Release them from jail!

“They were murdered by a person they had tried to help.” 
—  Robin Carre – Beth Potter obituary.

In fairness, Khari O. Sanford came to Madison as damaged goods. Writing from his jail cell to Judge Ellen Berz in September 2021, Sanford wrote he was the oldest of seven children to a single mother in Chicago and a father who spent the son’s first 10 years in prison.

“One of my greatest friends died in my arm at the age of seven years old as the result of a drive by shooting,” he wrote. “That was my first traumatic experience.”

Progressive Madison — its schools, families, city government, and legal system — tried to help Khari Sanford. Instead, it taught him he was a victim of America’s supposed systemic racism.

Khari Sanford and Mayor Rhodes-Conway

The voice of youth

The City had given young Sanford an internship at city hall the year before the murders. Sanford wrote from jail: “I worked in the Common Council department in this very building [where] I am now a “resident.” A deft reference to the term Sheriff Kalvin Barrett demands be used to describe inmates in his jail. Sanford described his duties in that letter to the judge:

My job was to summarize meetings. … I was always the only young person in every meeting so I wrote a proposal … to have youth at the table when change is being discussed. I became a voice for all youth. …

Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway (Progressive Dane) posed with intern Sanford in July 2019. (She tweeted it.) Like most city leaders, her first priority was to combat racism, which she saw embedded in the city’s DNA.

He can’t breathe, either?

The next year in Minneapolis, a black man named George Floyd died 05-25-20 under the knee of a white police officer. That weekend, the usual gang of social justice warriors, bored college kids, and criminal opportunists visited kristalnacht upon State Street, Madison.

Armed with a baseball bat and bellowing BLM slogans through a bullhorn, a black man named Devonere Johnson began shaking down downtown restaurant owners in the name of racial justice.

Taxpayer-financed progressive “art” covered the boarded up windows on State Street, Madison WI

“Venmo me the money,” he demanded. “You don’t want 600 people to come in and destroy your business and burn it down,” Johnson told restaurateurs. “The cops are on our side,” Johnson continued. “You notice that when you call them, nothing happens to us.”

Until June 23, 2020, when police arrested him outside one such restaurant on Capitol Square on charges originated not by local elected law enforcement, but by the Trump-appointed federal prosecutor. For the bystanders duly recording his resistance, the resourceful Johnson thought to cry out “I can’t breathe.”

That night, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion soldiers broke windows in the State Capitol. Pulled down a statue of an empowered female figure entitled “Forward,” the state’s motto. On the other side of the Capitol, they toppled the statue of an abolitionist who died fighting slavery in the Civil War, dragged it through the streets, and dumped it into Lake Monona. A state legislator who recorded the forbidden scene — a gay Democrat — was beaten.

Where were the police? Ordered to stand down! Fearful of the wrong confrontation, they couldn’t even defend police headquarters in the city-county building. It was fire-bombed.

Set her people free

The very next day Mayor Rhodes Conway demanded that the Johnson be returned to the streets of Madison.

“I have asked for Devonere Johnson’s … initial appearance before a judge to be expedited so he can be released on bail. I recognize that we need better options to de-escalate situations and offer restorative justice in our community.”— Posted on 06-24-20 on the mayor’s official website.

“They shouldn’t have even given him a ticket,” Alderman Tag Evers chided.

At his sentencing hearing months later, Devonere Johnson promised the magistrate he’s back on medication and dealing with his feelings of anxiety and implicit bias” against [wait for it] white people.

Madison’s Jussie Smollett

Only a few blocks away from the smash and burning the same night a black woman put her claim on victimhood. Althea Bernstein claimed four “classic Wisconsin frat boys” doused her with lighter fluid and set her ablaze as her vehicle stopped at a State Street intersection. ABC’s Good Morning America reported her story. Princess Meghan telephoned condolences. Althea was handed the bullhorn at Madison’s serial anti-racism protests.

What the victim wannabe did not know is that downtown Madison is on candid camera 24/7. No frat boys, no lighter fluid, no stop lights on her thoroughfare, car windows rolled up. When there isn’t enough racism to go around, you have to invent your own. Unlike Jussie Smollett in Chicago, Madison’s racial hoaxster was never prosecuted.

