Oklahoma passes a law that can protect drivers who run over protesters.


Expand full comment

Cop shows often depict roll calls ending with remarks like "Stay safe out there and let's all go home.". That sentiment is pretty much what the whole country wants for them. However, every job has parameters that must be maintained. Obviously too many officers are derelict in their duty in that regard.

These people are trained over and over and over. The crisis we are experiencing is definitely a lack of common sense, systemic racism, and a lack of common decency; it's not a lack of training or rules. So when they do the reform, I hope they emphasize mental fitness.

If you collect the check, you are accountable. It's not simple, but officers must understand there are consequences for firing that gun or using their hands, feet or knee on someone outside the use of force policy. Derek Chauvin won't be going home. One down and three to go.

Expand full comment

Thom's rant on policing today brings to mind the modern proverb that "history never repeats itself but it often rhymes." Take your pick; century after century, there are far too many brutal examples of authoritarian governments implementing genocidal domestic policies against those deemed as "undesirables." In the modern era, Nazism is most often cited as an extreme example.

But the seven-and-half-century occupation of Ireland by England (Anglo-Norman invasion in 1169 to Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 https://www.yourirish.com/history/20th-century/the-anglo-irish-treaty-1921) is also replete with stories of heavy-handed, too-often-deadly police tactics, primarily designed to subjugate "inferior" people in their own motherland and, of course, to keep them from gaining any significant wealth and power. As evidenced recently by one of the main sticklers of any workable Brexit deal, the lingering animosity in Northern Ireland continues to this day despite the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 having ended most of the violence of "The Troubles."

"Black 47" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pSGZt-mhSY) is a well-done composite fictional account of historical events that puts you in the mood of the times. (on Netflix)

Two books in particular -- "The Famine Plot" and "The Graves Are Walking" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-famine-plot-englands-role-in-irelands-greatest-tragedy--by-tim-pat-coogan-and-the-graves-are-walking-the-great-famine-and-the-saga-of-the-irish-people-by-john-kelly/2013/01/12/22971008-3d7b-11e2-a2d9-822f58ac9fd5_story.html) -- are non-fictional accounts that portray the shocking yet predictable consequences of governmental neglect, indeed complicity, in pursuing radical free-market principles laced with extreme racism and enforced by a militarized police force. Sound familiar?

Today, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are both great countries and have a mostly healthy and constructive relationship, considering their mutual history.

When it comes to the resurgence of fascism, however, some people think, "never in America!" But then, some people -- mostly uneducated, self-righteous white males with puss-guts hanging over gunbelts -- also think it's okay to attack the citadel of democracy and call it patriotism ordained by God ...or Trump, whatever. And some people think the police should support institutional racism and accept white supremacists within their ranks.

Historical parallels are only comparable in the general sense but are nonetheless important lessons for understanding the stubborn endurance of destructive behavior passed on from one generation to the next. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Expand full comment