UPDATE: Gun crimes are up exponentially. 2017 Increase in Gun Violence and other MPD Information
Buried on page A-6 of today’s fishwrap in a compilation of brief news items — and the second at that, a small-font headline reads “Reports of gunfire throughout the city.”
This bit of kibble for the curious reports six “shots-fired” incidents in the city over the weekend. The shootings were evenly distributed, as if by some equal opportunity commissar of misery. Not just Bettys Lane in the Southwest side but out on Fair Oaks on the south east side, Graceland Avenue south of the airport, and Spaight Street in Ald. Marsha Rummel’s district, among others.
This brief news tidbit is queued up behind Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg eating a brat on State Street. The young billionaire reports that he “inhaled” the first one and followed it with a second brat, which — the article explicates, he does not regret.
As a former practitioner of the dark arts of journalism (the only profession protected by the First Amendment, according to Comrade Nichols — the rest of you scraelings can go pound sand), the Humble Squire of the Stately Manor understands well that hallowed journalistic precept: dog bites man, not news. Man bites dog — or Famous Man bites hot dog — READ ALL ABOUDIT!
So it is that a spate of shootings in the city of Madison, WI is now relegated to the “in other news.”
Shots fired. Who ya gonna call? Amanda Hall?
“The weekend of gunfire comes on the heels of an outbreak of gunfire last Monday night, when eight shorts-fired incidents were reported to Madison police.” We have gotten to the point once predicted by former mayor Dave Cieslewicz. We’ve become a big city and you’ve got to expect big city crime. After all, does your New York Times detail every “shot fired” in Gotham?
Tonight (5-2-2017) the Madison Common Council will consider reimbursing Police Chief Mike Koval for defending himself against the onerous charge that he called the woman stalking and shouting at him “a raging lunatic.”
The chief ran up a bill of $21,953 on this idiocy. Ald. Amanda Hall is proposing to pay only $15,601 of that, effectively fining Koval $6,352 — a dollar amount usually not seen outside of criminal forfeitures.
A special Common Council committee wants to micro-manage the police department with 13 policy changes. The city attorney’s office says the committee, chaired by Ald. Rummel, either violates state law or trespasses on the department’s prerogatives.
The Rummel committee’s interference is in addition to the $400,000 study of police procedure contracted out to a Berkeley, California shop.
Politicians demand: Stop making us look bad
Finally, Mayor Soglin and Ald. Hall have told Chief Koval to STFU about more police and just do yer damn job! Here is Ald. Hall:
I was surprised and disappointed to read Chief Koval’s blog this week. After a really tough night for the city, instead of doing his job and administering our Police Department, he was trying to score political points not only for his department’s budget but also for his current personal legal battle with regards to his professional conduct. … I was looking to him for leadership in the situation and unfortunately Madison received the opposite from him.”
The Council convenes at 6:30 p.m. tonight (5-2-2017). Sign up to speak and demand to do so right away rather than cool your heels for several hours. Compensation for the chief is Item #106 on a lengthy agenda.
UPDATE: Now panicked, the Common Council is scheduling a “committee of the whole” at the outset of tonight’s meeting. The subject: “starting the conversation about our efforts to address gun violence,” in the words of council president Rummel. With “a sense of urgency.”