Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a surgical procedure for coronary blockage at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Wednesday morning.
Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours, according to a Supreme Court news release.
The 81-year-old justice was admitted to the hospital Tuesday night after experiencing discomfort during routine exercise, the court announced. She underwent a procedure to place a stent in her right coronary artery.
Ginsburg, appointed to the bench in 1993, is expected to be back on the bench for oral arguments in pending cases next week, Bloomberg News reported.
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson resigns, Qatar frees an imprisoned American couple, and more.
1. Darren Wilson resigns from Ferguson Police Department
Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department. A grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, prompting a week of protests in Ferguson and around the country. Wilson, who had served on the force for six years, said he was stepping down because the police had received violent threats about his employment. “I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
2. Qatar releases U.S. couple accused of starving adopted daughter
A Qatari appeals court on Sunday reversed a ruling against an American couple who had been held for two years in the death of their adopted African daughter. Matthew and Grace Huang were arrested in January 2013 and, last March, sentenced to three years in prison for child endangerment. The prosecution alleged the Huangs killed their 8-year-old daughter, Gloria, by denying her food. The Huangs argued Gloria had an eating disorder, and an appellate judge ruled they’d “offered plenty of proof” they were innocent. [The New York Times, The Associated Press]
3. Ray Rice’s wife accuses the NFL of lying
Janay Rice says the NFL lied about what her husband, running back Ray Rice, told the league about the couple’s fight that ended with him knocking her unconscious in an elevator. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell increased Rice’s original two-game suspension to an indefinite ban after security camera footage emerged of the knockout blow, claiming the video contradicted Rice’s initial account of the incident. “I can’t say he’s telling the truth,” Janay told NBC of Goodell’s account. “I know for a fact that Ray told the honest truth.” [NBC]
4. Sony investigating possible North Korean cyberattack
Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating the scope of a hack that may be related to a forthcoming comedy mocking North Korea. A hacker group calling itself “#GOP,” or “The Guardians of the Peace” on Monday infiltrated Sony accounts and claimed to pilfer personal information about executives and celebrities, forcing the company to pull some systems offline. Sony will next month release The Interview, a comedy in which the CIA recruits two bumbling Americans to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. [The New York Times]
5. Pope Francis calls for ‘appropriate response’ to ISIS
Pope Francis on Sunday urged the international community to head off ISIS and prevent the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. “The terrible situation of Christians and all those who are suffering in the Middle East calls not only for our constant prayer but also for an appropriate response,” Francis said in a joint statement with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The statement came as Pope Francis wrapped up his first visit to Turkey. [The Associated Press]
6. Idina Menzel confirms ‘Frozen’ sequel
Idina Menzel, the star of Disney’s massively popular animated film Frozen, says a sequel is “in the works.” The Broadway star who voiced Elsa in the hit movie and sang its ubiquitous anthem, Let it Go, told The Telegraph she expects to participate in the follow-up film. “I’m just going along for the ride,” she said. [The Telegraph]
7. Parents charged with abuse after missing boy found alive
A 13-year-old Georgia boy who had been missing for four years was found alive Saturday, hidden behind a false wall in his father’s home. The boy’s father and stepmother were charged with false imprisonment and cruelty to children. They are scheduled to appear in court Sunday. [NBC]
8. Hong Kong protesters clash with police
Hundreds of protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday overran a main road and sought to surround the government headquarters, prompting police to unleash pepper spray on the crowd. The skirmish came after a weekend of increased protests led to dozens of arrests. For two months, protesters have packed the streets calling for China to drop restrictions on elections to pick Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017. [Reuters]
9. Swiss voters reject immigration restrictions
Voters in Switzerland on Sunday resoundingly rejected a proposal to curtail immigration from about 80,000 people per year to 16,000. With most of the vote counted, projections showed that roughly three-fourths of voters cast ballots against the proposal. Nearly a quarter of Switzerland’s residents are foreign immigrants. [BBC]
10. Mark Strand, former poet laureate, dies at 80
Mark Strand, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. poet laureate, died Saturday in Brooklyn of a rare form of cancer. He was 80 years old. The Canadian-born Strand was named the U.S. poet laureate in 1990, and in 1999 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection Blizzard of One. [The New York Times]
Meet The Press: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Sen.-Elect Tom Cotton (R-AK); Others TBD.Face The Nation: Sen.-Elect Thom Tillis (R-NC); Sen.-Elect Gary Peters (D-MI); Brown Family Attorney Benjamin Crump; Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic); Lehigh University Prof. Dr. James Peterson; Roundtable: John Heilemann (Bloomberg Politics), Michael Crowley (Politico) and Nancy Cordes (CBS News).
