A sixth-grade teacher at an all-girls academy in Dallas ISD says she was fired after word got out that she was an adult film actress more than 16 years ago.
Eva-Marie Ayala reports: Resa Woodward, who taught science at the Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School, was pulled from the classroom on Nov. 29.
“I taught in an all-girls STEAM academy that was all about empowerment for women. The sad thing is that if these girls find out that I’m being punished for something that I did nearly 20 years ago and had no control of and fought to get out of, well, what does that say about empowerment?”
District spokeswoman Robyn Harris said Woodward was still considered to be on administrative leave as of Tuesday. She declined to release additional details, citing personnel matters, saying only “the process continues.”
Woodward, 38, said she is fighting termination.
Records obtained by The Dallas Morning News this week show that the district was first made aware of Woodward’s work in the adult film industry after an anonymous tip on March 10. An internal review at the time cleared her of any policy violation.
“That involvement was not of my own choosing.”
— Resa Woodward
Woodward said district officials told her then that she could continue teaching unless her previous career became public. That happened this fall.
“I taught in an all-girls STEAM academy that was all about empowerment for women,” Woodward said Tuesday. “The sad thing is that if these girls find out that I’m being punished for something that I did nearly 20 years ago and had no control of and fought to get out of, well, what does that say about empowerment?”
“Woodward is a well-known activist in the Libertarian Party of Texas, where she serves as state membership coordinator and a district representative. She frequently contributes articles to various Libertarian-related websites.”
She added: “That involvement was not of my own choosing.”
Woodward said she was forced into pornography when she was living with an older man and they had financial troubles. She said she was able to leave the situation, finish school and become a teacher.
“I’ve been trying to live my life as far away as possible from this stuff for a long time.”
— Resa Woodward
She tried to move on. Then a tip came to the district in March saying her film name was Robyn Foster.
A web-based adult film database lists Robyn Foster as active in the industry from 2001 to 2004 and associates that actress with 16 movies, including compilations of previously recorded material that was then released as recently as 2013.
“The caller was concerned because he/she did not want his/her child exposed to things like this,” according to the report. The tipster felt Woodward was trying to deceive the students and parents.
Kate Gorman Bauer, the district’s director of Professional Standards, searched the internet and confirmed that Woodward was in numerous pornographic videos and photos. Initially, Woodward denied the allegations, then confirmed it was her, according to the district’s investigation.
Woodward told district officials that activity stopped in 2001 and believed a man who knew her was retaliating against her by alerting the district, according to the report. Read the rest of this entry »
“A direct attack on an officer like this is not common. It was a very open and very blatant ambush.”
Between the two attacks, law enforcement officers from Georgia to Michigan were shot in incidents that drew far less attention but have added to the growing sense that it’s a dangerous time to be a cop.
With the Dallas shootings, 31 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty so far this year, compared with 18 officers who had died at this point in 2015, according the statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
“Certainly there is a climate now — and the Dallas case indicates that there is a climate now — that certainly should have police on guard.”
Nick Breul, director of research for the memorial fund and a former Washington, D.C., police officer, said that there have also been a number of surprise attacks targeting and killing police officers.
“As we see increases, it becomes very concerning, particularly when you see increases in the cases of the nature of Dallas,” Breul said.
“Certainly there is a climate now — and the Dallas case indicates that there is a climate now — that certainly should have police on guard,” he added.
A black Army veteran, Lakeem Keon Scott, targeted police in a shooting on July 7 along a highway in Bristol, Tenn., authorities said. One woman was killed and three other people were injured, including one officer who is white. Scott was charged with one count of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder. Read the rest of this entry »
Dallas police chief, David Brown told reporters that too many of society’s problems are left to police officers to deal with alone. He called for those protesting against police misconduct to become cops themselves…
“We’ll put you in your neighborhood and we’ll help you resolve some of the problems you are protesting about.”
Steve Stribley, a state Fraternal Order of Police vice president and Dallas patrol officer, said Ahrens was “an incredible loving and devoted husband and father. Greatly respected veteran of the department.”
The 48-year-old officer was married to Detective Katrina Ahrens from the Crimes Against Persons division. The couple lived in Burleson with their two children together: 10-year-old Sorcha and 8-year-old Magnus. Read the rest of this entry »
Erik Ortiz reports: Police in Dallas used a robot with an explosive device to kill a suspect involved in a coordinated ambush against officers.
“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers in grave danger.”
— Mayor Mike Rawlings
The suspect was holed up inside the El Centro College parking garage for several hours overnight Thursday before police moved to “blast him out,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday. The negotiations with the unidentified suspect had stalled.
“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Rawlings told reporters. “Other options would have exposed our officers in grave danger.”
The mayor said the suspect was killed by the device, and disputed earlier reports that he might have shot himself.
At least three other suspects were involved in the attack on officers during a protest Thursday night about police-involved shootings elsewhere in the country. Five officers were killed and seven others were injured, as well as two civilians.
Typically, police forces have bomb squads that employ remote-controlled robots for dismantling explosive devices.
But using robots with explosives or munitions to root out or even kill suspects appears far less routine…(more)
The first suspect in the Dallas police shooting was identified as Micah X. Johnson, 25, the Los Angeles Times reported. Johnson was a resident of the Dallas area who had no ties to terror groups or a criminal history. Law enforcement said he has relatives in Mesquite, Texas.
Five police officers were killed late Thursday by shooters during a peaceful protest over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier this week. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said negotiations with one suspect broke down early Friday and a bomb robot was used to kill the suspect. Read the rest of this entry »
The police chief said that shootings appeared to be coordinated and planned, as the moves displayed a knowledge of the rally’s intended path through the city and an attempt to ‘triangulate’ police.
One of the suspected Dallas shooters has been “neutralized, NBC affiliate KXAS reports, after the suspect threatened the “end is coming” for police officers.
Meanwhile, a fifth police officer has died of their injuries, the Dallas Police Department said.
“The suspect we’re negotiating with … has told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement, and that there are bombs all over the place and downtown, so we’re being very careful with our tactics, so we don’t put our officers in harm’s way, or the citizens.”
— Dallas Police Chief David Brown
Eleven officers were shot by two snipers, who opened fire from elevated positions in a coordinated attack after a rally in Dallas, Texas. The rally was being held to protest the deaths of two black men this week at the hands of police.
At the press conference held close to 2 a.m. ET, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said a suspect, who was holed up in a second-floor garage in the city’s downtown area, was exchanging gunfire with police and “not being very cooperative.”
