Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What Wisconsin Did Right

I would be tempted to say...Here we go again....Except that in this case...The Wisconsin Police Chief may have gotten it partially right...

There has been another police shooting of an unarmed Black man....I don't know any of the facts surrounding the shooting over the weekend of a young man who people say suffered from AHDD and Anxiety attacks

Apparently the police here have learned from the Ferguson Police how to handle a situation like this so it doesn't get out of hand..

Hours after the news hit of a white officer shooting an unarmed black man, the police chief of Wisconsin’s capital city was praying with the man’s grandmother, hoping to strike a conciliatory tone and avoid the riots that last year rocked Ferguson, Mo.

Police Chief Mike Koval said he knows Madison is being watched across the nation since 19-year-old Anthony Robinson’s death Friday evening, and he has gone out of his way to avoid what he once called Ferguson’s “missteps.”

“Folks are angry, resentful, mistrustful, disappointed, shocked, chagrined. I get that,” Chief Koval said this past Saturday. “People need to tell me squarely how upset they are with the Madison Police Department.”

How he handled this and how it got handled in Ferguson are completely different.

For one thing-
While Ferguson police initially gave little information about the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old, unarmed black man, Chief Koval rushed to the home of Robinson’s mother. She didn’t want to meet with him, he said, but he talked and prayed with Robinson’s grandmother in the driveway for 45 minutes.

It took a week for Ferguson to release the name of the officer who shot Brown...Darren Wilson ..Chief Koval announced the name of the officer involved in Madison, Matthew Kenny, the day after the shooting.

He volunteered to reporters that the officer had been involved in a fatal shooting in 2007, and that he had been cleared of wrongdoing.

On the day that Ferguson police named the officer who shot Brown, they also released a video showing what they said was Brown robbing a store. When Chief Koval was asked about Robinson’s criminal record Saturday, he declined to comment, saying it would be inappropriate to do so a day after the man died.

Listening Ferguson??

“We have a police chief who genuinely feels for a family’s loss. It should be abundantly clear to anyone following this incident that Madison, Wisconsin, is not Ferguson, Missouri,” said Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the state’s largest police union.

But the chief’s measured approach hasn’t impressed some demonstrators. Chief Koval angered some of them this year with a blog post demanding they stop blaming police for their problems.

“There are no apologies that can repair the loss or deal with the loss of [Robinson],” said Brandi Grayson, an organizer with Young, Gifted and Black, a Madison group that has demonstrated against what it says is mistreatment of blacks by the justice system. “This was bound to happen. There’s nothing the chief can say short of changing the system.”

No one answered the door at Anthony Robinson’s mother’s home Sunday. A reporter left a note in the door asking her to contact the Associated Press but she has not done so as of Sunday afternoon.

Anthony Robinson died Friday night after Officer Matthew Kenny shot him in an apartment during a confrontation. Kenny had responded to a call of a man jumping in and out of traffic. Kenny forced his way into the apartment after hearing what Chief Koval described as a “disturbance.”

Of course there is probably way more to the story than that and I'll probably be blogging about it as the details make themselves known.

The state Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation has taken over the investigation under a new state law passed last year that requires an outside agency to lead probes of officer-involved shootings. Justice spokeswoman Anne Schwartz declined to comment Sunday.

The shooting comes against a backdrop of multiple instances of white police officers killing unarmed black men around the country over the past year. The highest-profile incident was the death of Brown in Ferguson in August.

Regardless of what happens next I applaud Police Chief Koval for showing sensitivity to the community of the young man who was killed and not trying to demonize him and make him out to be a thug and at the same time not throwing his policeman under the bus...There is a way thes situations can be handled fairly for all sides involved while investigators search for the truth without inflaming either side....

Wisconsin at least got part of it right!

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Well they had better get something right since their governor just signed a right to "starve" law!! Who is Scotty trying to fool? When he entered office he vowed to break unions, and he's been trying his best.

I understand that Scott is the son of a preacher!?!? Sunday I read Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address when he said that both the Union and the rebels prayed to the same God and each asked for victory in their battles. Lincoln remarked on how men could expect a just God to reward the fact the they wanted to live and prosper on the sweat from another man's labor. The scripture says woe unto the man and the offense (slavery.)

I am still asking the question. How can a Christian deny equal rights, equal pay, and a fair playing field? I guess I'll have to get a word from Mike Huckabee or Rickie Santorum.


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