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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Morning Roundup: The Criminal Justice Edition

Posted by on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 8:35 AM

click to enlarge josh_stein.jpeg

Good morning. Let's hope this week is an improvement over the last one.

1. Updates after Dallas.

You undoubtedly know by now that five police officers were killed Thursday night in Dallas, after a peaceful protest against police brutality following the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Black Lives Matter was blamed, of course; take this race war-baiting tweet by former Congressman Joe Walsh:

click to enlarge joe_walsh.jpg
Meanwhile, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani let us know who the real racists are.

In his Sunday interview, Giuliani proposed no police reforms other than a “zero tolerance” policy toward “disrespect.”

As for the Black Lives Matter movement, he said its members “sing rap songs about killing police officers” and “yell it out at rallies.”

“When you say ‘black lives matter,’ that’s inherently racist,” the ex-mayor said. “Black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American and it’s racist.”

So if we can get this straight: Micah Johnson, the Dallas Shooter, represented everyone in Black Lives Matter; Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub shooter, represented all Muslims; and Dylann Roof, the Charleston church shooter, was a "loner." Funny how all of that works. 

Anyway, vigils were held in both Raleigh and Durham on Friday night to remember those who have died in encounters with the police. From the Raleigh vigil:

Over the weekend, a slew of protesters, including noted activist DeRay Mckesson, and even journalists (including Lee Stranahan from Breitbart, a right-wing site) were rounded up and arrested during a protest in Baton Rouge.  President Obama, who will speak at the funeral service for the five Dallas police officers along with former President George W. Bush, spoke on the aftermath
“Whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause,” said Mr. Obama, speaking in Spain after a meeting with the country’s interim prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.


In protest movements, he said, “there’s always going to be some folks who say things that are stupid or imprudent or over-generalize, or are harsh.”

While Mr. Obama said it was unfair to characterize an entire movement by a few dissonant voices, he said inflammatory words could hinder legitimate efforts to reform the justice system.

“Even rhetorically,” Mr. Obama said, “if we paint police officers with a broad brush — without recognizing that the vast majority of police officers are doing a really good job and are trying to protect people, and do so fairly and without racial bias — if the rhetoric does not recognize that, then we’re going to lose allies in the reform process.”
For more news on Baton Rouge, we highly suggest you check out the coverage that Baton Rouge alt-weekly the Advocate is doing on this terrible story. 

2. T. Greg Doucette had some things to say.

T. Greg Doucette, a criminal defense attorney who has gained national notoriety for being a vocal about the failures of the criminal justice system, and who also happens to be running for state senate as a libertarian Republican, had some things to say about both the recent protests and the body camera bill that had (unfortunately) broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate; in the upper house, only Democrat Jeff Jackson and Republican Chad Barefoot voted against the bill. 
Doucette also did a "quick primer on due process and police barging into your home unannounced." It's about three dozen tweets, but it's interesting, so start at the one below and keep going. 

Doucette is running against Democratic incumbent Mike Woodard in November; Woodard won his last race by thirty-five points.

3. Police Benevolent Association endorses...Josh Stein?

In a bit of a surprise, the state's largest law enforcement group endorsed former state Senator Josh Stein over his Republican opponent, state Senator Buck Newton. From the N&O:
The Police Benevolent Association made the endorsement over Republican challenger Sen. Buck Newton. The group cited Stein’s background in consumer protection and criminal justice, as both a senator and formerly a senior deputy attorney general.

"Josh Stein has a strong record of making our communities safer and of standing up for law enforcement,” President Randy Byrd said in a statement released Friday. “The North Carolina PBA is proud to put our support behind Josh and to help elect him as our next attorney general. A vote for Josh is a vote for the men and women of law enforcement and the citizens they serve."
Newton was one of the architects of HB 2, which could have influenced the PBA's decision. 

4. Another special session?

It's possible:

A federal judge is giving state legislators and election officials until July 18 to decide whether they will draw up new maps for the Wake County Board of Commissioners and school board for the November elections.

On July 1, a U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 that the state legislature’s new districts for Wake County were unconstitutional and can’t be used this fall. In an order Friday, U.S. Chief District Court Judge James C. Dever III said he needs an answer by July 18 on whether Senate Leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and the State Board of Elections will come up with new maps.

If they don’t, Dever said he will draw up the new maps because “the people in Wake County deserve” to elect members to the Board of Commissioners and school board this fall. All nine school board seats and five Board of Commissioners seats are scheduled to be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

If they do this, it'll be $42,000 more in taxpayer money to fix a problem of its own creation, and would be third time they've called a special session this year after the Congressional redistricting fiasco and the rush to stop transpeople from peeing in the bathrooms they feel most comfortable in. 

That's it, have a good one. Here's a video of a sleepy puppy to help you get through the day. 

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