Although some of these events occurred after the Carre-Potter murders, they grew out of the soil of Madison’s identity politics. The constant grievance-mongering could not help but feed Khari Sanford’s sense of entitlement.

NEXT: A prosecution that should not have been deferred.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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12 Responses to Release them from jail!

  1. Dave Mays says:

    This one is one to save for the archives. Brilliant research and writing David.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One eye says:

    Terrifying that there are four classic Wisconsin frat boys with cloaking devices still out there roaming the streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. westsidesue says:

    OMG This column hurts my heart. I never say stupid stuff like that, but this one truly hit home. I still lived in Madison when these horrific murders took place. I considered the Arboretum a sanctuary. With that and the continually rising crime rate all over the city, it is the kind of BS I was happy to put in my rearview mirror. Thanks for documenting the history of this criminal spree. I’m so hoping my friends everywhere, not just in Madison, will take the time to read this column and realize it doesn’t take much to come into your own backyard. Mr. Blaska, much respect. You’re a helluva journalist and very brave. Thank you for keeping on, keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wm. Tyroler says:

    David’s multi-pronged effort to highlight the sordid nature of the crime and to extract lessons from it indeed warrants great praise. I don’t live in Madison but I rather suspect that its bien pensant residents would prefer to put the whole thing in the rear-view mirror. To the extent I’m right about that, I’d hope that David’s series inhibits that Memory Holing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Of course the toxic effect of Madison’s progressive agenda contributed to the deaths of two good people. But since they happened to be white, their sacrifice was justified in the minds of the fanatical ideologues who run this town. No matter how many times their insane policies blow up in their faces, Madison progressives will continue to stroll down the road to ruin–and cheerfully ignore the collateral damage.


  6. Bill Cleary says:

    I seem to remember that many people fought and died in a civil war for the right of all people to be free. They also fought for the right of all people to be innocent until proven guilty.

    I also remember that many black people were whipped, starved, hung or shot or died by the hands of white people without ever being tried for whatever offense they were accused of.

    We now live in a situation where some black people now think that it is okay for some black people to consider all white people guilty before ever having to prove them guilty.

    When it was wrong for white people to do this to black people, why is it now right for some black people to now do this to white people?

    When it was wrong for white guys to don white sheets and hats to go around, beat up and kill black people, why is it now right for some black people to utilize the same tactics against white people?

    In my humble opinion, the ideology used to justify the 1st wrong is the same ideology used to justify the 2nd wrong.


  7. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    Funniest thing, a Gal of COLOR was arrested for looting (a far lesser offense than the multiple-offending, phuque-witted Johnson’s) on State Street during those very same riots.

    Yet our existentially troubled Joke-Of-A-Mayor neither saw fit, nor made the same request/offered the same succor (needing better options to de-escalate situations and offer restorative justice in our community) that she did for a multiple POS felon.

    Why? This perp’s COLOR, sans sufficient melanin content, lay outside despicable Lefty’s preferred palette.

    Despicably detestable Lefties!

    The Gotch


  8. Glori Sabin says:

    I’m a recent reader after being made made aware of David Blaska’s posts. I am delighted and amazed at the detail and courage in reporting all the hidden physical and mental atrocities that occur on a regular basis in liberal Madison. Thank you David for standing up to the lefties who run this city. It’s a shame that the Madison citizens are unaware because of media suppression and being “dumbed down”. I refuse to stand down too. We voted for you in the school board race and would do so again for any office you would seek. I admire your tenacity and truth!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. AdamC says:

    Spring-Summer 2020 here and in 200 cities across the land — THAT was an insurrection.

    Dozens dead. Hundreds hospitalized. Arson, firebombings, vandalism, violent assaults, looting. Businesses destroyed. Countless lives altered forever.

    The violent riots went on for months all over the country and were enabled, encouraged, and excused.

    Countless perps have been let off relatively easy since and there really has never been a full accounting of who funded and organized all of it. Probably never will be.

    This orgy of violence only stopped when it became clear it was jeopardizing the Democrats’ chances in the fall 2020 elections.

    THAT was a sustained, organized, paid-for violent insurrection.


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