“The suspect we’re negotiating with … has told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement, and that there are bombs all over the place and downtown, so we’re being very careful with our tactics, so we don’t put our officers in harm’s way, or the citizens,” Brown said. KXAS reported later that the threat had been “neutralized”.
He said a woman had been taken into custody after she was observed by police carrying a camouflaged bag, which she put into a car that then sped off. The vehicle was stopped by police and they were currently questioning two occupants, Brown said.
KXAS | NBC News – A view of the downtown Dallas area from the KXAS/NBC news helicopter, as police swarm the area.
Earlier, police said that a suspect had been taken into custody after a shootout, and the bomb squad was examining a suspicious package found near the location of that suspect.
Brown told the press conference, however that he did not have a “complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” and that a rigorous search of the downtown area was continuing.
The police chief said that shootings appeared to be coordinated and planned, as the moves displayed a knowledge of the rally’s intended path through the city and an attempt to “triangulate” police. Read the rest of this entry »
Police continue to exchange gunfire with a cornered gunman hours after four officers were fatally shot at the conclusion of a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas, officials said early Friday morning.
“We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects. So we will continue a very, very rigorous investigation and search of downtown.”
Three other suspects were in custody in connection with the shooting that killed three Dallas police officers and one DART transit officer and wounded seven other officers, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
“We will likely be working throughout the early morning hours of Friday until we are satisfied that all suspects have been captured and have an opportunity to be interviewed.”
— Dallas Police Chief David Brown
The cornered suspect is not cooperating and has told negotiators “he’s going to hurt and kill more of us,” alluding to bombs planted in the area, Brown said. A bomb squad investigated at least one suspicious package in the night as part of the massive police response.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Mike Rawlings provide a 12:30 a.m. update on the shootings in downtown Dallas.
Eleven officers in all were shot by gunmen in what police believe to be a coordinated ambush attack that began at 8:58 p.m., at the close of a rally in solidarity with two men killed in officer-involved shootings, one in Louisiana, one in Minnesota.
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves to triangulate on our officers and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could.”
— Dallas Police Chief David Brown
Video from the scene showed officers taking cover and people in the rally scattering after gunshots were heard.
Dallas police officers take cover after shots were fired during a protest of nationwide officer-involved shootings, July 8, 2016.
Officers Take Cover After Shots Fired Downtown
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves to triangulate on our officers and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Brown said at a news conference Thursday evening.
At least one civilian was injured. She was identified by family as Shetamia Taylor, and she was shot while shielding her children from the gunfire, her sister told NBC 5. Taylor’s condition is not known.
One person was taken into custody at about 11:30 p.m., Dallas police said, following an exchange of gunfire with Dallas SWAT officers. A suspicious package was located near that person, and the package was being investigated by bomb squad personnel.
Witnesses tell NBC 5 what they saw after Dallas police officers were shot after a rally in Downtown Dallas Thursday night.
Two other people were taken into custody in connection with a vehicle, Brown said. But he and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings stressed that the shooting scene was still active — Brown said that after the Friday morning news conference, he would receive plans for how to end the standoff with the suspect, in a garage at El Centro College.
“We still don’t have a complete comfort level that we have all the suspects. So we will continue a very, very rigorous investigation and search of downtown,” Brown said. “We will likely be working throughout the early morning hours of Friday until we are satisfied that all suspects have been captured and have an opportunity to be interviewed.”
Shots Fired at Dallas Rally: The Dallas Morning News Photos
Rawlings called the shooting Dallas’ “worst nightmare,” Thursday night, and asked that all residents “come together and support our police officers.” Read the rest of this entry »
HOUSTON – Collin Eaton writes: For American drillers, the New Year will likely bring more of the same – financial pressure and mass layoffs.
The U.S. petroleum industry hasn’t seen this many bankruptcies in one quarter since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says, counting nine Chapter 11 court filings in the year’s final three-month period. And that’s just a third of the year’s domestic casualty count.
The Dallas Fed also estimates in a new report on Thursday the nation has lost about 70,000 oil and gas jobs since October 2014, a 14.5 percent drop in the 14 months after the domestic shale drilling boom that drew thousands to Houston’s oil hub began a steep decline.
But the sacrifice of dozens of U.S. oil producers, thousands of oil field workers and more than 1,200 drilling rigs still hasn’t stalled U.S. crude production enough to shrink the global oil glut that has sent oil prices below $40 a barrel.
Global crude supplies, the Fed said, could outpace demand by 600,000 barrels a day, and the world’s crude storage tanks may not start to decline until 2017.
That’s in part because increased production from Iran has come on earlier than anticipated and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to continue pumping crude at current levels. Read the rest of this entry »
Gunman opened fire on Dallas Police Department and rammed a police car before fleeing
Nathan Koppel reports: The suspected gunman who opened fire on the Dallas Police Department’s headquarters early Saturday was believed to be dead after a standoff with officers, Police Chief David Brown said.
Police couldn’t confirm whether the suspect, who was in an armored van that he claimed had explosives inside, was alive. Police hadn’t yet confirmed the man’s identity.
Snipers shot at the van’s front window and struck the suspect, Mr. Brown said. Police were using a robot to determine whether explosives remain near the vehicle.
Police had chased the suspect to a parking lot at a Jack in the Boxrestaurant south of Dallas after he fired on officers at the Dallas police headquarters early Saturday. No officers were injured in the shootings. Read the rest of this entry »
DALLAS (AP) — Nomann Merchant reports: At least one gunman opened fire on officers outside of police headquarters in Dallas early Saturday, spraying squad cars with bullets before fleeing in a van, which officers followed to a suburban parking lot and surrounded, beginning a standoff, the police chief said.
Witnesses described seeing as many as three other suspects taking part in the attack, but police Chief David Brown said at a news conference that conflicting accounts made it difficult to determine how many people may have been involved. Despite a hail of gunshots, including some that hit police vehicles, nobody was wounded, he said.
According to Brown, the shootout began at around 12:30 a.m., when the suspect or suspects parked in front of the department’s headquarters south of downtown and began firing. At least one assailant later drove off in a dark-colored van, which witnesses described as armored, but not before ramming a police cruiser. The moment was caught on cellphone video shot from a nearby balcony in which several shots can be heard.
Officers trailed the van to a Jack in the Box parking lot in Hutchins, a Dallas suburb, where a SWAT team had it surrounded, Brown said. They had been speaking to a man inside who identified himself as James Boulware and who said he blames police for losing custody of his son and “accusing him of being a terrorist.”
