It isn’t often when something that happens in Minneapolis is the lead story in the Daily Mail, but we achieved that dubious distinction yesterday with another controversial police killing. To be fair, though, it isn’t actually controversial–the four Minneapolis police officers who were on the scene have already been fired, without any sort of hearing, and they have been universally denounced.
If you have missed the story so far, an African-American man named George Floyd was apprehended for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit bill. For reasons that are not clear–the officers say he resisted arrest, but that has not been confirmed–he wound up on the ground with an officer kneeling on or near his throat for some minutes. The officers had recognized a medical problem of some kind and had called an ambulance, but there is no apparent reason why they kept him on the ground, kneeling on him, for some time while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
The video is, on its face, damning:
Other security camera videos are beginning to emerge, which so far don’t seem to lend the police officers any support.
Experience has taught me to wait until the facts are in before drawing conclusions. In this case, there is not yet an autopsy report. It may be that Floyd died, e.g., of a drug overdose, and was not asphyxiated by the Minneapolis police officer. But the officers’ actions look very bad in any event, and local politicians have not hesitated to pile on.
But there is one point no one seems to be making. The City of Minneapolis has been governed exclusively by liberals for decades. The current mayor, Jacob Frey, who was quick to denounce his own police department, is a left-wing Democrat. The Minneapolis City Council consists of Democrats and Green Party members who think the Democrats are not radical enough. Under left-wing leadership, Minneapolis has been governed abysmally for a long time. Its police department is but one part of an incompetently governed city.
The issue isn’t actually one of race. The last Minneapolis Police Department killing that made international news was the shooting of Justine Damond (white) by Mohamed Noor (African-American) for no apparent reason. The MPD has long been troubled, and its current Chief is African-American. The issue isn’t racism, it is incompetence.
A rational person might ask: given that Minneapolis has been governed by liberal Democrats for decades, and is now a mess in a multitude of ways, including the fact that its police department has been involved in one fiasco after another, why don’t we try something different? Why don’t we go back to electing Republicans, as we did decades ago? When Republicans governed Minneapolis, it was generally regarded as a model city–prosperous, progressive and remarkably crime-free. Isn’t it time to draw the curtain on decades of failed leadership, exemplified by underqualified leftists like the current Boy Mayor, Jacob Frey?
Those are good questions. But at the moment, no one is asking them.