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Law & the Courts

‘Law and Order’ Sounds Really Appealing Right Now

The first two sections of the Monday Morning Jolt, kicking off GOP Convention week!

‘Law and Order’ Sounds Really Appealing Right Now

Urgh. The awful news piles up like snow in a blizzard: Orlando, Dallas, Nice, and now Baton Rouge. Was the shooter in Louisiana motivated by hatred of the police? Was he radicalized by Black Lives Matter?

Eh, maybe. He also may have been off his rocker long before Black Lives Matter attracted national attention:

A Kansas City, Mo., man suspected of killing three Baton Rouge police officers on Sunday spent much of his final days shadowing peaceful protests but not participating.

In a series of YouTube online videos widely attributed to Gavin Eugene Long, 29, the suspect spewed his peculiar, personal world outlook, attempted to share his views with other African-Americans and tried to give away three books he said he authored while living in Africa.

The videos were labeled “Convos with Cosmo” and may have been shot in Texas and Louisiana since the shooting death of Alton Sterling, 37, a black man who was killed July 5 during a struggle with two Baton Rouge police officers.

In one video, Long, a former Marine who served in Iraq, questions why white patriots like George Washington and the Founding Fathers are celebrated for throwing off their oppressors while blacks are not.

Long, who said he was filming his videos in his hotel room as well as in his car, suggests peaceful protests such as those exercised in Baton Rouge and Dallas were futile, based on emotion and soon forgotten. He suggests that when he sees women protesting he is “embarrassed” because their views are emotional and not logical.

If you wanted to set up an environment where every cop in the country was more concerned than ever that they might be under fire when they report for duty each morning or night… and thus, perhaps a little more on edge, a little quicker to draw weapons, this is what you would do.

Black Lives Matter didn’t tell this guy to take these shots. But by repeatedly portraying the police as a trigger-happy, reckless and malevolent occupying force in the African-American community, a force that’s unneeded, never trustworthy, a force with no redeeming features, they so demonized the police that guys like this guy and the Dallas shooter think they’re doing the right thing by killing cops.

President Obama’s statement was an attempt to speak to the next ticking time bomb, who thinks that he can make the world a better place by shooting a cop:

There is no justification for violence against law enforcement.  None.  These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one.  They right no wrongs.  They advance no causes.  The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas – they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best.

Trump and the Republicans chose “make America safe again” as the theme of tonight’s events. It’s a message that is likely to resonate; if cops are being ambushed and shot every few days, the country is coming apart at the seams.

Is Cleveland Ready for This?

Of course, making America safe again might start with making Cleveland safe.

A national party convention is one of the country’s biggest political events, and it always brings protests and policing challenges, the lurking possibility of terrorism and acts as a general magnet for the crazies. Is the city of Cleveland ready to handle it all?

In the preceding weeks and days, some of the coverage has suggested, “maybe not.”

Officials have consistently pushed back on criticism — some of it from within their own ranks — that Cleveland’s embattled force is not properly trained or equipped to keep the peace.

“We have planned, we have ‘what-if’ed,’ we have table-topped this from day one to yesterday, and everything that can and will happen we have planned for,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said last week. But authorities have been tight-lipped about preparations, with Williams declining to elaborate, citing their “sensitive” nature.

The head of Cleveland’s police union, Stephen Loomis, has been a leading critic of the city’s planning. Despite being equipped with a $20 million bounty including motorcycles, horse trailers, flexible handcuffs and 2,000 new sets of protective gear, Loomis is worried that his colleagues will hit the streets handicapped by a bumbling city government.

“They ordered (the equipment) without measuring anybody,” he told CNN, meaning the expensive new gear required alterations to fit over larger officers’ bulletproof vests. 

Somehow, “relax, the blood banks are full” doesn’t quite carry that reassuring tone the city would prefer.

Court dockets are cleared and jails all but emptied to handle possible mass arrests, blood banks are full, and numerous businesses and colleges are shutting down for the week.

Even protesters are training “street medics” for a convention where the likelihood of violence increased after the recent police shootings in Louisana and Minnesota and the subsequent killing of five officers in Dallas.

That article is from before the Baton Rouge news. If anybody fires a gun in the coming week, you know the state’s open-carry laws are going to be a convenient scapegoat:

The leader of the New Black Panthers told Reuters that the group will come armed, which is legal even though such items as tennis balls are banned for blocks around the Huntington Convention Center and Quicken Loans Arena. Other groups and even some delegates have said they’ll be carrying guns as well, although guns won’t be allowed inside the “hard” security perimeter adjacent to the arena and convention center.

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