This Week: St. Louis Alderman Antonio French (D); Former NYC Police CommissionerRay Kelly; Jelani Cobb (The New Yorker); Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal) and Cokie Roberts (ABC News).
Fox News Sunday: Darren Wilson’s Attorney Neil Bruntrager; Brown Family AttorneyDaryl Parks; Marc Morial (National Urban League); Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani(9/11); Roundtable: Kimberley Strassel (Wall Street Journal), Julie Pace (Associated Press), Robert Costa (Washington Post) and Bob Woodward (Washington Post).
State of the Union: Director of the Federal Aviation Administration Michael Huerta; Former NYC Police Commissioner/Convicted Felon Bernard Kerik; Malik Aziz (National Black Police Association); Thomas Manger (Police Executive Research Forum); Detroit Police Chief James Craig; Roundtable: Presidential Historians Richard Norton Smith &Douglas Brinkley, Karen Tumulty (Washington Post) and Peter Baker (New York Times).
60 Minutes will feature: a report on the U.N. World Food Programme, which has undertaken the task of feeding Syrian refugees (preview); a report on the hacking of credit card info, which leads to billions of dollars in fraudulent charges annually (preview); and, a profile of a former lion park staffer who saved 26 lions (preview).
In a somewhat odd press conference, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney, Robert McCulloch, announced to the world that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Ferguson, Missouri — the city at the epicenter of this case, would now see its day in hell. Despite pleas from President Obama, Rev. Jesse Jackson and the parents of Michael Brown, nothing seemed to curtail the violence and chaos that quickly consumed Ferguson.
Businesses in Ferguson were torched, cars were flipped and windows were smashed. Protests spread throughout the nation with major cities seeing hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people gathered to protest the Ferguson grand jury decision. But what is the end game and what exactly are they protesting? Scanning my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I see a plethora of reasons pop up. Some are decrying the decision by the grand jury not to indict the police officer. Others are angry at the authorities. Some are blaming the government, but many of the messages and tweets are aimed at Officer Wilson… And In there lies the problem.
Protesters are using the wrong format to get their message across and have misplaced their anger. Sadly, it will probably eventually backfire or worse, fade from our memories.
What happened in Ferguson, back on August 9th of this year, is a microcosm of what’s happening every day in America today. Accusations and documentation of police brutality is on the rise. More and more videos are emerging across social media showing police acting unprofessional, out of line, or using illegal or unnecessary use of force. Police are upgrading their equipment coffers, with many departments opting for military grade upgrades. I have been in the U.S. Army for eight years as a Military Police Officer and was deployed to Afghanistan briefly in 2008. I saw more order, restraint and checks and balances while overseas than I have with the police departments here in the States. Police abuses of power have only become more noticeable because technology and social media have made it extremely easy to share information instantly and on a global scale. Recent stories that have captured headlines range anywhere from individuals dying from a police choke hold, a young boy being being killed for brandishing a toy gun, or individuals being illegally imprisoned with trumped up or false charges. Though not all police departments are corrupt or abusing their power, and many good and honest cops serve and protect the American people, to say that police brutality is a minor issue would be completely ignorant and false.
Still, what’s happening in Ferguson isn’t a protest against police brutality — it’s individuals who are being unruly and engaging in criminal activity. These perpetrators are bent on causing chaos and unrest. Burning down businesses, torching the American Flag, turning over cars, and crippling your city are not ways to protest a flawed system. There are many people in Ferguson and around the country that wish to protest peacefully, yet the actions of these rioters, which have run rampant in this St. Louis suburb, are ruining what could have been a defining moment in the fight against the abuses of police power.
Real change will not come from rioting or even protesting — that’s an apocryphal idea. Civil unrest, on this scale in America, will eventually turn much of the population against the instigators. Everybody still has lives to live and jobs to do. When our lives become complicated or difficult, we attempt to find the source and eliminate the problem. Unless progressive actions are taken — such as new laws proposed, becoming part of the system in an attempt to fix it, referendums, effective community outreaches, grass root efforts or using our constitutional right to vote, nothing major will come of this.
