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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Last Night's Riot Coverage




Aside from going out to dinner last night, I spent the evening transfixed in front of my TV set switching back and forth between Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and local Los Angeles channels watching the riots across America. How sad. Three people dead in Indianapolis, a shop owner in Dallas possibly beaten to death, a cop in New York  hit by a brick and suffering a fractured skull, and a  Molotov cocktail thrown into a police vehicle in New York with four cops inside. True, thousands of protesters came out to rightfully protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, it was all hijacked by the thugs who took advantage of the tragedy to loot and burn.

And don't blame it all on black people. Many of the rioters were white and brown. Aside from Black Lives Matter, there is also Antifa, a national organization of anarchist thugs, who are overwhelmingly white. Many mayors and police chiefs are saying that many, if not most of the rioters were from out of town or out of state. No doubt there is some degree of national coordination going on here.

In terms of coverage, Fox mostly focused on the outrage of the violence and destruction, as they should have. At the same, they did not minimize the gravity of the Floyd death, and they acknowledged that most people had come to peacefully protest. I had no problem with the CNN coverage until Don Lemon came on and all but became hysterical on the air calling out the names of famous  people who (according to him) have been silent. In fact, Lemon at times, made it sound like it was all about him, referring to previous statements he had made calling out celebrities. He went on to ask why these celebrities "were not assisting these young people". After repeating that several times, he finally added that he was not referring to those carrying out the violence. His interview with Kamala Harris was sickening as she laid the blame on America.

But even that paled compared to MSNBC, which focused entirely on bad police, American racism, and, of course, Trump. MSNBC talking head, Ali Velshi, a Canadian, while broadcasting on the street from Minneapolis, spent half the time reporting and half the time editorializing about American racism and racist cops.

Last night was an Oktoberfest of university professors and liberal journalists pontificating on the evils of America.  In short, American journalism took another hit last night. Virtually all of the networks made the mistake of referring to those engaged in violence, burning, and looting as "protesters".

That is in no way meant to defend the actions of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of Mr Floyd, especially the one who knelt on Floyd's neck. I expect some sort of charges will be also brought against the other three. Being retired law enforcement myself, I am on several retired law enforcement chat sites, and nobody there is defending the actions of those cops.

In this case, protests are warranted, and I support the legitimate protesters, not just their right to protest, but their anger as well. That support does not extend to the rioters. That support does not extend to those on television who want to indict all police officers. From what I saw, police all over the country were acting with professionalism and restraint. They are paying the price for the actions of four cops in Minneapolis.





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fouse,

I ask myself what exactly am I seeing in the videotape of the cop with his knee on the suspect?

What did the autopsy find?

The cause of death was not listed as homicide.

https://www.newsweek.com/george-floyd-couldnt-breathe-before-he-was-pinned-down-cops-prosecutor-says-1507608

The defense lawyers will argue accidental death or battery.

Bad police work? Probably. Murder? I'm not so sure.

But ask any UCI student (online only, I suppose these days)about what happened, and they'll say Floyd was murdered by the police.

Gary Fouse said...

Anonymous,

As I understand it, asphyxiation was not listed as cause of death, rather factors like heart disease, stress etc. I know what I saw on the tape. In my own law enforcement career, interestingly, I was involved in more physical scuffles as a military policeman than as a DEA agent in which most of our arrest were made with drawn guns. I was never taught to put my knee on a man's neck. I can understand choke holds if you are struggling with a violent suspect who is not handcuffed, but I see no thing that justifies this.

Looking at the videos of the take down, the only clip I have not seen is the actual taking him down to the ground. Even that would probably not change my thinking.