First we were told that all of this was due to RAAAAACIST WHITE COPS rollin’ and trollin’ for a brutha to beat down. That there was no way that Freddie could have broken his neck inside that paddy wagon (even though people break their necks diving into swimming pools on a frequent basis – like Bruce Willis’ ex-girlfriend Brooke Burns – or even conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer – did).
Then we were told it is about the downtrodden, the poor and the hopeless and how the mean Republicans just wouldn’t pony up more funds for midnight basketball.
Now the legal beagles in Baltimore have charged six cops with some very serious crimes. Initially the media didn’t report their race – which the relationship to the guilt or innocence is immaterial but the racial makeup would seem to critical to supporting the charges of racism. If they were all white, it was a lock.
In a reasonable, logical world this would mean the narrative just exploded like a tear gas canister at a May Day march – but not in these postmodern, dishonest days. No, my children, this is the Age of Memes. The media adopts an “I guess our job is done here, time to move on” attitude as soon as charges come down and that is that. Curiosity did kill the cat, or so I’m told. I guess the media doesn’t want to take that chance.
Many years ago, I worked with a guy who thought he was the smartest guy in the room – and it didn’t matter which room or how many people were in it. Actually, he KNEW he was the smartest. I used to marvel at how much of a true imbecile he was because he was a true “know nothing” who masked his own ignorance through intimidation and bluster. I remember watching him in action once during a strategy meeting with a mixture of sales and technical people. He was supposed to be responsible for a very specific strategy development and product planning but it was clear he had no idea what to do.
What he did was the equivalent of walking into that conference room with 20 other people with a jigsaw puzzle in a box, proceeded to shake it up and scatter pieces all over the room. He provided so little information that each meeting attendee just had to start trying to put the pieces together that fell in front of them as this guy circled the room looking over each person’s shoulder trying to see if he recognized anything in what they had partially assembled. Of course, he never showed anyone the picture on the box, so no one had any idea what it was supposed to look like.
Piecing anything together was impossible, so the picture he thought he recognized was just what he wanted to see and was not even close to reality…but he ran with it and since he was the smartest guy in the room, nobody challenged him.
This sure feels like what just happened in Baltimore.
Look, I don’t’ doubt that Freddie got roughed up. From the looks of his rap sheet, he was a slow learner. From the frequency of his visits to the hoosegow, I’m guessing that the local cops knew him pretty well. I can imagine the black cops being pissed as hell at him and wanting to tune him up a little to remind him he needed to walk the straight and narrow. I have known black cops who take a really dim view of such small time hoods and the damage they do to the black community.
As far as the “rough ride”, Baltimore cops have probably used such a technique on many of these thugs, both white and black, to decent effect. Either they scared the crap out of the salvageable ones or the unbelted “rough ride” served as a little punishment for a thug the police knew the system was just going to do a little catch and release action on. This time, like Brooke and Charles, Freddie hit the wall, bench or floor in just the right angle with the right force to snap his neck. So far, all the evidence points to the “tune up” and not premeditated murder driven by any sort of racial bias.
The crime here was in the cover-up. I blame them for not coming clean. I blame the city government for allowing itself to be bullied into supporting a narrative when they knew from the get-go that this had nothing to do with racist cops. But in a post-Ferguson, post Eric Garner world where the narrative was already set in concrete, these cops ran straight into a media and a state’s attorney with a jigsaw puzzle in a box who was willing to ignore the picture on the top of the box for political gain while private and public property burned and lives were put at risk.