If thousands of people can close bridges and tunnels while protesting in New York City, if thousands more can halt highway traffic in California and Chicago, if over 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada can stage rallies and get people involved, imagine what we could collectively do if we used the power of the pen and not the sword. Yes, Americans are angry at this situation. I am angry — but anger itself only gets us so far.
Police brutality and their abuses of power in America has aggrandized to proportions never before seen. If police are supposed to protect us, who is supposed to protect us from the police? Despite all this conundrum, we CAN have a better life and make a better future if we aim our resources, voices and votes in the the right direction. At the end of the day, we must do better than just say we are “angry”, we must act intelligently and decisively — because holding a banner over our heads while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask yelling, “F**k the Police!”, will not bring about lasting change.
On Wednesday’s Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell highlighted a chilling fact about the Ferguson grand jury proceedings:
“With prosecutors like this, Darren Wilson never really needed a defense lawyer.”
O’Donnell found a glaring problem with instructions the grand jury was given directly before Officer Darren Wilson testified. Jurors were instructed to base their decisions on an outdated law that was ruled unconstitutional decades ago.
“I’m going to pass out to you all, you are all going to receive a copy of a statute, It is section 563.046, and it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest, And it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible and when in making an arrest by a police officer,” Assistant District Attorney Kathy Alizadeh told jurors as she handed them a copy of a 1979 Missouri law that, O’Donnell points out, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985 before Alizadeh’s legal career began and before Officer Wilson was even born. O’Donnell went on to say:
“But it was helpful to officer Darren Wilson that the Assistant District Attorney handed the jury an old, unconstitutional law which said incorrectly that it is legal to shoot fleeing suspects simply because they are fleeing. By handing the Grand Jury that unconstitutional Law the Assistant District Attorney dramatically lowered the standard by which Darren Wilson could be judged.”
“She was telling the Grand Jury with that document that Darren Wilson had the Right, the legal Right to shoot and kill Michael Brown as soon as Michael Brown started running away from him,” “She was telling the grand jury that Darren Wilson didn’t have to feel his life threatened at all by Michael Brown. She was taking the hurdle that Darren Wilson had to get over in his testimony and flattening it. She was making it impossible for Darren Wilson to fail in front of this grand jury.”
The portion of the law that was ruled unconstitutional says that an officer is “justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.”
“That was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1985. It was legal to shoot and kill fleeing suspects in most states until the Supreme Court made it illegal in 1985 — and everyone in law enforcement knows that. Everyone except the two assistant district attorneys who were presenting the evidence in one of the most important cases of police use of deadly force in this country since 1985.”
“There is nothing more helpful the Assistant District Attorney could have done for Officer Darren Wilson right before his testimony than show that incorrect, outdated, unconstitutional law to the grand jury,” he said, noting that jurors heard Wilson speak with the belief that everything he did was legal the moment Brown’s feet began moving. O’Donnell continued:
“The District Attorney’s office allowed the grand jurors to travel back in time to the good old days of American law enforcement when the cops could shoot people for running away. Before Darren Wilson was born, that’s how far back in time they went. The assistant district attorneys did that by using the old, unconstitutional law as the window through which the grand jurors would evaluate Wilson’s conduct.”
Some will defend this devastatingly ignorant “mistake,” but O’Donnell pointed out that no correction was issued just as the jury was to consider what charges. if any, they would vote for. It was only then that jurors were told the actual law in a manner that seems designed only to further deceive them.
More than two months after jurors were told to take a trip back to 1984 when an officer could execute a teenager in the street simply for fleeing, Alizadeh told jurors that the majority of their considerations were based upon a lie. She told jurors:
“Previously in the very beginning of this process I printed out a statute for you that was, the statute in Missouri for the use of force to affect an arrest. So if you all want to get those out. What we have discovered and we have been going along with this, doing our research, is that the statute in the state of Missouri does not comply with the case law.”
“And so the statute for the use of force to affect an arrest in the state of Missouri does not comply with Missouri supreme, I’m sorry, United States supreme court cases,” Alizadeh added. “So the statue I gave you, if you want to fold that in half just so that you know don’t necessarily rely on that because there is a portion of that that doesn’t comply with the law.”
The assistant district attorney then handed jurors something from this century. Alizadeh said:
“That does correctly state what the law is on when an officer can use force and when he can use Deadly Force in affecting an arrest, okay. I don’t want you to get confused and don’t rely on that copy or that print-out of the statute that I’ve given you a long time ago. It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that’s not correct, ignore it totally.”