TYLER, Texas (AP) – A Dallas-area photographer who did senior portraits for some graduates in East Texas must serve 20 years in prison for producing child pornography.
Todd B. Fleming of McKinney was sentenced Tuesday in Tyler.
The 54-year-old Fleming last October pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children. Investigators say Fleming from 1999 to 2007 coerced juveniles to engage in sexually explicit conduct for producing child porn. Read the rest of this entry »
Portraits of (clockwise from bottom left) former President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, and the former president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. All were painted by former President George W. Bush. Credit – Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
Don’t let Peter Baker‘s pretentious, dreadful first sentence in this NYT article dissuade you (enjoy it, I know I did, ever so frostily) it’s a good subject. Former President Bush is a fine amateur painter!
Peter Baker writes: A dour Vladimir Putin glares ever so frostily, full of menace, free of mirth, ready to annex any passer-by unwise enough to get too close.
Tony Blair stares ahead, sober and resolute. Hamid Karzai, in traditional green cap and cape, glances off to the side, almost as if checking over his shoulder for the Taliban — or perhaps for the United States. The Dalai Lama looks serene, Stephen Harper jovial, Jiang Zemin grim.
“…Putin has certainly put himself on display for the world. I don’t think there’s much more we can say about Putin that Putin hasn’t already revealed to the world in living color.”
— Stephen J. Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser
The world’s most distinctive gallery of international leaders opens in Dallas on Saturday, famous faces as seen through the eyes of the former president of the United States and noted amateur painter, George W. Bush. Graduating from dogs and cats and landscapes, Mr. Bush has produced a collection of more than two dozen portraits of foreign figures he encountered while in office and put them on display at his presidential library.
“I spent a lot of time on personal diplomacy and I befriended leaders. I learned about their families and their likes and dislikes, to the point where I felt comfortable painting them.”
— Artist and former President G.W.Bush
The official debut of the artist known as W. peels back the curtain on the hobby that has consumed him, and intrigued many others, over the last couple of years. Although some of his early works, including vaguely unsettling self portraits in the bath and shower, were posted on the Internet after his family’s email accounts were hacked, this is the first time the former president has staged an exhibit of his art. And his choices are as revealing about the artist as the subjects.
A self-portrait by Mr. Bush, left, and a portrait of his father, the former President George Bush. Credit – Kim Leeson for the George W. Bush Presidential Center..
In a TV cult like Kennedy’s, there is more than a whiff of Roman decadence.
Michael Knox Beran writes: Whatever bargain Joe Kennedy struck with the devil, the expiation of it was cruel. The poor man was forced to watch his three gifted boys precede him to the grave, and left to die in the knowledge that Ted would succeed him as head of the house.
Give Joe this much. It is not every guy whom the devil finds it worth his while to tempt with gifts of fame, fortune, and a dynastic legacy. Yet those of us whose humbler stations in life testify to our having been passed over in the diabolic sweepstakes have our ungenerous consolation; few things are more satisfying to us than the spectacle of the Theban sufferings of folk like the Kennedys.
It’s nothing new. The sight of the great ones of the earth in extremis has ever soothed the passions of the little people. In the Periclean heyday of Athens the populace rejoiced, through the vicarious medium of the theater, in the gore that oozed from the palaces of Oedipus and Agamemnon. In 17th-century London the citizens imbrued themselves, figuratively and imaginatively, in the blood of Macbeth’s Glamis and Hamlet’s Elsinore.
In America we have the tabloid media, which dexterously foment the gloomy passions of envy and revenge; so prompt, indeed, are the purveyors of schadenfreude that scarcely a week passes in which we are not treated to the destruction of some high-flier or other, an exhibition we as a rule take in with a most complacent glee.
President Kennedy’s casket in the Rotunda on Capitol Hill: AP Images
[The 2nd in a 3-part series on JFK this morning]
Warren Mass writes: As the nation pauses to reflect on the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the respectful and civil recollection of this horrific act is already being marred by those who seek to politicize Kennedy’s killing to serve their own agenda.
With the passage of 50 years’ time, it becomes more and more doubtful that we will ever learn the entire truth behind the assassination. However, since some members of the media have already started to rearrange the events of 50 years ago to divert blame from a self-described Marxist — Lee Harvey Oswald — onto those they like to label as (variously) “ultra-conservative,” “archconservative,” or simply “right-wing,” a sane and sober look at these claims is definitely called for.
Leading the charge against the “ultra-conservatives” is Scott K. Parks, who penned an article for the Dallas News for October 12 headlined: “Extremists in Dallas created volatile atmosphere before JFK’s 1963 visit.” Parks lamented that following November 22, 1963, “Dallas became known to the world as the city of hate, the city that killed Kennedy.”
Parks proceeded to assign blame for exactly who was responsible for manufacturing this “hateful” atmosphere in Dallas, and — lest anyone miss his point — his explanation falls under a subheading, “John Birch Society HQ.”
For the American Spectator, Dallas native William Murchison writes: After a time, ruts appear in the intellectual landscape, engraved through repetition of the same words, the same notions and incantations. “City of Hate” would be one of those; another, “right-wing hysteria”; also “paranoia,” “kooks,” “extremists,” “deranged,” “out of control.” The image of Dallas, Texas, the city where President Kennedy was slain in 1963, has the familiarity of a television commercial played so many times that reflex takes the place of reasoned assessment. Why analyze or appraise? Dallas, if it didn’t gun down the president, certainly furnished the stage and props for a creep like Lee Harvey Oswald. What else is there, my friends, that’s worth knowing?
From the historical standpoint, that is. I’m not convinced, actually, that vast numbers of Americans spend their days plotting to make the city of Dallas pay for the assassination—in Dallas, by a Dallas resident—of a president not understood as one of “The Immortals” until he became so at the Triple Underpass in Dallas. It was a long time ago, 50 years this November 22. The caravan moves on. The burgeoning, self-assured city of Dallas, to which the Kennedy party came in 1963, bears only happenstantial resemblance to the great North Texas “metroplex” of which modern Dallas is just one constituent element, albeit a large and highly important one.
For all that, we may anticipate that the Kennedy observances this fall—centered, naturally, in Dallas, and with the city’s robust participation—will require in the minds of some a retelling of the legends: the patient reconstruction, block by block, street by street, of the City of Hate. Some just can’t get past it. I’m sorry for them. Their mental batteries need a recharge.
