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Showing posts from June 14, 2020

on funding the police: what is Milwaukee getting?

There should be a police union spotlight every day, to sort of show where our police funding is going. For instance, Milwaukee. Milwaukee was the proud city in which two police officers, called by two black women, roundly scolded those black women for dissing fine upstanding citizen Jeffrey Dahmer. Then the police escorted Dahmer's victim, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, back to Dahmer's apartment and left him to Dahmer's care - the torture, murder and cannibal session of  the night. One of those policeman made howlingly funny jokes about gays after having helped Dahmer - and, of course, after threatening to take the black women downtown for interfering with the cops. Later, that policeman, John Balcerzak, suffered the indignity of being fired from the force for criminal incompetence. Such injustice couldn't stand, with a strong union behind him, and a likely judge ordered him rehired. Balcerzak went on to become the police union head of the Milwaukee police - a po

25 million in cop abuse suits, and 1500 untested rape kits: Minneapolis

Very Serious People are coming out with the column headline: Defunding the police is crazy! So perhaps we should talk first about funding the police. What are we funding? Let’s take Minneapolis, the unexpected center of our disorder. I don’t have a breakdown of how much the Minneapolis department spent on tear gas and the latest military equipment. But we do have stats on how much the city spent on civil suit claims for police abuse: from 2003-2019 the cost was  25 million dollars. I thought about this timeline and this figure after reading P agan Kennedy’samazing and wrenching article about the invention and history of the rape kit.    In 2019, the Minneapolis police announced a non-fun fact: in the police storage unit they had discovered around 1500 untested rape kits, spanning thirty years. Definitely a bad moment for the chief, who had to explain how he had previously reported that there were around 200 untested kits. Kennedy reports that there are huge cultural pr