When one juror asked if “federal court overrides Missouri statutes,” O’Donnell says that she ignored a simple, clear, one-word answer, “yes.”
“That is why we no longer have segregated schools in this country. The Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional and illegal to have segregated schools,” he said. “And that is the only reason states like Mississippi and Alabama and Arkansas and, yes, Missouri, no longer have segregated schools.”
O’Donnell explained that Alizadeh “couldn’t bring herself” to say yes. “Instead,” he told his audience, “she actually said ‘Just don’t worry about that.’” Assistant prosecutor Whirley added that, “We don’t want to get into a law class.”
O’Donnell went on to say:
“But that is not the worst, most unprofessional aspect of ADA Kathy Alizadeh’s presentation to the Grand Jury about this law. The very worst part of it is that she never, ever explained to the Grand Jury what was incorrect about the unconstitutional statute that she had given them and left with them as one of their official papers for weeks and weeks and weeks.”
“You will not find another legal proceeding in which jurors and Grand jurors are simply handed a law, and then weeks later handed a correction to that law; and then the Grand jurors are simply left to figure out the difference in the laws by themselves. Thatisactually something youwoulddo in a law class,” O’Donnell said. “Figure it out by yourself.”
An Egyptian court dismisses charges against Hosni Mubarak, a U.N. report criticizes the U.S. on its torture and human rights actions, and more
1. Egyptian court dismisses charges against former President Hosni Mubarak
For the first time since the 2011 Egyptian uprising that removed him from power, former President Hosni Mubarak could soon be released from military detention. Chief judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi read an Egyptian court’s verdict on Saturday, dismissing charges of corruption and murder for directing police to kill hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators in 2011. While Mubarak, 86, was sentenced in May to three years in prison in a separate corruption case, he has already been held in a military hospital for several years, which may offset that sentencing. [The New York Times]
2. U.N. report criticizes U.S. on torture, human rights actions
The United Nations Committee Against Torture released a new report on Friday, criticizing the United States for its handling of a variety of issues, from counter-terrorism methods to immigration policies to sexual assault in the military. The report specifically criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, and stated that the federal government must do more to limit excessive police force. [NBC News]
3. Police, protesters clash on Hong Kong streets
Thousands of pro-democracy activists clashed with Hong Kong police early on Saturday, a set-back for a city that has been on edge during three months of protests. The activists aimed to re-take one of their largest protest sites in Hong Kong, chanting for “real, full democracy” as they moved barricades back into place. Police reportedly began the standoff with restraint, but witnesses said they then charged the crowds, releasing pepper spray and wrestling activists to the ground. [Reuters]
4. France considers recognizing a Palestinian state
France’s Socialist Party initiated a motion on Friday that would recognize a Palestinian state, and after lawmakers debated the move, the motion is expected to pass a Tuesday vote in Parliament’s lower house. While the move would be symbolic, it follows other European nations in the wake of growing criticism of Israel and its policies toward Gaza. [The New York Times]
5. Judge lifts Ray Rice’s NFL suspension
A judge on Friday lifted Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL, which the league instituted following a video that went public and showed the then-Baltimore Raven beating his wife in an elevator. The NFL players’ union said Rice won his appeal claiming the NFL had overstepped its authority, and U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones had “vacated immediately” the suspension. Rice is now eligible to sign with another NFL team. [CBS News]
6. Britain’s David Cameron outlines immigration reform proposals
British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke on Friday about his plans for “reasonable” curbs on welfare benefits for immigrants to the United Kingdom. Whether the European Union allows the UK to lower the number of allowed immigrants into the country each year is a key issue in whether Cameron will campaign for his country to remain in the EU in a 2017 planned referendum, he said. [BBC News]
7. Taiwanese PM resigns following ruling party’s election losses
Saying he took “political responsibility,” Taiwanese Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah announced his resignation on Saturday, after the ruling Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party suffered landslide losses across elections for municipality, county, township, and village seats, including longtime strongholds in both Taipei and Taichung. The votes against President Ma Ying-jeou’s party suggest the Nationalists may struggle to maintain control of the presidency in 2016. [Al Jazeera English]
8. WHO: Male Ebola survivors should abstain from sex for three months
The World Health Organization released a statement on Friday recommending that men who have recovered from the Ebola virus abstain from sex for three months. While no cases of Ebola infection involving sexual transmission have been recorded, the virus has been detected in seminal fluid up to three months after a patient recovers from the virus. Nearly 16,000 people have been infected by the Ebola virus in the current West Africa outbreak, and there is not yet a cure or vaccine. [Reuters]
