Friday, September 01, 2017

"No Matter The Context"

Greg Abbott (unfortunately, not this Greg Abbott) has announced his intention to resign.

The Cobb County (Ga.) police officer was placed on administrative leave after revelation of a video in which he told a white motorist he had pulled over "But you’re not black.  Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen any white people get killed? You have.” His department as of Thursday night had not announced whether it would permit Abbott to resign or proceed with its intent to have him fired.

Though evidently satisfied with Abbott being removed from the force, Cenk Uygur avoided charging the officer with racism and explained

I don't know what's in Abbott's head. I don't know if he was saying that just straight-forward "Yea, that's what we do we shoot black people, why would we shoot you" or if he meant it and "like you saw the video online or you saw the videos, those are the ones that are claiming we shoot only black people, so what are you worried about, you only saw black people getting shot, right?" So he might have meant it that way. 

That's why the police chief doing what he did is a huge indicator because it might have been like "this is not- one, if you're being the most generous to Abbott, you might say this is bad p.r., I don't want to deal with it. O.K., another possibility is: look, even if the guy didn't mean it that way, we can't have people in this county thinking that we're going to apply justice differently to different races and have this idea out there that there are cops that think "no, no, don't worry if you're white, you're fine, but that black people we will shoot." And the third possibility is that he talked to Abbott and he thought "oh, this is a bad dude and he did mean it and I gotta get rid of him."

So he didn't give exact reasons other than what Ana just read to you but the fact that he did take that action is clearly indicative.

It's surely indicative of something, if only that the police chief doesn't want the guy to stick around.

It's uncertain what else it's indicative of.  But we can assume- only assume, but assume we must- that Police Chief Mike Register, who called Abbott "honorable," did not consider the officer a bad guy. The latter's attorney, Lance LoRusso, reportedly told The Washington Post

His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context.  He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.  In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.

Chief Register begs to differ. In what should be a disturbing remark, he stated "No matter what the context, statements like these are unacceptable and are not indicative of the type of culture we are trying to facilitate here in the police department, as well as within the county."

No matter the context. It doesn't matter what impact the officer's statement had or why he made it. But it's not going to go over well with the public, he reasoned. This is bad p.r.- I don't want to deal with it, o.k.?

It's surely reasonable to protect his department against unwanted- albeit legitmat- scrutiny, no matter the context.

The left won't defend the officer, for obvious reasons. The right won't defend him because- no matter the intent  nor accuracy of his statement- he tore open the band aid and revealed the scar of racial discrimination. He exposed an open wound. Greg Abbott is trapped, as he apparently is aware.

Rick told Ilsa "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that." When context doesn't matter and everything is to be sacrificed for public relations value, Greg Abbott understands his problem doesn't amount to a hill of beans, and off he'll go into retirement, voluntarily or otherwise.

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