This item by George Will is notable because it bypasses the current political drama and looks into the history of 20th Century Liberalism with a wider lens, and sweeps into a moment in time that bears thoughtful reflection. It’s an event that continues to influence post 20th-Century liberal thought, in ways that we have to live with, like it or not, every day.
If you don’t read anything else this week, read this one.
I also found it timely because I found myself listening to news on NPR yesterday, something I only do when I’m in my car, and was shocked to be reminded of a strain of Liberal thought that’s always troubled me: the theory of ‘collective’ crime, or collective guilt. Collective repentance. Collective salvation. But until this NPR segment, I hadn’t connected it the contemporary grievance culture all the way back to 1963.
I learned, contrary to common sense and written history, that President Kennedy wasn’t killed by an assassin with a rifle. Turns out (according to NPR) he was killed by a “climate”. Dallas did it. Society murdered JFK. It was the ‘climate of hate” that permeated Dallas Texas, in 1963. Apparently, this ‘stew’ (as the NPR reporter called it) of “hyper-patriotism, anti-semitism, racism”, etc., that was simmering in Dallas, reached a boiling point. The invisible brain-waves of anti-Kennedy hatred moved through the air in Texas, affecting anyone in that climate-stew, and concentrated itself in Dealy plaza, until President Kennedy’s head exploded, spontaneously, just from the pressure of all that collective hatred.
There goes the single bullet theory.
Liberals really believe this, too. Not that JFK’s head exploded spontaneously. But that Dallas killed Kennedy. That the city was so full of hatred for the President, so full of bitterness and bad thoughts, that the concentrated hatred assembled itself in the person of one unhinged individual, Lee Harvey Oswald (leaving aside conspiracist’s claims of additional gunmen) who acted upon this pent-up rage. The unavoidable fate–the Kennedy-death wish–had to be unleashed, and realized.
So, shots were fired. Resulting in the ghastly murder of the President, executed on society’s behalf. According to this narrative, the collective dark urge had to find expression. It was wound too tightly, had to be released. It wasn’t Owsald’s fault. It was Dallas’ fault. It was society’s fault. It was America’s fault.
How potent was this Kennedy vitriol, in Dallas? Well, you can clearly see, in photos, and newsreels, all those people waving and smiling as the motorcade passes. The moms with their babies, the kids with American flags, the civilians, soldiers, policemen. The crowds with cameras, eager to glimpse the President. Don’t let their happy expressions fool you. Those smiles and waves? They were masking deep, murderous, collective hatred.
Update: Tim Graham at PA Pundits has a much more informed report on NPR’s original segment (of which I caught the tail end of, or the following day’s listener mail) and quotes sections of the NPR interview with author Bill Minutaglio, who peddles this “right wing hysteria” fantasy:
BLOCK: As we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, a new book dives deep into the city where the murder took place. “Dallas, 1963″ explores the swirling forces of right wing fanaticism at work in the city during the three years leading up to JFK’s assassination. By this account, Dallas in the early ’60s was a stew of super-patriotism, fueled by anti-communist paranoia, fierce racism and anti-Semitism.
Reading Tim’s account, it appears that historians and authors on the Left not only still dust off and promote this toxic mythology, they’re doubling down on it. Or at least Bill Minutaglio is, in his new book. And, I’m sure, ties it to the Tea Party, casually and dishonestly mislabeling it as a racist, radical pro-white, ‘hate’ group. Identical to those “right wing fanatics” in Dallas who collectively killed Kennedy, dragging America with it. Good grief. Who is the paranoid one here?
Besides George Will, I hope other rational reviewers take Minutaglio’s book apart, and expose it for what it is. Paranoid Left Wing Fantasy. Reason-free, heartfelt, self-affirming propaganda. Other historians are sure to agree. It hits all the right notes, in harmony.
“Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis’s DALLAS 1963 is a brilliantly written, haunting eulogy to John F. Kennedy. By exposing the hatred aimed at our 35th president, the authors demonstrates that America–not just Lee Harvey Oswald–was ultimately responsible for his death. Every page is an eye opener. Highly recommended!”
I really thought that by 2013 the “mass-Dallas-fanatic-hysteria” narrative would have withered under the bright light of contrary evidence. (as most of the other muddled assassination conspiracy theories inevitably have) It appears the narrative is even stronger than I realized, like a virus that’s mutating, adapting, poised to inform new generations of readers.
There’s so much to say about this. About the conflict between those who accept individual sovereignty, individual morality, individual responsibility, individual accountability, individual salvation, vs. those who believe in collective morality, group rights, group entitlements, tribalism, class-warfare, social justice debts, and collective guilt. The dreamlike romantic notion that we’re all part of an invisible web of interconnected thoughts and feelings, and the actions of an individual are really nothing more than a necessary expression of a larger unspoken wish. These are drastically different world views. And from this tainted collectivist narrative came the post-1960s Liberal grievance culture. As George Will explores in the following article.
Make no mistake, I do believe that a climate of hatred can afflict a culture. And that a society that tolerates crime and violence, tends to breed more crime, invite more violence. And that a system that enables corruption to flourish, reaps what it sews. And so forth. Yes, these things can have a corrosive effect on individuals in society.
But the notion of collective guilt that emerged from this historic miscarriage signaled a complete change of direction for the post-war Liberal project. And the sour, scolding, reactionary tone of postmodern Liberalism can be traced back to the aftermath of the events in Dealy Plaza, and the Left’s efforts to reconcile them.
From this poisoned well sprang the liberal historians’ deranged lie that “right-wing fanaticism” killed America’s beloved President. Even Barry Goldwater was somehow implicated. Why? Because for the Left, the truth was too disturbing to confront. That Kennedy was murdered, not from the right, not from random invisible hate-brain-waves, not by shadowy, clandestine, fanatical forces, but from the left.
Stripped from all the mythology, the uncomfortable truth remains: A radicalized Marxist crackpot with a cheap Italian rifle, acting–almost certainly–in solitude, completely disinterested in the social “climate” in Dallas that day, shot JFK. For his own reasons. Not society’s.
Now that the war in Iraq is officially over and the one in Afghanistan winding down, the Department of Defense found itself facing a conundrum. It had just spent billions of dollars buying heavily armored personnel carriers designed to stand up to insurgent attacks only to find that it had run out of wars to use them in.The initial plan was to shove the vehicles, called MRAPS (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) into a warehouse and let them collect dust. That changed when someone decided that, having served so admirably overseas, it would be only just to bring the MRAPs stateside and deploy them in the domestic war on crime.
