Oct 20, 201602:13 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Shots fired in Madison, police the targets
(page 1 of 2)
The proprietors of this blog refuse to accept losing this year’s rigged Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Zimmerman of Hibbing, Minn., or for not getting an Emmy for The Apprentice.
So now they’re shooting at the police. Only this time it’s not the Madison Common Council and it’s literal, rather than figurative.
It is 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. Gunfire is reported in the 5800 block of Russett Road, behind the Meadowridge shopping center on Madison’s southwest side. Officers are sent to respond.
“One of the operating theories,” writes Police Chief Mike Koval, is that the initial gunfire was a trap to lure police — the real target. Officers leave their patrol cars to canvass the area when another four shots are fired in the direction of one of the officers.
The old speechwriter in the Squire can ruminate on the heartfelt words that would be pronounced had that officer been struck. (So happens the specific officer targeted was female, perhaps the mother of an infant, like the one killed in California.) Well-worn words like “brave” and “selfless” are invoked.
“While others fled for their lives, she walked into danger,” has the right cadence. A ceremony at City Hall, followed by the flashing blue and red lights of a policeman’s sad parade, had the bullets proved fatal.
Madison police have responded to over 100 shooting incidents so far — one every three days. The Sept. 28 shooting in Arbor Hills, also on the southwest side, proved fatal (the seventh homicide of the year) but it took a hail of gunfire to bring the man down. More than 25 shell casings were recovered; at least five residences were hit.
“Remarkably, we have not seen an innocent third party killed as a result of this reckless behavior,” Chief Koval wrote in his latest blog. “But how long are we going to keep beating the odds — particularly as the most recent incidents have been brazenly occurring in the light of day?”
Never mind. The enlightened Captain Ahabs of city hall forge on single-mindedly on their leaky ship to harpoon the latent bias, white privilege, and gunslinger mentality among its men and women in blue.
Swerve them? The path to their fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon their souls are grooved to run. (Apologies to Melville.)
Searching for diversity? Look about you
The city Board of Estimates next Monday, Oct. 24, followed by the Common Council on Tuesday, Nov. 1, will vote on expending $400,000 for a Pasadena, Calif.-based consultant to determine how to fix the police — as if the police were the problem. Figure the latter to vote 19–1 in favor, with the lone holdout being Ald. Paul Skidmore. Mark your calendars!
The study will determine, supposedly, whether Madison police policies and procedures are “fair, effective, reflect best practices nationally, and are representative of and welcoming of community diversity.”
The Pasadena consultant, OIG Group, is recommended to get this lucrative gig by a 14-member committee, which was convened after the fatal police shooting of black teen Tony Robinson in March 2015. It is a shooting that Dane County D.A. Ismael Ozanne ruled was fully justified. Two other bidding consultants lost out because they praised the Madison police department as “progressive.” (Must be a copyright issue.)
That showed a pro-cop bias, clucked several members of the all-progressive committee of 14, including UW–Madison law professor Keith Findley and the Black Lives Matter rep. Not that the members of the ad hoc committee are biased against police, certainly. No!
Which is interesting because the two study finalists are not the only ones praising MPD. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also salute Madison police.
You want “representative of and welcoming of community diversity”? The two federal agencies just came out with a report citing MPD as leaders in recruiting “candidates of color, veterans, and women” — one of six police departments nationally so recognized.