Brave cops stepped up to the plate at Texas school shooting

Puts crimp in Madison’s ‘Cops Out of Our Schools’ movement

51qqgbyu13l-_ac_us218_Police advocates last week presented each of 20 alders and Mayor Soglin with copies of Heather Mac Donald’s book, War on Cops. The gift is intended as a corrective to the Blame the Police movement that has taken city government hostage for the last three years.

It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that only two alders refused their copies. They would be Ledell Zellers and Matt Phair. Do not confuse them with facts, their minds are made up.

Even more surprising and certainly very welcome is the reaction of Ald. Denise DeMarb, District 16. She actually thanked the donors for her copy:

Denise DeMarb

Ald. DeMarb

“I appreciate the exchange of ideas and opportunities to understand other perspectives. In the spirit of an open exchange of idas I am sending along The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein. …. Our exchange of ideas an information is vital to continuing our efforts to improve our community. I encourage you to read this book and share your thoughts on it with others.”

Over at her website, Paula Fitzsimmons reacts:

I’m hoping that this can be the start of productive dialog. … This beats the response I received from Alders Phair (who’s also a teacher and should, I think, be open to new ideas) and Zellers, both of whom refused the books. How much more blatant can they have been? By doing this, they have shut down the possibility of communication. This, to me, is not appropriate behavior from elected officials.

Texas school shooting differs from Parkland, Florida

For one thing, no David Hogg.

After the school shootings in a suburb of Houston, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hugged parishioners as they arrived at a local church. Among them was Monica Bracknell, an 18-year-old senior who survived the shooting.  According to the New York Times, she stopped to tell the governor that the attack should not be turned into a political battle over gun control. 

“That kid was 17. He’s not able to buy a gun anyway. It’s not like a gun-law issue. This kid is obviously mentally unstable and he knew that there were flaws in the school system to get into the rooms.”

The shooter did not use a “military-style assault rifle.” More significantly, the two school resource officers (EROs) responded quickly and effectively, again, unlike Parkland, Florida.

Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Friday that two “brave officers” from the school district “stepped up to the plate” and engaged the shooter, according to USA Today.  One of them, police officer John Barnes, was the first to confront the shooter. He remains in critical condition and in intensive care. 

Back in the Emerald City

No Cops in SchoolsPretty much demolishes the “Cops Out of Our Schools” argument here. The Madison school board committee that has been considering expelling EROs from school is strangely quiescent. Its chairman, Dean Loumos, had said the committee would will hold four listening sessions for public comment in April to respond to its final recommendations. April has come and gone and May is expiring and no public hearings? Nor do we see any future meetings scheduled.

Did former cop Gloria Reyes’ April 3 defeat of Anna Moffit, a proponent of getting EROs out of the schools, send a message? (Some background here.)

Coming full circle, the Madison Common Council’s police policy & procedure ad hoc review committee meets 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Madison Water Utility 119 E Olin Ave. It is still considering an independent police monitor, although illegal under Wisconsin law, and a police citizens’ advisory board. (The agenda here.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: The police ad hoc group has been having trouble reaching a quorum, which is a good sign. Instead, how about an audit of all those deferred prosecution programs. Are they working?


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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14 Responses to Brave cops stepped up to the plate at Texas school shooting

  1. Turd Ferguson says:

    But But Matt Phair teaches Middle School History Classes, so that makes him, like an expert on all things history. I mean come on he knows history just ask him.


  2. Paula Fitz says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, David. And I need to return the favor; the War on Cops project was initially your idea, so thank you!

    I respect Alder DeMarb for her willingness to at least entertain other perspectives. I was even surprised when Alder Rummel thanked me for the War on Cops book when I saw her at the MPD award ceremony. Shocked, actually.

    This is more than I can say for Alders Zellers & Phair, who seemingly closed off communication on this issue when they refused the books. It’s unsettling to me that elected officials – especially one who’s an educator – would do this. At least I now know where I stand with them.

    By the way, I received another book from Alder Bidar-Sielaff yesterday, for which I’ve already thanked her.

    –Paula Fitzsimmons


  3. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    I also saw the Houston Chief of Police, who was ranting about politicians “who have done nothing” and how they ought to be voted out. I thought, “One more guy saying do something, without being specific, or worse, being specific about some irrelevant point like assault rifles.” But then the talking head pointed out that the shooter had used a shotgun and revolver, so what would he recommend doing? To my surprise, he gave a pretty good answer that I could actually get behind. He said the gun owner (the dad in this case) should be charged for not securing his guns so that maniac killers can’t get ahold of them. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

    If you own a gun, you should be held responsible if you don’t take reasonable steps to secure it.


    • AnonyBob says:

      We agree here, O’L, but that puts you out of step with the NRA. Their default position is that gun owners (that aren’t obvious criminals) are ALL responsible owners. The NRA opposes ANY hints of liability or responsibility or reasonable regulation. The problem is not most gun owners. The problem is the gun lobby.


      • Batman says:

        Annoying bob writes:
        “Their default position is that gun owners (that aren’t obvious criminals) are ALL responsible owners. The NRA opposes ANY hints of liability or responsibility or reasonable regulation. The problem is not most gun owners. The problem is the gun lobby.”

        What exactly are you referencing ?
        Show your work.


        • AnonyBob says:

          BM, reference…oh, any reaction the NRA has had in the last 20 years.


        • richard lesiak says:

          What the hell are you yapping about here? What was the purpose of your idiotic post? A long quote from someone else’s writing and then show your work. What nonsense. I read AB’s post and know exactly what he was referencing. THE GUN LOBBY FOOL. How about doing some work yourself and prove him wrong.


  4. richard lesiak says:

    Greg Abbott; hugging people at a church. On his website people could sign up for a raffle to win a shotgun. Another two faced douche. He did take it down after it went national.


    • David Blaska says:

      I would enter that raffle but I never win.


    • Sarah Smith says:

      Why is it “two faced” (sic) to have a raffle to win a shotgun? Given a situation that was planned *prior* to the shooting, it certainly looks bad…hardly two-faced

      The reality is @Richard Lesiak is the douche…trying to link *anything* potentially negative to another person just because of their ideology and political leaning.


  5. Sprocket says:

    The question I would like answered is; when did our public schools become holding facilities for psychopaths and criminals? I can’t recall a recent school shooting where the shooter wasn’t well known to the staff and students as a dangerous defective. The former girlfriend of the Florida shooter took school security messages from the shooter threatening to kill her with pictures of his guns. Instead of notifying police and expelling him, nothing was done.

    It seems that public schools are victimizing the normal kids by placing a safe and stable learning environment second to the interests of the crazies and criminals. Though, given that alder Phair is actually a middle school teacher, this really isn’t so surprising. It’s time for public schools to take out the trash. When I went to school there was an “alternative” school where all the defectives were quarantined and managed. Schools should be focused on providing a quality education to as many kids as possible, not turd polishing.


  6. Batman says:

    “THE GUN LOBBY FOOL. How about doing some work yourself and prove him wrong.”

    Awww; lil’ Ritchie is throwing another tantrum because he’s mad at Batman.

    Ain’t my place to prove him wrong you fool. He made specific allegations so it’s on him to show his references, otherwise he should just preface with—-IMHO blah blah blah.


    • AnonyBob says:

      Hey Batty, try this one on for size: “Your comment is completely unacceptable.”
      Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense when I say it, either.


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