These were the myths in which the Kennedy assassination came to be embalmed. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they are still widely believed, and not only by members of a credulous public. The claim that JFK was a victim of hatred and bigotry or a martyr in the crusade for civil rights is now a basic element in the liberal interpretation of the post-war era.
James Piereson writes: It has now been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was cut down on the streets of Dallas by rifle shots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-described Marxist, recent defector to the Soviet Union, and ardent admirer of Fidel Castro. The evidence condemning Oswald was overwhelming: the bullets that killed President Kennedy were fired from his rifle, the rifle was found on the sixth floor of the warehouse where he worked and where he was seen moments before the shooting, witnesses on the street saw a man firing shots from a sixth floor window in that building and immediately summoned police to provide a description of the assassin. Forty-five minutes later a policeman stopped Oswald on foot in another section of the city to question him about the shooting. As the policeman stepped from his squad car, Oswald pulled out a pistol and pumped four shots into him before fleeing to a nearby movie theater where he was captured (still carrying the pistol with which he had killed the policeman). Two days later Oswald was himself assassinated while in police custody by a nightclub owner distraught over Kennedy’s death.
Despite the evidence, few Americans today believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy or that, if he did, he acted alone. A recent poll found that 75% of American adults believe that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy of some kind, usually of a right-wing variety. This is not surprising because most of the popular books published on the assassination since the mid-1960s have elaborated one or another conspiracy theory. Right-wing businessmen, disgruntled generals, CIA operatives, and Mafia bosses are the typical villains in these scenarios. Before long the Kennedy assassination came to be encrusted in layers of myth, illusion, and disinformation strong enough to deflect every attempt to understand it from a rational point of view. And this enduring national illusion and confusion has had unfortunate consequences.
Creating the Myth
In the days and weeks following the assassination the idea took hold that a climate of hate in Dallas and across the nation established the conditions for President Kennedy’s murder. Racial bigots, the Ku Klux Klan, followers of the John Birch Society, fundamentalist ministers, anti-Communist zealots, and conservatives of all kinds had sowed hatred and division in national life. These battalions of the American Right had been responsible for manifold acts of violence across the South against Negroes and civil rights workers in the years leading up to the assassination, and they must have been behind the attack on President Kennedy. It followed that President Kennedy was a martyr, like Abraham Lincoln, to the great causes of civil rights and racial justice. Liberal writers had warned throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s about the undercurrent of bigotry and intolerance that ran through American culture and the political dangers arising from the “radical Right.” Now it appeared that their warnings had come to fruition in the murder of a president.
This explanation for the assassination did not drop out of thin air but was circulated immediately after the event by influential leaders, journalists, and journalistic outlets, including Mrs. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Chief Justice Earl Warren, Democratic leaders in Congress, James Reston and the editorial page of the New York Times, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., columnist Drew Pearson, and any number of other liberal spokesmen. The New York Times through its editorial page and columnists insisted that a climate of hate brought down President Kennedy, even as the paper’s news reporters documented the evidence against Oswald and his Communist connections. Reston, the paper’s chief political correspondent, published a front-page column on November 23 under the title, “Why America Weeps: Kennedy Victim of Violent Streak He Sought to Curb in the Nation.” In the course of the column he observed that, “from the beginning to the end of his Administration, he [JFK] was trying to damp down the violence of the extremists on the Right.” Reston returned to this theme in subsequent columns, pointing the finger at hatred and a spirit of lawlessness in the land as the ultimate causes of the presidential assassination.
Following this line of thought, Chief Justice Warren, soon to head the official commission that investigated the assassination, declared: “A great and good President has suffered martyrdom as a result of the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” Pat Brown, governor of California, and Charles Taft, mayor of Cincinnati, organized a series of candlelight vigils across the nation “to pledge the end of intolerance and to affirm that such a tragedy shall not happen in America again.” The Reverend Adam Clayton Powell (also a congressman) issued a statement shortly after the assassination: “President Kennedy is a martyr of freedom and human rights and a victim of injustice as promulgated by Barnett and Wallace,” here referring to the segregationist governors of Mississippi and Alabama. Less than a week after the assassination, Pearson published one of his syndicated columns under the title, “Kennedy Victim of Hate Drive.” Many took this a step further to declare that all Americans were complicit in Kennedy’s death because they had tolerated hatred and bigotry in their midst. As a popular song, “Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones put it a few years later: “I shouted out: who killed the Kennedys? When after all it was you and me.” This became the near universal response to the assassination: a strain of bigotry and hatred in American culture was responsible for Kennedy’s murder.
For his part, President Johnson saw that his job as national leader in that time of crisis was to supply some meaning to his predecessor’s sudden death. “John Kennedy had died,” he said later, “[b]ut his cause was not really clear…. I had to take the dead man’s program and turn it into a martyr’s cause.” In his first speech before the Congress on November 27, Johnson proclaimed that “no memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy’s memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long.” The civil rights bill, which Kennedy belatedly proposed in mid-1963, was approved in 1964 with bipartisan majorities in the Congress. On the international front, Johnson feared a dangerous escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union and another McCarthy-style “witch-hunt” against radicals should the American public conclude that a Communist was responsible for the assassination. From his point of view, it was better to circumvent that danger by deflecting blame for the assassination from Communism to some other unpopular target. Read the rest of this entry »
Jackie Salo reports: A Texas teen who ran into a church half-naked saying she was raped confessed that the story was a hoax, according to authorities.
“Two weeks ago, Talbott turned up at a local church bloody, wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She allegedly told churchgoers that she had been kidnapped and gang-raped in the woods behind the church.”
Two weeks ago, Talbott turned up at a local church bloody, wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She allegedly told churchgoers that she had been kidnapped and gang-raped in the woods behind the church.
Talbott told investigators that she was raped by two black men in ski masks while a third pinned her down. She claimed that the suspects had kidnapped near her car in an apartment parking lot, news station KXII reported.
California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. It also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers.
Every year from 2000 through 2015, more people left California than moved in from other states. This migration was not spread evenly across all income groups, a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. Census Bureau data found. The people leaving tend to be relatively poor, and many lack college degrees. Move higher up the income spectrum, and slightly more people are coming than going.
About 2.5 million people living close to the official poverty line left California for other states from 2005 through 2015, while 1.7 million people at that income level moved in from other states – for a net loss of 800,000. During the same period, the state experienced a net gain of about 20,000 residents earning at least five times the poverty rate – or $100,000 for a family of three.
