What a hellscape in the headlines this morning.

Arson and looting in Minneapolis occurred during protests of the police killing of an unarmed black man that was captured in a gruesome video. The National Guard has been mobilized. The governor said they will assist state troopers in providing public safety and defending peaceful protest.

A CNN crew, attempting to comply with police orders, was arrested (video of the arrest at this link).

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Donald Trump went on Twitter and endorsed the military killing people committing property crimes (and got a foonote from Twitter).

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The historic root of Trump’s incendiary line, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” was a racist Miami police chief vowing to quell civil rights protests in 1967.

A Berkeley law professor cited some of the law on shooting people for property crimes:

 

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Many noted the difference in Trump’s outlook when protesters are black and when they are white:

Noted: An armed self-appointed posse appeared to guard a tobacco store.

I turn this morning to the prolific pastor and judge Wendell Griffen for commentary on the police slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis .

“The whirlwind is here,” he writes.

Let’s talk plainly.  George Floyd was killed.  At minimum, he was recklessly killed.  At worse, he was knowingly killed. In Minnesota and every other US jurisdiction, recklessly causing the death of another person is manslaughter.  In Minnesota, state prosecutors can charge people who commit manslaughter without convening a grand jury.

Let’s talk plainly.  In Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States, a person who cooperates with, assists, helps to conceal, or otherwise interferes with efforts to stop a homicide is liable for the homicide as an accomplice.  Each of the officers involved in the homicide of George Floyd should have been arrested and charged days ago with manslaughter!  The prosecutors can later seek grand jury indictments for murder if other evidence is uncovered.

Let’s talk plainly.  The Minnesota Governor and Minneapolis Police Department, and the Hennepin County prosecutor are demonstrating their cultural incompetence.  That incompetence is not merely personal.  It is institutional, pervasive, pernicious, and infuriating!

The same cultural incompetence happened when Ahmaud Arberry was killed in Georgia.

The same cultural incompetence happened when Breonna Taylor was killed in Kentucky.

The same cultural incompetence happened when a white woman named Amy Cooper falsely accused a black man named Christian Cooper (no relationship) of threatening her life.

That cultural incompetence is not new.

The Louisville Police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in her home have not been arrested – yet!

The killers of Ahmaud Arberry were not arrested for months after he was attacked and slain.  They were only arrested after (and because) a video was exposed that chronicled how he was killed and who killed him.

Griffen mentioned Louisville. Seven people were shot there last night in protests of the killing of an innocent black woman by white officers.

Cultural competence. White privilege. White cluelessness. Racism. Choose whatever label suits. But the next time a U.S. Supreme Court justice or some other political figures declares the U.S. has changed and we live in post-racial times, use the First Amendment vigorously.

And, for God’s sake, vote in November. Even if Gov. Asa Hutchinson refuses to provide a safe means to do so.

PS: Good roundup of media coverage here on CJR.

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