wouldn’t someone lauded for accidents of birth come to think themself more or less politically invulnerable?

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Like all good social justice warriors, Hodges immediately thinks Joe average white Minnesotan will attack her favored victim groups. She invokes, and warns her fellow citizens against, “racism, zenophobia, and Islamophobia,” and accuses them of holding an entire community–Somalis–“responsible for the actions of one person.” And who, pray tell, is doing that? Where are the mass, whites-only, riots against Somalis?

It’s progressive projection. It is not conservatives, law-abiding Americans, that riot, commit arson, assault and destruction of property. They aren’t the people blocking highways, occupying college offices, demanding special rights and spaces. They’re not screaming racial hate in the streets. They know Mohamed Noor is one man, and don’t much care about his race or faith. Hodges wants the perpetually aggrieved and outraged to report evil Minnesotans. Minnesotans merely want to be assured that when they call the police, they won’t get shot for their trouble.

Hodges is behaving like a standard, central casting progressive mayor, determined to uphold the narrative at all costs, and above all, determined to hide the damage her progressive policies are causing.

Chief Janet Harteau

Interestingly, it appears Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau may not be on the same page as Hodges, as The Star Tribune reports:

[Harteau said:] ‘Justine didn’t have to die. Based on the publicly released information from the BCA, this should not have happened,’ Harteau said. ‘On our squad cars you will find the words ‘To protect with courage and serve with compassion.’ This did not happen.’

“I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers,’ she continued. ‘These were the actions and judgments of one individual.”

This is an extraordinary statement. Harteau has admitted Noor acted without justification. She just hasn’t–yet–put it in those explicit terms. At the least, she has ensured the Damond family will win a civil suit, and win big. Keep in mind Harteau certainly knows everything the BCA knows at the moment. In that, she is better informed that we are, and better able to make such statements with confidence.

Harteau obviously believes Noor is criminally and civilly culpable, and she is distancing the MPD from him as much as possible. Her primary concern, as it should be, seems to be protecting the reputation and integrity of the MPD. She may have her work cut out for her.

“She said she spoke with Damond’s fiancé, Don Damond, who told her he was afraid others would be afraid to call 911.

‘Although disheartening, I understand the fear,’ Harteau said. ‘We will work toward regaining trust; even in Justine’s fiance’s grief, we had a positive conversation on how we can move forward.”

The officer who shot Damond, Mohamed Noor, has refused to speak with the BCA. Harteau said she wishes he would, because “there are questions that need to be answered and he is the only one that has those answers.”

At first glance, one might think Harteau is defending Noor’s performance in training:

“She also defended Noor’s training, saying he ‘absolutely’ performed well.

‘I have been told by his training officers there was no indication there would be any issues,’ she said. ‘He did well in his training; his training was not extended.”

Harteau did not, however, speak to the three open disciplinary investigations pending against Noor, and her statements leave room for new revelations.

Minneapolis citizens, at a recent protest, also expressed their concerns:

Speakers like Sarah Kuhnen, also a near neighbour, spoke passionately; admitting to what they now felt was a white person’s false sense of security in dealing with the police.

‘I felt completely safe living here for 28 years, but today I stand before you feeling scared – I don’t feel safe in my neighbourhood any more. I’ve never had to worry about my safety in calling the police – but that’s a luxury that people of colour don’t have.

‘Who do I call when I need help – the police?’

The crowd cried out: ‘No!’

An Australian flag was displayed:

The woman with the Aussie standard was Rochelle Gifford, who lives near the Damond household. She said her Perth-born husband had allowed her to borrow his precious flag because of the seriousness of the occasion.

‘This is happening in my back yard,’ she said of the shooting. ‘It could have been my 18-year-old daughter coming back from the movies; or me returning from shopping. I called the police recently about a stolen bicycle – should I be scared now?”

FINAL THOUGHTS:

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In Minneapolis, and elsewhere, the fondest hopes of the Obamites have come to fruition. Police agencies are ignoring criminals, and hiring people they would never have previously considered. Many Americans, reasonably or not, don’t trust the police, and the police are in disarray. Whether the ultimate goal of a police agency unable to enforce the law and unable to recruit competent officers is the status quo in Minneapolis has yet to be determined.

The local prosecutor, Mike Freeman, has reportedly said he will make a charging decision himself, without recourse to a grand jury. This is the way most charging decisions are made in America, and grand juries are often used as political cover rather than as a legal necessity. Considering only what is currently known, will Noor face charges?

If one credits Mayor Hodges, it’s unlikely. Hodges and her cronies no doubt think their fellow Minnesotans racists, and will do all she can to protect those she thinks beset by those white-privileged Islamophobes. Noor’s race, nationality and faith, the touchstones of social justice, may be proof against the rule of law. It’s tragic to have to consider this in America, circa 2017, but Damond’s race may yet make her life of less value than the races of progressively favored victim groups. That is, of course, social justice.

However, Police Chief Harteau’s statements may suggest the rule of law will prevail. It will almost certainly prevail in any civil action brought against Noor and the City. If the City protects Noor against criminal charges, it will also be in the uncomfortable position of having to protect him against civil liability, but what the hell? It’s just other people’s money. Socialists/progressives always run out of other people’s money, but in Minneapolis, not just yet.

Again, we don’t know all the facts in this case. It is possible there are unknown factors that could justify Noor’s actions. It is, however, difficult indeed to imagine what those could possibly be.

There seems little doubt Noor killed Damond without justification. His actions seem inherently unreasonable. Did he do so out of blind panic? Was he an officer otherwise qualified who, for whatever reason, suddenly and unexpectedly, in a manner that could not have been reasonably foreseen, snapped and killed an innocent woman? Was he a man manifestly unfit for the job, but given it anyway to fulfill the progressive narrative of the wonders of diversity?

We’ll continue to seek those answers.