Kiril Kundurazieff, 56, is among the low-income residents who left California. He spent more than a decade working in a small bookstore, then at Target, then at a Verizon call center, in Southern California. After some medical issues that hampered his eyesight, he found himself unemployed in Santa Ana, with monthly rent of about $1,000 in 2012.
“There was really nothing left for me in California,” said Kundurazieff, who also writes a blog about his cats. “The cost of living was high. The rent was high. The job market was debatable.”
Friends in Texas suggested he relocate. He now works at a Walmart in Houston, making a little north of $10 an hour. He works 40 hours a week, riding his bike about 7 miles to work many days. He does not pay state income tax. His rent is just over $500, with utilities.
About the same time that Kundurazieff was leaving, Tamara and Kit Keane were arriving from Oklahoma. Both had been working on their doctorate degrees at Oklahoma universities, Kit in biology and Tamara in education.
The Keanes already knew California. Kit, 34, was born and raised in Sacramento. Tamara, 31, spent most of her life in Southern California. They met at UC Davis about a decade ago.
With graduate degrees, they had options. They liked the cost of living in Oklahoma and bought a two-bedroom house with a backyard for the bargain basement cost of $121,000.
But they wanted to come back to California, for its beauty and to be near family. “We knew coming here, we would have to make a lot more money to live a similar lifestyle,” Tamara Keane said.
After moving back last year, both now work for the Twin Rivers Unified School District as teachers on special assignment. They are expecting a child and recently purchased a three-bedroom house in Hollywood Park for $360,000. Tamara is still working on her Ph.D.; Kit is looking into eventually teaching at the university level. “Teacher salaries are not great,” Tamara Keane said. “But they are enough for us to want to come here.”
Well-paid new arrivals in California enjoy a life that is far out of reach of much of the state’s population. Besides Hawaii and New York, California has the highest cost of living in America. Read the rest of this entry »
Heather Mac Donald writes: Donald Trump’s promise to restore law and order to America’s cities was one of the most powerful themes of his presidential campaign. His capacity to deliver will depend on changing destructive presidential rhetoric about law enforcement and replacing the federal policies that flowed from that rhetoric.
“Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has imposed an unprecedented number of federal consent decrees on police agencies, subjecting those agencies to years of costly federal monitoring, based on a specious methodology for teasing out alleged systemic police bias.”
The rising violence in many urban areas is driven by what candidate Trump called a “false narrative” about policing. This narrative holds that law enforcement is pervaded by racism, and that we are experiencing an epidemic of racially biased police shootings of black men.
SEAFORD, NY: The hearse carrying the casket for fallen New York City police officer Brian Moore leaves a Long Island church on May 8, 2015 in Seaford, New York. Officer Moore died last Monday after being shot in the head while on duty two days earlier in Queens. The 25-year-old officer and his partner stopped a man suspected of carrying a handgun when the man opened fire on them. As many as 30,000 police officers from across the United States payed their respects at the Long Island funeral. (Photo – Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Multiple studies have shown that those claims are untrue. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. Yet President Obama has repeatedly accused the police and criminal-justice system of discrimination, lethal and otherwise. During the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down in July by an assassin who reportedly was inspired by Black Lives Matter, Mr. Obama announced that black parents were right to “fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door”—that the child will be fatally shot by a cop.
The consequences of such presidential rhetoric are enormous, especially when amplified by the media. Officers working in high-crime areas now encounter a dangerous level of hatred and violent resistance. Gun murders of officers are up 68% this year compared with the same period last year.
“The department assumes that police activity like stops or arrests will be evenly spread across different racial and ethnic populations unless there is police racism. So if police stops are higher among blacks, say, the police, according to this reasoning, must be motivated by bias.”
Police have cut way back on pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement in minority neighborhoods, having been told repeatedly that such discretionary activities are racially oppressive. The result in 2015 was the largest national homicide increase in nearly 50 years. That shooting spree has continued this year, ruthlessly mowing down children and senior citizens in many cities, along with the usual toll of young black men who are the primary targets of gun crime.
To begin to reverse these trends, President Trump must declare that the executive branch’s ideological war on cops is over. The most fundamental necessity of any society is adherence to the rule of law, he should say. Moreover, there is no government agency today more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police.
“But this analysis ignores the large racial differences in offending and victimization rates. Policing today is data-driven: Cops go where innocent civilians are most being preyed upon—and that is in minority neighborhoods. Under a Trump administration, police activity should be evaluated against a benchmark of crime, not population ratios.”
The nationwide policing revolution that originated in New York City in 1994—based on proactive enforcement—saved thousands of minority lives over 20 years, and provided urban residents with newfound freedom. While police agencies and their local overseers must remain vigilant against officer abuses, the federal government will no longer deem cops racist for responding to community demands for public order.
Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has imposed an unprecedented number of federal consent decrees on police agencies, subjecting those agencies to years of costly federal monitoring, based on a specious methodology for teasing out alleged systemic police bias. The department assumes that police activity like stops or arrests will be evenly spread across different racial and ethnic populations unless there is police racism. So if police stops are higher among blacks, say, the police, according to this reasoning, must be motivated by bias. Read the rest of this entry »
Abdul Razak Ali Artan was killed by a police officer after the car-and-knife ambush.
Pete Williams, Tom Winter, Andrew Blankstein and Tracy Connor report: An Ohio State University student posted a rant shortly before he plowed a car into a campus crowd and stabbed people with a butcher knife in an ambush that ended when a police officer shot him dead, a law enforcement official said.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah… We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”
— Abdul Razak Ali Artan, on Facebook
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, wrote on what appears to be his Facebook page that he had reached a “boiling point,” made a reference to “lone wolf attacks” and cited radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” the post said.
Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”
Officials cautioned that they have not determined a motive for the ambush, which sent 11 people to the hospital Monday morning. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that investigators are trying to determine whether Artan had personal problems or something else that might have pushed him over the edge.
A photo of Abdul Razak Ali Artan that accompanied an interview in the OSU publication The Lantern. Kevin Stankiewicz / The Lantern
“He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was ‘kind of scared’ to pray in public.”
A police officer was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant, likely saving lives, university officials said. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.
Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Artan was a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident.
He lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to records maintained by Catholic Charities.
Artan attended Columbus State Community College for two years, graduating cum laude with an associate’s degree before moving on to Ohio State to continue his studies. He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was “kind of scared” to pray in public.
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen,” Artan was quoted as saying in the Lantern.
