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  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I have not previously heard of, or looked into, the death of Elijah McClain.

    I think that this account was very one-sided, to say the least. Probably outright misleading. This is typical, if one does not actually dig into the facts. The media narratives on this type of event typically range between misleading and outright false.

    Here is the one-page autopsy summary. The cause of death is “Undetermined.” How one could claim that it was the result of a ketamine overdose, as Mr. Singleton asserts, is difficult to understand. Mr. McClain was apparently injected with ketamine by a paramedic. The claim is that the dose was too high. Was it? How much would risk a fatal overdose? Gee, no one bothers to say.

    Mr. McClain was not minding his own business. He was behaving in a bizarre way, including wearing a ski mask in the summer, and there was a 911 call reporting his odd behavior. He lies to the cops (“I don’t do drugs. I don’t even kill flies!”), and later admits that he is on weed. (Here is a transcript of the 911 call and the bodycams.)

    He plainly resists. The cop asks, early on: “Sir, can you please cooperate.” Mr. McClain responds: “No, can you leave me alone?”

    Yeah, you’re walking down the street, stoned, wearing a ski mask in August, acting weird enough that someone makes a 911 call about you. But the cops are supposed to do nothing, apparently.

    Do you want an idea of how deranged Mr. McClain was acting. At one point — it looks like it was after the cops took him down to the ground (taking him to the grass for his safety, not the sidewalk) — he said: “You are all phenomenal” and “You are beautiful and I love you.”

    There are many statements in the transcript, by the cops, about Mr. McClain going for one of the officer’s guns, and about exhibiting incredible strength. I’ve seen a claim in the media that one of the cops denied that Mr. McClain went for the gun. I haven’t actually found that on the transcript.

    I’ve seen a claim in the media that the cops admit they he had committed no crime. The transcript has an unidentified speaker saying: “He’d got a mask on his face, he’s acting kind of weird. Nothing really criminal. My officers go to pick contact with him. He starts acting crazy and they told me he attacked them.”

    So they stop a guy who is acting strangely (which is proper), and he resists and fights them (which is criminal), and goes for an officer’s gun. And they restrain him, without incident.

    Mr. McClain apparently had a cardiac arrest in the ambulance. As noted above, the cause of death was undetermined. It may have been a ketamine overdose, but that would be the paramedic’s fault, not the cops.

    • #1
    • July 10, 2020, at 11:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    People of all races, all incomes and backgrounds are commonly nervous around police. We all worry that a particular officer will be unjust, unreasonable, or predatory when we see a police car approach.

    Black Americans are encouraged by media, educators, and politicians to interpret that fear as a consequence of rampant racism. But it isn’t. That fear is a consequence of the immense difference of power between government officials and citizens. 

    Particularly in our own time, after centuries of legal bloat and corruption have enabled attorneys to prosecute even the most conscientious law-abiding citizen, when we read every day about good people ruined by miscarriages of legal justice, there are reasons for citizens to fear persecution or interactions that get out of hand. 

    But I think it’s normal in any country to fear officials who have the power to suddenly take everything away. That fear regards many officials, but is most concentrated in the form of police because they are entrusted with the use of force. Police are perhaps also the most common personal interaction citizens have with government, as opposed to interactions via paperwork. And police are necessarily suspicious, even on edge, in high-crime areas. 

    We also fear police because many of us doubt that they, or government officials of any kind, will be held to account and conditions rectified if a particular officer abuses his authority. Again, I think this is a problem in any society. Power tempts abuse. People in a community, like a police department, often protect each other from the consequences of errors. 

    I don’t completely dismiss the relevance of race in police interactions. Stereotyping is simply pattern recognition applied to people. Blacks in America commit predatory crimes at rates far exceeding those of other races. Though police should consider individuals and not just the odds, of course their initial suspicions will be influenced by patterns. It’s only when someone won’t set aside the pattern when the emerging evidence in front of him contradicts it that problems arise. 

    Almost nobody ever considers race by itself in interactions. Nobody would look at Charles Payne and suspect that he’s a criminal because he is black. Attire, gait, speech, and much else affect our estimations of people before getting to know them. Again, it’s pattern recognition. 

    American blacks could reduce the risk of police abuse in two ways.

    First, foster healthy communities that reduce crime among poor urban blacks. Easier said than done, but it would change the stereotype. Democrats poison those communities. 

    Second, teach people how to minimize suspicions and ease tensions in police encounters. Whatever one’s social status, it’s prudent to always show police your hands, communicate before moving, move slowly, talk respectfully, etc. For example, I always roll down the front windows and put both my hands on the wheel if I’m pulled over. 

    Generally speaking, it’s not a problem of race. It’s a timeless problem of power.

    • #2
    • July 10, 2020, at 11:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I am getting quite tired of these misleading accounts.

    I am getting quite tired of the sanctification of supposed victims. “Remembering Elijah McClain.” Right. As if you knew him, Mr. Singleton.

    It does appear that the only purpose of these stories is to feed irrational black fear of cops. Yes, I get it, you have cop-a-phobia. It is not supported by any credible statistical evidence. But we’re supposed to understand the fear. I understand. It’s unfounded, and you should stop it. It’s just like the coronaphobia nonsense, and the rape culture nonsense.

    We’re supposed to be rational and empirical here.

    I imagine that Ricochet is sponsoring this podcast to try to help members understand better. For me, this one is not working. I am listening to what I consider to be sensible black folks — Larry Elder, and Jason Riley, and Coleman Hughes, and Rafael Mangual, and occasionally Candace Owens.

    Editorial addition: I should also include Roland Fryer, and John McWhorter.

    • #3
    • July 10, 2020, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

    I heard Shermichael Singleton on the latest Ricochet podcast and was very impressed with his life story and accomplishments at such a young age. I took Rob’s advice and tried out this podcast. It was very compelling and I came here to post a “thumbs up.” However, after reading the comments, I’m concerned that the incident Mr. Singleton decided to use to make his points may not be as cut-and-dried as he made it out to be. I’d like to see his rebuttal to the comments. That’s what Ricochet is supposed to be about — rational, back-and-forth discussion.

    • #4
    • July 13, 2020, at 9:05 AM PDT
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  5. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Generally speaking, it’s not a problem of race. It’s a timeless problem of power.

    I agree, to a degree. When I have interacted with police, I’ve always been VERY nervous. But, obviously, I’ve never lost my life or felt like I might in such encounters. I believe many black Americans do feel that they might lose their lives. Let’s be honest, that is a problem.

    Then again, I have a very strait-laced, white friend who was stopped by the police, thrown out of his vehicle and violently handcuffed on the hood of his car. The officers roughed him up pretty good. He had bruises afterwards. And this guy was an 18-year-old, straight-A high school student at the time. It turned out that an armed bank robbery had occurred in the vicinity within a half hour of the location and the suspect left the scene in the same make and model car as my friend was driving. Luckily for him, they caught the real perpetrator while they were in the process of making the arrest. If they hadn’t made that arrest, who knows what would have happened.

    The supreme irony is those who want to defund the police, the ones who are charged with enforcing laws, want to give the government more power (which means more laws and law enforcement). How does that make any sense?????????

    • #5
    • July 13, 2020, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):
    I believe many black Americans do feel that they might lose their lives. Let’s be honest, that is a problem.

    That’s a problem of perception — bad parenting, bad reporting, bad education, bad politics — not of facts. The stats say blacks are no more likely to be roughed up or killed by cops (who, unlike suspects, are not identified by race). It’s wrong that blacks commonly fear police, but that isn’t a problem police can fix. It’s a problem of narratives, not policies.

    • #6
    • July 13, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
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