9. Judge orders Uber to stop operating in Nevada
A Nevada district court judge ordered ride-sharing company Uber to cease operating in the state this week, citing public safety issues. Uber began operating in Nevada on Oct. 24, but Nevada Taxicab Authority officials, along with officials from the Nevada Transportation Authority, immediately protested, saying Uber drivers are illegal carriers. The company has said it will return when it finds a “clear path to operating legally in the state.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
10. Legendary puppeteer Bob Baker dies at age 90
Bob Baker, who founded one of America’s oldest puppet theaters, died on Friday from kidney failure in his Los Angeles home. Baker worked for Walt Disney before beginning his own theater company with Alton Wood. He developed marionette work for more than 250 films, including “GI Blues,” and “Escape from Witch Mountain.” He continued performing with marionettes until he was 86 years old. [The Associated Press]
Supreme Court justice and pop culture icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg left the hospital yesterday after having a heart stent implanted and expects to be back at work Monday. Despite various health issues over the years, Ginsburg insists that she is still of sound body at age 81 (her mind isn’t in question) and has no plans to retire before the end of President Obama’s term to ensure a Democratic replacement. If she keeps to that pledge, and presuming there are no other retirements in the next two years, the makeup of the Supreme Court could be a bigger campaign issue in 2016 than ever before. It certainly ought to be.
Ordinarily, the Supreme Court is brought up almost as an afterthought in presidential campaigns. The potential for a swing in the court is used to motivate activists to volunteer and work hard, and the candidates usually have to answer a debate question or two about it, which they do in utterly predictable ways (“I’m just going to look for the best person for the job”). We don’t usually spend a great deal of time talking about what a change in the court is likely to mean. But the next president is highly likely to have the chance to engineer a swing in the court. The consequences for Americans’ lives will probably be more consequential and far-reaching than any other issue the candidates will be arguing about.
As much as we’ve debated Supreme Court cases in recent years, we haven’t given much attention to the idea of a shift in the court’s ideology because for so long the court has been essentially the same: divided 5-4, with conservatives having the advantage yet liberals winning the occasional significant victory when a swing justice moves to their side. And though a couple of recent confirmations have sparked controversy (Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor were both the target of failed attempts to derail their nominations), all of the retirements in the last three presidencies were of justices from the same general ideology as the sitting president. The last time a new justice was radically different from the outgoing one was when Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall — 23 years ago.
Whether a Democrat or a Republican wins in 2016, he or she may well have the chance to shift the court’s ideological balance. Ginsburg is the oldest justice at 81; Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy are both 78, and Stephen Breyer is 76. If the right person is elected and the right justice retires, it could be an earthquake.
Consider this scenario: Hillary Clinton becomes president in 2017, and sometime later one of the conservative justices retires. Now there would be a liberal majority on the court, a complete transformation in its balance. A court that now consistently favors those with power, whether corporations or the government, would become much more likely to rule in favor of workers, criminal defendants and those with civil rights claims. Or alternately: The Republican nominee wins, and one of the liberal justices retires. With conservatives in control not by 5-4 but 6-3, there would be a cascade of even more conservative decisions. The overturning of Roe v. Wade would be just the beginning.
Look at what the Supreme Court has done recently. It gutted the Voting Rights Act, said that corporations could have religious beliefs, simultaneously upheld and hobbled the Affordable Care Act, struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act and moved toward legalizing same-sex marriage, all but outlawed affirmative action, gave corporations and wealthy individuals the ability to dominate elections and created an individual right to own guns — and that’s just in the last few years.
Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, there is probably no single issue you ought to be more concerned about in the 2016 campaign than what the court will look like after the next president gets the opportunity to make an appointment or two. The implications are enormous. It’s not too early to start considering them.
The officers believed that the 12-year-old Rice was a “black male” who appeared “about 20.”
The family is outspoken in their belief that their son’s death was avoidable, had the police officers acted appropriately. The U.S. Justice Department has an ongoing investigation into the Cleveland Police “over allegations of excessive and unreasonable deadly force.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been having the time of his life this week feeling relevant and commenting on the tumultuous events in Ferguson, Missouri. The fact that he has no actual knowledge of the details of the case has in no way cowed the former prosecutor and right-wing lout from speaking out about what it is he thinks black people really need.