The violence unfolded just before 10 a.m. ET Monday near an academic hall on the Columbus, Ohio, campus, where 60,000 students are enrolled.
Officials said Artan drove onto campus by himself and rammed the car past the curb and into a crowd on the sidewalk. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer identified the issue of sanctuary cities as a scandal even before Donald Trump took issue with them, and he said that Democrats would be foolish to defy federal authority to defend them.
Jessica Vaughan reports: Sanctuary jurisdictions remain a significant public safety problem throughout the country. About 300 jurisdictions have been identified by ICE as having a policy that is non-cooperative and obstructs immigration enforcement (as of September 2015). The number of cities has remained relatively unchanged since our last update in January 2016, as some new sanctuary jurisdictions have been added and few jurisdictions have reversed their sanctuary policies.
Over the 19-month period from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 detainers were rejected by these jurisdictions. Of these, about 11,800 detainers, or 68 percent, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history.
According to ICE statistics, since the Obama administration implemented the new Priority Enforcement Program in July 2015 restricting ICE use of detainers, the number of rejected detainers has declined. However, the number of detainers issued by ICE also has declined in 2016, so it is not clear if the new policies are a factor. It is apparent that most of the sanctuary policies remain in place, raising concerns that the Priority Enforcement Program has failed as a response to the sanctuary problem, and has simply resulted in fewer criminal aliens being deported.
The Department of Justice’s Inspector General recently found that some of the sanctuary jurisdictions appear to be violating federal law, and may face debarment from certain federal funding or other consequences.
‘Real feminism is about empowerment and taking our safety into our own hands,’ Dallas gun owner Antonia Okafor says.
Fred Lucas reports: Antonia Okafor, a Dallas resident, says she believes a gun can be the great equalizer for women to defend themselves—one reason she is now the southwest regional director for a group called Students for Concealed Carry.
“A lot of minority homes didn’t have father figures growing up. The right to bear arms is a way to protect our community. Every weekend people are dying in cities riddled with gun control.”
State laws allowing residents to carry concealed weapons have been enacted in all 50 states, with varying degrees of regulation—most recently on college campuses.
In an April poll by ABC News of issues millennial women are most concerned about, gun rights scored even with equal pay and abortion, each getting 11 percent.
A study by the Crime Prevention Research Center earlier this month found concealed-carry permits have boomed nationally, but particularly among women and minorities. “In eight states where we have data by gender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men,” the report says.
“No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates,” said Maj Toure.
There was one shooting every six hours on average last year in Philadelphia. In the past 10 years, more than 14,500 shootings occurred, with at least 2,600 killed by guns — many of whom were black residents.
“What I can say to the American people from whatever background you are, is exercise your Second Amendment rights. Be open-minded, be objective and learn.”
— Maj Toure
While some see the numbers as a reason to increase gun control, others see things differently.
Yuri Zalzman of North Philadelphia’s The Gun Range and Maj Toure of the activist group Black Guns Matter have come together to try to find solutions.
Here & Now’s Robin Young visited The Gun Range and spoke with Zalzman and Toure about their efforts.
The Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on the wall of The Gun Range in North Philadelphia. (Dean Russell/Here & Now)
Interview Highlights: Maj Toure & Yuri Zalzman
On individuals and gun ownership
Maj Toure: “For one they should choose to exercise anything that will defend themselves. If someone has a firearm and you don’t, you lose. That’s it. No different than if someone has a knife and you don’t have the means to defend yourself, you lose.
So I think that the community that I’m from, I think that information is deliberately kept away. It’s made to seem that if you have a firearm you’re either law enforcement or you must be the bad guy. No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates.”
On police in Dallas being suspicious of black men who were carrying rifles
Toure: “That’s the police officers’ and law enforcement’s responsibility to balance that out. Because there’s one or two or a few bad apples, I wouldn’t say throw the whole bunch out. You cannot group and have a monolithic statement or blanket solution for everyone when people don’t fall in alignment with that particular… I don’t even think it’s even a level of confusion. That’s law enforcement’s responsibility to be better trained and execute their duties in a much more productive way.”
On how Dallas police had to control the situation with the shooterYuri Zalzman: “What we’re talking about is one additional, very unfortunate tragic event. We don’t normally have these situations I think that the discussion should not take place on the fringes, no more than it is pleasant to have a conversation with somebody whose thoughts are at the extremes one way or the other. Read the rest of this entry »
Kristina Taylor reports: A Friday night gathering of supporters of law enforcement officers at the White House led by conservative author Michelle Malkin, retired New York City police officer John Cardillo and Cameron Gray (NRA News) aims to light the White House in blue to honor fallen officers in defiance of the pointed refusal of President Barack Obama to show the same level of support he has shown same sex marriage and breast cancer awareness activists.
The pro-police rally will be held at Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House at 7:45 p.m. Attendees are being encouraged to bring blue lights and tributes to fallen officers. Blue glow sticks will be handed out for those without their blue lights.
“An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.” -Donald Trump just now. Can I get an AMEN? Trump’s forceful defense of our men & women in blue tonight at the GOP Convention is one of the top reasons I will unapologetically support him over lawless Hillary in November. How about you? If you are in the D.C. area tomorrow night, please meet me for #bluelightfriday at the White House at sundown! I’ll be holding vigil for the fallen with my friend, former NYPD officer John Cardillo, and many other retired/active-duty LEOs and friends/families/supporters of LEOs. We’re lighting the White House blue since Obama won’t do it. We’ll have blue glow sticks for everyone – or bring your own best blue lights and tributes for our fallen. Details ===>
The Obama administration refused a request by a federal law enforcement officers union to illuminate the White House in blue to honor the Dallas officer murdered by a Black Lives Matter supporter earlier this month.
I was invited to attend last week’s town hall and ask the president a question, but ultimately could not make it. But I did watch it at home, and would like to highlight some key points President Obama did not to make, which could have begun the process of healing and reconciliation.
Indeed, Sunday’s execution of three police officers in Baton Rouge shows what can happen when the president creates an atmosphere of racial victimization and blames police. So it is critical that Obama develops a new message that takes us in the right direction before things get worse and there’s another incident.
With that in mind, here are the statements President Obama should have included in his remarks last week.
1. ‘We Must, Must, Must Reduce the Black Crime Rate’
The black crime rate is significantly higher than that of other races. Yes, some would claim this is due to institutionalized racism or a lack of job opportunities. However, black crime was much lower in past eras when discrimination against black people was much higher, and the economic position of black people was much worse, than today. So that can be no excuse.
