consultants are sandburs

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rand Paul confirms, not a Bush, Willie Horton will not be on his presidential ticket.

The question Paul addressed being "militarization of the police," raised by Paul in the context of the Ferguson shooting of unarmed teenager Brown, death happening reportedly from continued shooting after Brown's threat was reportedly contained.

Monitor, here. Atlantic, here. PoliticusUSA, voicing dissent as to sourcing, not message, here.

Even if strongarmed retail store theft was at issue in the Ferguson shooting, was there use of force beyond justifiable force befitting the circumstances?

If a justifiably reasonable level of force, lethal force, was needed, that is one thing, while if excessive force was at issue the police officer faces serious consequences and a distanced federal review would seem best for impartially resolving the question.

That basic justifiable/excessive force question stands apart from whether or not Brown had stolen a box of cigars from a convenience store. The alleged theft might justify a stop of one resembling descriptions of a perpetrator; but the question is about shooting a young man until dead, and whether there was justification for that extra shot or three. It is Victor Hugo - Jean Valjean and theft of a loaf of bread all over again. With detail varied but same core story.

Critics can disagree, but Rand Paul deciding to speak as he did is sensible, even while the critics can say it was with an eye to a 2016 presidential candidacy. It would be nice to have Boehner and McConnell weigh in on the Ferguson situation and problematic excessive police use of force, were that to turn out to be a proven factor. Only, please don't hold your breath waiting on either of those two.

However, maintaining a wait and see attitude until all facts are in is NOT an unreasonable path for people in politics in Minnesota and elsewhere to follow. Pressing for a thorough investigation at the highest national levels as Ellison has done, that is a currently justified step; and Ellison is not prejudging what scrupulous fact finding will ultimately show. He is emphasizing the need that any credible factfinding needs to be scrupulous, with whitewash not befitting death of a black man, at police hands.

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