Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rick Perry backs #BlackLivesMatter, and other stories

A few odds and ends related to police accountability:

Rick Perry: Why conservatives should embrace Black Lives Matter
Go read Rick Perry's remarkable speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council in Indianapolis. (The missus was in Indianapolis and texted me to say it was amazing, and remarkably well received before an overwhelmingly conservative crowd.) National Review had earlier urged a more cautious collaboration between conservatives and BLM. Perry would go farther.

This confirms Grits' sense that there's more conservative Republican support for the Black Lives Matter policy agenda, which is ambitious and excellent, than has evinced itself so far. This could be a turning point, if the movement is capable of capitalizing.

'Is Black Lives Matter blowing it?"
On that score, CNN producer John Blake wrote a column titled "Is Black Lives Matter blowing it?" that's worth reading. He made several points reminiscent of this Grits post last week which declared that, "I'm fearful BLM may blow this rare and precious opportunity." Our critiques differ in certain nuances, however. For my part, I'm not at all looking for "reassuring language," as Blake suggested white people want. Rather, I want to make sure (at least big chunks of) their policy agenda actually passes.

Rethinking use of force precedents
There was a piece in the Guardian suggesting bad Supreme Court precedents which should be overturned to reduce excessive police violence. I agree, though it should be mentioned that some of this could also be addressed much sooner by Congress or via state legislatures.

Police unions v. gun activists
The Texas Tribune's Johnathan Silver had a story on police unions' agenda in the wake of the Dallas shootings. Amazingly, their big push wasn't against BLM but against the open carry crowd, setting themselves up opposite grassroots conservatives. Grab the popcorn, this should be good.

Studying use of force trends
A late addition to Grits' summer reading list, here's a new study from the Center for Policing Equity titled "The Science of Justice: Race, arrests, and police use of force." See the New York Times coverage. Researchers find disproportionate application of force to black people when you control for arrests and arrests on violent offense charges.
The report ... by the Center for Policing Equity, a New York-based think tank, took three years to assemble and largely refutes explanations from some police officials that blacks are more likely to be subjected to police force because they are more frequently involved in criminal activity.


Anonymous said...


The real issue or problem is that police kill innocent people and are never prosecuted for their crimes.
blm are leftist parisites financed by the leftist George Soros.

Anonymous said...

Democrats are already embracing the BLM Movement. And they've taken a beating by republicans and police unions alike. But the fact is police must accept comprehensive reform. It can happen with their input, or without, but it will happen. Cameras, both those held by private citizens and those police are being forced to wear, have been the game changer, and they're only going to proliferate as more and more cops are required to use them and more citizens choose to record interactions.

Like the civil rights movement of the 1960's, change is a coming.

Democrats have chosen to be on the right side of history while republicans have mostly chosen to back the killer cops regardless of the evidence.

Should Trump find his way into the White House, look for him to "restore law and order" instead of calling for a truce and initiating police reforms. And when he gives his approving nod to the killer cops, look for more Micah Johnsons, Eric Freins, etc.

Anonymous said...


Nice try. Campaignzero is not the policy of BLM even though it is the work of some associated with BLM. Look at the BLM website. It is a radical leftist political movement whose sole purpose is to divide Americans along racial lines. If campaignzero were actually BLM's policy, it would be a more palatable organization to this conservative. I think BLM had its moment to be something better but it has been co-opted by radicals and should be condemned as we conservatives condemn hate groups like the kkk. Campaign Zero on the other hand has some sober policy improvements.

Personally, for me, reforms of police organizations must begin with increased transparency brought about by open records reform. We still don't really know how many irrational shootings actually occur because the faulty shootings are systematically covered up especially in Texas. Once we gain true transparency, we can see better what needs to be reformed be it policy or people or organizations. At the end of the day, any reform that maintains the existing power structure which is derived from police organizations not having to answer to citizens (through law enforcement exemptions in open records law) will never alter the underlying dynamics leading to improper police shootings. Throw any other policy improvement on the table and if you don't fix the transparency problem, we will always have controversial shootings with zero accountability.

Anonymous said...

There should be standards in how police shootings are investigated. Today, every investigator can run an investigation however they want. The simplest reform is to simply create a form that requires investigators to capture fundamental facts in each case. One example is a simple catalogue of audio and video evidence in the case. Police organizations still disappear key records when convenience calls.

Anonymous said...

While it's true that police are shooting unarmed black men at a higher rate than other races in this country, it's also true that the police are killing anyone else who gets in their line of fire, so to me the issue is less about black or white as it is about BLUE. The biggest issue is that too many police officers think that the laws don't apply to them and the courts affirm that belief when they fail to properly investigate and prosecute bad cops committing crimes. I think anyone who plans to go into the field of law enforcement should keep in mind that they are signing up to PROTECT and SERVE the people, not themselves.

Anonymous said...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

2:04 wrote: "Campaignzero is not the policy of BLM" ... and war is peace, day is night ...

