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Jul 25, 201603:46 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Madison Council hears that Blue Lives Matter

(page 1 of 2)

It was a most remarkable thing, last week’s Madison Common Council meeting. For perhaps the first time, the city’s elected leaders and many in the city itself got to hear from the people — real, actual human beings — who serve as sworn officers of our Madison Police Department.

They talked about kissing their children in the morning and hoping they would be able to return to them that evening. They talked about trying to build bridges and defuse tense situations. They explained the trauma of taking another life, no matter how justified, in order to save other lives.

In short, these police officers dispelled the Black Lives Matter lie that police are bloodthirsty occupiers motivated by racial hatred — the calumny perpetrated by much of the news media and seconded by Hillary Clinton and President Obama. (Hillary is inviting relatives of victims of police shootings to speak at her convention but not relatives of slain police officers.)

The occasion was provided by a grassroots citizen movement that has been putting up those “We Support Our Madison Police” yard signs in many neighborhoods — over 2,000 of them, so far. In concert with the yard sign campaign, those citizens presented a petition to Madison city government at the July 19 meeting. (Watch it here, beginning at the 23:00 minute mark.)

After 16 months of virtually non-stop calumny toward the police and unrealistic demands, city of Madison leaders finally are hearing from voices silent no longer. Not that Black Lives Matter doesn’t try to silence dissent.

It was heartbreaking to watch the BLM cadres heckle Midvale Heights resident Paula Fitzsimmons as she testified before the city council. And frustrating that the mayor is so timid in demanding civility (Ald. McKinney finally upbraided him for his lassitude.)

Real people, real police

Rebecca Lindsey

They heard from Officer Rebecca Lindsey:

My mom was a police officer — she was hired in 1973 in the first female officer class in Madison. I grew up thinking only women were police officers … I wanted to be just like my mom. I don’t think we’re perfect, we’re not but we try and try and try. I am a mom to three wonderful children and I literally kiss them every day before I go to work because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me that day. That’s my reality. My mom paved the way for me and I will do it for my children. I teach safety classes in the schools … this fall, this child who had a lot of negative history sees me and swears and walked out of the classroom. I get it; people don’t like me … that’s my challenge so I am working to build relationships … fast forward seven weeks, he sits down next to me and opens his bag of chips and puts his arm around me and says would I like some. So when people insult me or insult my profession, I hold that to my chest. At the end of the day I go home and kiss my boys and want them to be proud of what I do.

Anh Sweeney

They heard from Anh Sweeney:

I am a Madison resident for 27 years — a wife, mother of three, and Madison police officer for last 16 years. I am an immigrant to this country; I was born in Vietnam. I wanted to stand up for justice. I have been education resource officer in the high schools, safety education … I just wanted to say thank you for the support that we are being given … it’s very disheartening for us right now to hold our heads high, to hear all the negativity in the news and media and, frankly, to be killed now.

They heard from Kelly Powers:

I have been a City of Madison police officer for nine years. We can’t debate these things in the street and we have to cooperate. I just had a conversation with a woman Friday night in the midst of a disturbance in the street and I begged and pleaded with the people who were on the scene to provide us with some information so that we could find a resolution. Not a lot of people wanted to talk to me. It took one person out of the crowd, after waiting 30 minutes. I think it ended well. I want to see more of that.

They heard from David McClurg:

I have been a police officer for 25 years … I’m a father, a grandfather, and I am a police officer. In 2014, I had to take the life of someone, it was a profound thing … the person had killed two persons before I was there and injured another one. It is not something that I did easy or … ever wanted to happen. It affects my family, it is not something that is easy to talk about, and it is not something I ever would have wished. I value the Madison PD and what I do. What I ask you to realize that we as a Madison PD are very ethical and caring individuals who want to do the best.

(Continued)

Old to new | New to old
Jul 26, 2016 08:22 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Why has BLM gone silent at the conventions?
Has someone shut them off like a light switch?
Were they an astroturfed rent a mob?

Jul 26, 2016 08:45 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Better that Officer Samson had told hte boy not to spend his welfare check at the drug house on Willy Street."

Hmmm... is that what you would tell a white kid? Would you ever even bring up welfare with a white kid? Why would you assume that a black kid would ever come into contact with a welfare check in any way shape or form (other than perhaps to cut the benefits to retired state workers as a way of balancing a budget)?

You do know that black kids who do their homework and go out for sports are still stopped and questioned (and locked up for petty stuff because of broken windows strategies) by police while their white peers are not right? You have no answer for that other than if you can't do the time don't do the crime, right? When you were causing trouble in your youth you had no concern about being shot by a cop did you? When you were drinking and carousing in college there was no fear was there? When a cop pulls you over at night you believe the worst you'll get out of the encounter is a ticket right? And you have no reason to think that you had been profiled or picked out unfairly because that would never occur to you would it?

And where are the reports from the RNC? Is it because of how low the Republicans have gone? Can you not even face the topic these days? Because instead of taking on the tough topics you claim the high ground where your whitebread readers give it to you?

Jul 26, 2016 09:14 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Samson spoke from the heart and her words have inspired people in the city to react positively. She was on Channel 3 last night meeting with a guy who has previously been skeptical of the cops. She seems to be very committed and thoughtful, a true public servant.

Blaska's advice to her: Shoulda told the kid not to spend his welfare check at a drug house.

How lucky we are to have such a sage blogger in our midst. What a keen mind and way with words. What insight into the human condition! Who else could craft a thought so precisely and meaningfully?

Jul 26, 2016 12:46 pm
 Posted by  madisonexpat

BLM? BLM?
Bueller?

Jul 26, 2016 02:33 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

8:45 a.m. quotes the wisdom of The Squire: "Better that Officer Samson had told the boy not to spend his welfare check at the drug house on Willy Street."

8:45 a.m. then jumps the shark: "Is that what you would tell a white kid? Would you ever even bring up welfare with a white kid? Why would you assume that a black kid would ever come into contact with a welfare check in any way shape or form (other than perhaps to cut the benefits to retired state workers as a way of balancing a budget)?"

Actually, 8:45 a.m. (if I may be so familiar), Officer Samson never divulged the race of the child or his father. Regardless of race, it is good advice, don't you think? Especially given how young Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. chose to meet his demise on that very street on that very night.

Jul 26, 2016 02:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

How long have you been a black man for, Blaska? Apparently, your time at the RNC last week really opened your eyes to the realities of living in the US as a person of color. I'm guessing not and, as usual, your bigotry is showing.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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