President Obama should have talked about how the overall crime rate for black people is three times higher than the national average. He should have noted how blacks commit homicide at a rate eight times higher than whites do, according to Department of Justice data. Even though blacks and Hispanics combined make up only 30 percent of the population, they make up more than 80 percent of all gang members in the United States. He should also have talked how even though black folks are only 13 percent of the population, we commit about 62 percent of all robberies and 56 percent of all carjackings. Obama should have then asked: “Is this really what Dr. King died for?”
2. ‘We Must Put the Black Family Back Together’
Even though the studies clearly show that children born into single-parent homes have worse outcomes in nearly every area, sadly, today about 72 percent of black kids are born to unwed mothers. This has created a whole new generation of troubled young men who have an increased likelihood of entering a life of crime and getting themselves into altercations with the police that create these divisive incidents we see on the news.
Baton Rouge police officers shot, three reported dead
In May, Governor Edwards signed a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill into law, making Louisiana the first state in the country where police officers, firefighters and other first responders are a protected class under hate-crime law.
Multiple officers in Baton Rouge were shot Sunday, July 17. The city’s Mayor told NBC three of them have died. Police warned local residents to stay away from the scene as they searched the area for the shooter. (Reuters)
Three police officers were killed and at least three others injured in a shooting Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing. Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
— Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Authorities said that one suspect has been killed, and the sheriff’s office said that they believe two other potential suspects may be at large. While the injured officers were taken to nearby hospitals, people who lived in the vicinity were ordered to hunker down and stay indoors.
Details about the shooting remained unclear by Sunday afternoon, and police did not immediately say whether they believe the officers were targeted or if they were injured during a law enforcement action. The shooting happened in a region still on edge after police fatally shot a man there, sparking heated protests that prompted a heavy law enforcement response that some have questioned as unnecessarily forceful.
Officers from the Baton Rouge police force as well as deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office were involved in the shooting, authorities said, though they did not specify the agencies of the officers who were killed. Multiple officers from both agencies were injured in the shooting and brought to hospitals, police said.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said in a statement. “Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
Edwards planned to speak more about the shooting at a news conference later Sunday, his office said.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he had spoken to officials from the White House, who offered to assist in any way possible.
“It’s touched, basically, people all across the country,” he told WAFB in a telephone interview just after noon. “The phones have not stopped ringing.”
Holden could not confirm reports from various media outlets that as many as seven officers had been wounded.
“When a police officer is shot or assaulted, it makes every single citizen in the country a little less safe. When police officers have to worry about citizens committing unprovoked acts of violence against them it makes it more difficult for them to interact with citizens and that is a key factor in law enforcement.”
— Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police
“In the word community is the word unity,” Holden said. “If this is not a defining moment for us, to bridge the divide and come out with a unified voice, than I don’t know what is.”
In a statement, Baton Rouge said that its police force and other local, state and federal authorities were “actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this morning’s shooting.” Officials also said that the roads around the shooting area remained closed as of 2 p.m. local time.
Agents for the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene in Baton Rouge responding to the shooting, according to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
“No other state includes police officers as a protected class under hate-crime laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 37 states — including Louisiana — have enhanced penalties for assaulting police officers.”
A spokesman for the FBI in New Orleans said he was “unsure” whether the officers were targeted specifically, or whether something else might have sparked the incident. He declined to comment further.
But the shooting deaths came during a particularly deadly year for law enforcement, and not long after a gunman who said he was enraged by police killings targeted police in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »
Racial discontent is at its highest point in the Obama presidency and at the same level as America after the 1992 Rodney King riots.
Sixty-nine percent of Americans say race relations are generally bad, one of the highest levels of discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The poll, conducted from Friday, the day after the killing of five Dallas police officers, until Tuesday, found that six in 10 Americans say race relations were growing worse, up from 38 percent a year ago.
Relations between black Americans and the police have become so brittle that more than half of black people say they were not surprised by the attack that killed five police officers and wounded nine others in Dallas last week. Nearly half of white Americans say that they, too, were unsurprised by the episode, the survey found.
Despite President Obama’s insistence at a memorial service for the fallen officers that the races in the United States are “not as divided as we seem,” the poll found that black and white Americans hold starkly different views on race, particularly regarding the treatment of African-Americans by the police.
Asked whether the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, three-quarters of African-Americans answered yes, and only about half as many white people agree. Fifty-six percent of whites said that the race of the suspect made no difference in the use of force; only 18 percent of black Americans said so.
When asked to rate the job their local police department was doing, four in five whites said excellent or good; a majority of blacks answered fair or poor. More than two-fifths of black people say the police in their communities make them feel more anxious than safe. By wide margins, whites and Hispanics say the police make them feel safer.
“I have been in situations where the police have made situations worse rather than better,” Ayesha Numan, 22, a black woman living in Kansas City, Mo., said in a follow-up interview. “That’s not to say that I write them off as all bad. I just have to be cautious of how they’re acting around me.”
Mr. Obama on Tuesday spoke at a memorial service in Dallas honoring the officers killed when Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old black Army veteran, opened fire at a protest last Thursday. Last week was among the most wrenching since the Black Lives Matter movement began three years ago: On back-to-back days, videos were released showing the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of the police, and the Dallas attack followed a day later. Read the rest of this entry »
“The chief had two options and he went with this one. I supported him completely because it was the safest way to approach it”
Joergen Pedersen, the CEO of RE2 robotics and the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association’s robotics division concurred. “If these robots are used in manners for which they were unintended, we would expect that the officers who are there to keep citizens and themselves safe would use good judgment where the application of lethal force is a last resort,” he said.
On Sunday, speaking to Face the Nation, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings blessed the operation. “The chief had two options and he went with this one. I supported him completely because it was the safest way to approach it,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
DEVELOPING: Two court bailiffs were killed and a police officer shot Monday inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse when an inmate broke loose and got his hands on a deputy’s gun, officials said.
“What occurred today in my hometown breaks my heart. My thoughts are with our entire community – our friends and neighbors. This tragic event reminds us all too well that our law enforcement officers have their lives on the line every day not knowing what that day will bring. We have lost two very able public servants and we all grieve for them and their families.”
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told local media at a press conference the gunman, whose identity was not immediately available, was killed by responding police.
“Brave officers” took down the shooter, Bailey said.
Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit told Fox News a civilian was also shot, and is in stable condition.
The incident occurred just days after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper, and amid a wave of violence and threats against law eforcement officers around the country. Read the rest of this entry »