Put succinctly, on Sunday, he said they need white people to control them. Particularly, white police officers. The day before the devastating news that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing unarmed teen Michael Brown last August, Giuliani explained that black people need white cops so black people won’t kill each other. Then, a day after the official news that there would be no indictment, Giuliani said he’d prosecute witnesses whose stories contradict Wilson’s account, the details of which make no sense.
Giuliani’s week of fanning the racist flames started on “Meet the Press,” where he was asked to discuss Ferguson and the systemic problem of disproportionately white police forces policing black communities. Ferguson is hardly the only example of a place where the police seem more like an occupying force than an entity serving the community. Just this week, white Cleveland police officers gunned down a 12-year-old African-American child boy a toy gun within seconds of arriving on the scene. Fresh video of the incident seems to show that there was no attempt to talk or disarm the boy of his toy. But Giuliani did not want to talk about this, or Eric Garner, the African-American father from Staten Island who died as a result of being placed in a chokehold, or any of the other incidents in a depressing litany of police overreaction and deadly brutality against black people. He’d rather talk, in a familiar ploy of right-wingers, racists and white supremacists, about black-on-black crime. Here are the lowlights of Giuliani’s oh-so-chatty week.
1. Never mind unaccountable police violence. Can we just get back to black-on-black crime, and why black people need white police officers to control them?
Chuck Todd thought he was doing a segment on the problem of police/community relations. But Giuliani quickly hijacked the conversation to criticize black people, and white people who refuse to criticize black people. “The fact is,” he said, “I find it very disappointing that you’re not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here.”
He tried to keep talking and deprive fellow guest, Georgetown professor Eric Dyson, whom he suspected might not agree with him, of any airtime. Chuck Todd also tried to make Dyson wait his turn. But it was clear he was not going to get a turn, and he wisely cut off Giuliani’s obfuscating diatribe.
“Can I say this, first of all, no black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law,” Dyson said. “So in both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions that are deeply embedded in American culture.”
Giuliani kept shouting about the need for white police officers to keep black people from killing one another.
“Police officers wouldn’t have to be there if you weren’t killing each other,” Giuliani said.
The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote the definitive smackdown of the black-on-black crime canard in a piece called “The Gospel of Rudy Giuliani,” at TheAtlantic.com.
“Yes. It’s almost as if killers tend to murder people who live near them. Moreover, it seems that people actually hold officers operating under the color of law to a different standard. This is an incredible set of insights, which taken together offer a revelation so profound, so far-reaching, that it must not be wasted on our shiftless minority populations. The Gospel of Rudy Giuliani must sally forth across the land and challenge a culture that accepts neighborly violence and differing standards of death.”
It is just so tired, so old and so racist. But for Giuliani and his ilk, it never gets old.
Or as Dyson said, but Giuliani did not hear, “This is a defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind.”
2. How come I don’t get to say the same things Obama says? It’s so unfair. And who elected him?
On Tuesday, two days after that marvelous performance on “Meet the Press,” Giuliani was still under fire for his remarks. This hurt his feelings a great deal and he found it really unfair. What’s with the double-standard, he wondered. “I said the same thing the president of the United States said, and I was accused of being a racist,” he whined to CNN. “The president of the United States said because the minorities typically are subject to more crime, they need law enforcement more than anybody else. When he said it, he wasn’t accused of being a racist.”
Yeah, no fair. And if that law enforcement means brutalizing “minorities” and sometimes shooting them multiple times, then so be it. it’s for their own good.
He then took the opportunity to remind everyone again that black people sometimes kill other black people thereby demonstrating that his thinking has in no way evolved on that matter, despite having it pointed out to him that it is actually not related to the fact that police officers enjoy near impunity for killing black people. While many found Obama’s remarks in the wake of the grand jury decision did not go far enough to condemn police violence, Giuliani resented the hell out of the fact that the president dared suggest that police need to rethink their way of doing things at all.
“When the president was talking last night about training the police, of course, the police should be trained,” Giuliani said. “He also should have spent 15 minutes on training the [black] community to stop killing each other. In numbers that are incredible — incredible — 93 percent of blacks are shot by other blacks. They are killing each other. And the racial arsonists, who enjoyed last night, this was their day of glory.” (Note to Rudy. White people also kill white people. In huge numbers. Something like 90 percent of white murder victims are killed by whites. Big problem.)