Of course it is! Just because you want to pretend the movement is aimless doesn't mean that's the truth. And comparing BLM to the KKK is ridiculous, utterly ahistorical, and discredits the rest of your comments. Try for a little less hyperbole. There are no BLM lynch mobs.

If one defined conservatism by the most outlandish comments of its most extreme adherents, it would look awfully flaky, too. but that doesn't discredit conservatism as a whole as a philosophy.

I agree BLM has done a poor job of staying on message regarding Campaign Zero. But I think the reasons for that are structural.

Finally, I'm with you on transparency, but then, so is Campaign Zero. They're pushing other useful reforms that IMO you should get behind, too, as Gov. Perry has done.

Anonymous said...

2:04 back

As you probably know by now BLM released their actual policy agenda today:

That proves campaign zero is not the BLM agenda. You owe me an apology.

Anonymous said...

Focusing just on Texas for the moment, how many federal inquiries into police shootings during the last five years have found contrary findings to the local investigation? I know that the feds have looked into shootings in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin, a number of times but according to Congresswoman Lee and others, these investigations have not yielded any contrary findings or federal charges. Are the feds applying a harder standard to other parts of the country or is something else going on?

Anonymous said...


Feds typically investigate organizations not individual incidents. If you want to see what happens when Feds take on a specific incident, learn all you can about the Milton Hall case starting with DoJ's pathetic justification for not prosecuting officers (from a department that lost a civil lawsuit over the matter):

These crazy Feds are saying that to prosecute cops in faulty shootings, the statue says the officer must understand they are violating the exact statute at the time the incident occurs. Kinda like saying you can't willfully drive across Texas unless you have the state county map firmly in mind.

Anonymous said...

More on prosecuting under section 242:

Anonymous said...

Federal jurisdiction is split all across the country. I'm not sure of the different jurisdictions nor even how many there are. But in some jurisdictions the feds will prosecute a cop same as they would you or me. Take Washington state for example, the feds there have prosecuted and sent dozens of cops to prison. Here, well, as most are aware they are a joke. I've been told it's because of inbreeding between those who work for the FBI and the Justice Department who have family members in the Harris County District Attorney's office and HPD. It's similar in a lot of places as you have "law enforcement families" who may have several family members who are police officers, then a cousin who is a prosecutor, and an uncle who is a judge.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@2:04/2:29, that was a collection of 60 groups issuing a wishlist agenda from a conference last year. You have proven nothing.

Anonymous said...


2:04 back again

I think your heart is in the right place regarding Black Lives Matter but there's no benefit from muddying the waters. The BLM movement has set for itself much bigger fish to fry than simply reducing improper use of force among the nation's police. Deray Mckesson is associated with both organizations but he isn't the leader of either. Actually calling BLM an organization goes against their founding principles somewhat. Read the wikipedia article about them. Compare that to Campaign Zero. Only the media & you are claiming Campaign Zero is the BLM policy. I'm not saying BLM doesn't support the principles found within CZ, I'm simply saying don't equate the two. You don't have to be in BLM to support CZ and you don't have to support CZ to be in BLM. BLM should rightly be labeled a radical political group by their own insistence. Here:

Perhaps what we both share on this matter is a disappointment that BLM can't be a better vehicle to support law enforcement reform and criminal justice reform. Campaign Zero is a group with no brand but with a pretty good set of policies. But lets not insult the BLM movement by equating it with their policy. The BLM policy is spelled out on their own website and now includes the policy they signed onto with 60 other organizations but published on a separate website. Campaign Zero is an afterthought to what BLM is attempting to become. There isn't a single hyperlink from the BLM website to the CZ website.

From my perspective, BLM is sad because I'd like to see some reforms around officer involved shootings but all we will get from BLM is watered down messaging...because the messaging must include all of the radical political baggage along with it. That's not to say BLM won't achieve something--we're just not sure yet what that might be. Personally, I don't think they will achieve anything useful because they aren't focused. If I were advising BLM, I would urge them to release a clear statement indicating that CZ is their police reform policy and every time there is another controversial shooting, BLM should point to CZ. But that's not going to happen. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Police-law enforcement
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism

Anonymous said...

Pandering to the child who throws a temper tantrum does not correct the child but further weakens the relationship with and future of the
child...same goes for the blm HATE GROUP. Rioting, burning, looting, enciting riots and calling for the murder of Leo's shoyld not be rewarded by addressing them as a valid social organization. They are bullies. Period. Those cops didnt go hunting blsck folks to kill. But blacks are hunting cops. Everytime u reward their behavior u condone it. Why not leave out the color of those who died in altercstions with law enforcement? Instead of white cop shoots black suspect, why not cop shoots suspect? U do nothing but perpetuate the bs by adding theatrics and emotion stirring to any situation. And in case u arent sure, im digusted by blm for using the word black rather tham advocating for all is racist and biased- only blscks shouldnt be shot? Cops shouldnt be either, or hispanics, or whites, or anyone else...'cept maybe muzzies (sorry). Suppporting blm and attacking police ? Each situation is worthy. Of being looked at as just that, not bc of the color. Of those involved