“Break the Wheel,” or something, part 5

Keith Ellison’s Break the Wheel: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence posits the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police as representative of the murderous rampage of law enforcement authorities against black Americans. Yesterday I noted that Ellison fails to cite any statistical analysis or study of deadly force police encounters to support the premise that the “cycle of police violence” exists. He also fails to observe that his huge prosecution team introduced no evidence that racism had anything to do with the officers’ treatment of Floyd.

Assuming “the cycle of police violence” exists, how is it to be ended. Ellison never says. Ellison “organized” a “working group on police involved deadly force encounters” with former Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington. He mentions a few times “the twenty-eight recommendations and thirty-three action steps aimed at reducing deadly force encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota” published under his and Harrington’s name in February 2020. However, that is it. The existence of “recommendations” and “action steps” gets a mention. (They are included in the document posted in PDF here.)

Ellison also refers to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but that is it. It gets a mention. The reader is offered nothing beyond the name of the unenacted bill. Ellison does not explain what it is or discuss any provision. (The bill is accessible online here.)

In lieu of any specific proposal or reform, Ellison intersperses a mantra into the narrative at pages 268-269:

“But there is still much work to do.”

“There is still so much work to do.”

“There is still so much work to do.”

“There is still so much work to do, and it is in your hands.”

And in the last line of the book on page 272:

“But so much work needs to be done.”

If this were a serious book, the mantra might be a fitting judgment on it. Yet the book is not entirely worthless. With a little background on Ellison’s career to supplement it, the book inadvertently reveals — as I wrote in part 2, it cracks a window open onto — the animus that has driven Ellison to the job of Minnesota’s top law enforcement officer.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.