3. The grand jury reached the “correct” verdict.
Funny how the once-zealous prosecutor, some have said overzealous, was clearly rooting for no prosecution in this case. But given his expressed views on how black people require white control, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which Giuliani would condemn a white officer for killing one of those “savages.” So, it appears that Giuliani’s racism, white supremacy and love for cops overrides his prosecutorial zeal.
Information and dispassionate analysis is not really needed when you have already made up your mind, and there is little doubt that Giuliani’s mind was made up a long time ago. So he was ready to go when CNN invited him on after the grand jury declined to indict.
“I believe it was a correct verdict,” Giuliani said on CNN Tuesday. “In fact, I think it was the only verdict the grand jury could reach.”
(Note: given the facts that have since emerged about prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s presentation of the case to the grand jury, a presentation that seemed designed to guarantee there would be no indictment, Giuliani could be technically correct on this one. Not that he has in any way criticized McCulloch for making it a slam dunk for the jury not to indict.)
Also, facts and information don’t really enter into Giuliani’s statement. He just knows what is “correct.”
“As a prosecutor, you couldn’t possibly have won that case,” Giuliani pronounced from on high. “They would’ve been destroyed at trial by a halfway competent defense lawyer, because of all the inconsistencies.”
He added: “If you can’t prove probable cause, how are you going to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt when the witnesses are contradicting themselves?”
See how he slings around those legal terms? He went to law school, you know.
4. Officer Darren Wilson had to go on TV to tell his side of the story.
Among the things Giuliani just knows—because he is a superior being—is exactly what was going through Officer Darren Wilson’s mind when he decided to go on national TV to tell his side of the story. Giuliani told Fox’s Megyn Kelly that Wilson felt compelled to come forward and give a TV interview about the night he shot Michael Brown because “he was so offended by the lies that were being told.”
So, it did not have anything to do with, say, money, or a book deal, or just trying to ensure that the whole world knows that Darren Wilson has no remorse whatsoever and would do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance.
Poor Wilson. He and Giuliani agree: he is the real victim here. Now he might have to write a book and everything. That’s hard.
Just for knowing, Wilson’s version of events is getting plenty of airtime without ABC and George Stephanopoulos’ help. It gained the only audience it really needed when prosecutor McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours on end in the “secret” proceedings. Portions of it have been leaked all along as authorities systematically shredded the reputation of 18-year-old Brown in the months leading up to the grand jury verdict. Wilson had his attorneys release his statement. And the whole story, in all its deluded glory, was released by McCulloch in the wake of the grand jury decision. So really, Wilson has had multiple ways of telling his side of the story, and has taken advantage of all of them.
Can’t wait for the book!
5. You know who I would prosecute, though: eyewitnesses who contradicted Wilson’s versions of events.
Normally, so-called prosecutors stick together. But Giuliani confessed he had to part ways with McCulloch because McCulloch was being a little too soft on some of the eyewitnesses who testified about the night of the shooting, especially ones who said the shooting did not go down as Wilson claimed. Because prosecuting witnesses who come forward to testify against police officers is an excellent way to build community trust.
One major point of disagreement is what happened after Brown started running away from Wilson after being shot. Wilson has said that Brown turned around and started charging at him, even though Wilson had already demonstrated he was willing to shoot. Some have pointed out that that does not seem like a very rational thing to do, if you don’t enjoy dying. Some witnesses, including Brown’s companion that night, Dorian Johnson, made statements suggesting that Brown was trying to surrender, begging for his life and even had his hands up. Wilson has said that Brown appeared to be reaching into his waistband when he turned around, which seems like an awfully strange thing to do when you do not have a gun and a furious cop is aiming one at you.
Giuliani told Megyn Kelly he thinks people who said Brown was surrendering should be prosecuted for lying. He knows they are lying because St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said “many” of those witnesses later admitted that they did not actually see the shooting. Also, Giuliani knows everything and can see into the hearts of everyone.
“I disagree with the prosecutor on only one thing,” Giuliani said. “I would prosecute all those people for perjury. To testify falsely in a case in which you can put a man in jail for the rest of his life is an extremely serious crime.”
Host Megyn Kelly suggested that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable because people “may believe they saw what they didn’t see.” (She too can see into other people’s minds.)
“It’s not unreliable,” Giuliani disagreed. “These are people who are friends of his, these are people who have an ax to grind.”
Whereas, Darren Wilson has absolutely no reason to lie, whatsoever.