Monday, July 11, 2016

Fog of War -- Part Three

The protesters came to St. Anthony yesterday and shut down Silver Lake Road, the main north-south thoroughfare through the village. As far as I can tell, things stayed peaceful, although I didn't go near the area, which is 1.4 miles from my house.

Things were far worse in St. Paul on Saturday night, where I-94 got shut down for about five hours and someone was throwing various items from the Dale Street overpass bridge at the cops who were on the expressway. Eventually we got the familiar visuals:

The Fog of War -- or a smoke bomb
Reports from the scene indicate that 21 officers were injured by the flying debris, which included chunks of concrete and rebar.

We are now hearing from the lawyer for Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who shot Philando Castile. He's claiming the presence of Castile's gun was the factor. We've heard that Castile had a carry permit. We've heard a lot of things, frankly. We still don't know what's true.

There's no point in making the same arguments over and over -- it really doesn't matter who is to blame for the current state of affairs, since no one takes responsibility for their own actions. What I worry about now is what happens to St. Anthony. We may learn that the police department deserves all the opprobrium now being heaped upon it. Perhaps the citizens of St. Anthony should have raised alarms before, even though the policing tactics that the SAPD uses are in place in countless other communities. Perhaps the lawyer for Janez is correct. We don't know if the protesters are staying around or if they're going to go home. We don't know if opportunists will blend among the protesters and use the discord to burn and loot, as happened in Ferguson, and Baltimore, and so many other places. We'll find that all out. The war is here.


Bike Bubba said...

You know, for something so atrocious, it's kind of pretty, sad to say.

On the non-warped side of things, it strikes me that we're not hearing a lot of the relevant evidence very quick. Maybe it's discipline, maybe it's fear, I don't know, but I sure don't know what to think. Again, no thanks to those who are making political hay of it.

The Rochester police chief visited the local black Baptist church last week to hopefully keep this kind of thing away from here. I've met one of the guys who preaches there, very active in BLM, huge man physically, and his son greets me by name when he sees me--he's about 10 or so. He comes to my church for AWANA. Great kid, very different culture than what I know, though. So when I talk with his dad--it's been a couple of years I think--I do a lot of listening.

Mr. D said...

I agree — we aren't hearing a lot of information that's useful or that clarifies matters. That's not a bad thing per se; I'd rather any statements from officials are complete and correct.

Speaking of conflicting information, my understanding yesterday was that the crowd in St. Anthony was not affiliated with BLM and that its leadership was warning people to stay away. Apparently at least some of the people at the SAPD were Wobblies. Heck, I didn't realize the Wobblies were still around, but apparently they are. It's the presence of those who are from elsewhere that makes me nervous. The local BLM people can be obnoxious, but they aren't destructive, because they have to live here, too.

Bike Bubba said...

Makes sense in light of the fact that Bernie Sanders got traction, I guess, and in light of the fact that BLM has not routinely injured the police.