Watching yesterday’s news conferences and protests live on local television, I can only offer my impression that despite the arrests made by law enforcement the authorities are largely unable or unwilling to enforce the curfews they have set. The protesters have taken over city streets and highways more or less at will. I wonder if the authorities will throw in the towel today. My impression is that Governor Walz is not up to the task. I have embedded video of two of yesterday’s news conferences below.
Walz has a new shibboleth. He is “creating space.” He is “creating space” for vacuity in the face of the mob. As I say, Walz appears inadequate to the task.
Indeed, Walz is rushing (again) to get in front of the mob. Yesterday Walz surrendered the prosecution of MPD officer Derek Chauvin to Attorney General Keith Ellison. Back in 1993, Ellison teamed up with Vice Lords gangbanger Sharif Willis to lead protests decrying the prosecution of the gangbangers who shot MPD officer Jerry Haaf in the back. Haaf’s murder might have been the lowest moment in Minneapolis’s history until last week. Ellison was out to torment the police on behalf of the gangbangers.
Ellison, by the way, first sought office in 1998 as Keith X Ellison, a self-identified member (and recognized local leader) of the Nation of Islam. Ellison is up to the task. The problem, however, is his task.
See if you can find a reference to Ellison’s history in any story on developments over the last 24 hours. Reporters at the St. Paul Pioneer Press or Minneapolis’s Star Tribune could consult their own archives to dig it up. For some reason, they are not inclined to do so.
I tried to make it easy for them by putting Ellison’s background into narrative form for a 2006 Weekly Standard article just before Ellison’s election to Congress. See also my Weekly Standard columns “The Ellison elision” (2014) and “The trouble with Keith Ellison” (2016).
In removing Chauvin’s prosecution and the related investigation from the Hennepin County Attorney, Walz has taken it out of the hands of Assistant County Attorney Amy Sweasy. Sweasy took over the botched investigation of the murder of Justine Damond and led the prosecution of MPD officer Mohamed Noor for her killing. I covered Noor’s trial in court every day for Power Line. I seriously doubt that Ellison has a prosecutor in his office as capable as Sweasy.
Incidentally, Sweasy was unable to bring the charges on which she convicted Noor for eight months. Remember the riots that convulsed the Twin Cities while we waited? I don’t either.
The threat to life and property in the Twin Cities continues. Consider this:
Law enforcement and Minneapolis residents were on high alert into the early hours, even though ominous warnings about a new wave of arson attacks had not materialized as of the early hours of Monday.
Earlier Sunday, state officials said several caches of flammable materials were found both in neighborhoods where there have already been fires and “in cars we’ve stopped as recently as this morning,” said John Harrington, state public safety commissioner. Some of the caches look like they may have been planted days ago and some only in the last 24 hours or so, he said.
Police are also finding stolen vehicles with plates removed that are being used to transport the flammable materials. Looted goods and weapons also have been found in the stolen cars, he said.
“The fact that we’ve seen so many of them in so many places now makes us believe that this is part of that pattern that shows that this in fact an organized activity and not some random act of rage,” he said.
One person pulled over in Bloomington while driving a plate-less car attempted to “douse the car itself and set it on fire,” which is “not something you see on most traffic stops,” Harrington said.
Jon Justice and Drew Lee are delivering the best local coverage of events in town on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130. Follow Drew Lee here on Twitter. Referring to Minneapolis’s boy mayor, they have teamed up to write “Jacob Frey must resign.” I think the sentiment is right on and widely applicable.
Here is yesterday morning’s press conference.
Here is last night’s press conference.