Official Notice: The Stately Manor will remain open during the federal government shutdown, albeit with candle light. Donations of size D batteries are appreciated, however, in order to keep Ol’ Sparky, our fully amortized mainframe computer, up and running. Also some Sterno.
It was a good week for mental health, or as close as we come to that blessed state here in the Emerald City. No, the War on Cops is not over here in Madison but two huge battles have been won.
Tuesday at the Madison Common Council and Thursday at the Dane County Board, the Usual Suspects tried to make the case that law enforcement is inherently, irredeemably racist. A holdover from slavery. Indifferent to the mentally ill. Hostile to the poor. Not enough services.
They do so without realizing that Madison Police are intake agents for all of those good services. We are asking police to do things that we never considered 20 years ago. On average, MPD spends 49 hours every day on mental health contacts. Police carry life-saving Narcan injectors in their holsters. Opioid over-doses increased 270% in just one year in Madison.
Remarkably, the Emerald City’s anti-cop, post-Ferguson militancy failed miserably, despite its recourse to race baiting and white shaming. City alders voted 17-2 for more police, however reluctant were many of them. County supes voted 31-4 to borrow $76,000 to build the improved and consolidated jail they had budgeted in November.
They declined to honor the race card. Insufficient funds.
One of the cop-haters and Derail the Jail-ers is Erika Bach, daughter of a prominent attorney in town. She posted on social media:
The almost all-white Dane county board just voted to keep the 48% black jail going strong for the next 20 years. Silence today makes us complicit in white supremacy tomorrow. The shackles unfortunately do remain intact.
A telling point: All four black alders — Sheri Carter, Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Mo Cheeks, Samba Baldeh — voted for more police. The lone black county supervisor, Shelia Stubbs, voted In favor of the jail. (Perhaps those five are not “authentically” black?) Supv. Al Matano, who in November voted against budgeting for the jail, this week voted YES. The difference? After his November vote, two challengers announced campaigns to run against him in their westside district.
Baltimore pays the wages of police suppression
As long as the Stately Manor is begging for donations, help us put Heather Mac Donald’s book into the hands of all 20 alders and all 37 county supervisors. It’s titled, The War on Cops. An excerpt:
As 2016 wore on, the anti-cop movement and its high-placed political and media enablers remained impervious to all the facts that contradicted their “policing is racist” narrative. They were also indifferent to the mounting loss of black lives. Officers in minority neighborhoods were backing off of pro-active policing under the constant refrain that such policing was racist. As a consequence, violence accelerated. I have called this combination of de-policing and rising crime the Ferguson Effect [which] sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. …
While the deadly violence was growing in 2016, four studies came out from the academy … rebutting the Black Lives Matter narrative. There was no bias against blacks in police shootings. The studies found … that blacks were less likely to be shot than whites. Yet the Obama administration continued its pursuit of phantom police racism into its final week, when the Justice Department put Baltimore police under federal control … following the death of drug dealer Freddie Gray in 2015.
That excerpt prefaces Chapter 7, “Baltimore in Flames.”
Fast forward to today. Baltimore’s mayor just fired the city’s latest police commissioner after homicides reached a record 343 last year, the highest on record, per capita. From the news account:
That view is echoed by some community leaders and former police officials in Baltimore who have said violent criminals became emboldened after police took a less proactive approach in April 2015. That was when riots erupted after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died from a broken neck he sustained in a police van.
Arrests in Baltimore have fallen sharply since May 2015, and they have remained low, police statistics show. …
More uniformed officers than usual began patrolling city streets Friday morning, part of a temporary initiative planned weeks ago to move officers out of administrative jobs and headquarters positions.
[The new police commissioner] had a key role in implementing the Violence Reduction Initiative, a separate effort begun Oct. 30 to have police work with a range of city agencies, including the Department of Public Works and the school system, to reduce violence in high-crime parts of the city.
[The mayor] released statistics in December showing a decrease in violent crime in areas of the city covered by the multi-agency initiative.
As Mayor Soglin says: “No matter what we do in terms of housing programs, health programs, employment and training programs, at least at this point in their lives these individuals are going to chose guns instead of a job.”
Today’s installment of ‘Their Needs are Not Being Met’
WEST: Weapons Offense – 7:58 a.m. Shots fired call on 1/18/2018 at approximately 10:00 p.m. At that time, officers did not locate anything or anyone injured. However, during daylight hours on 01/19/2018 empty shell casings were located and an unoccupied condominium was found with bullet holes in it. The address of occurrence is in the 300 block of Junction Road. Madison’s Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) is investigating the incident.
Blaska’s Bottom Line — We’re serious about putting Heather Mac Donald’s book into local elected officials hands, including the Madison school board. Half may not even open it but those who do will be smarter than they are today.