Twitter Flags Trump for ‘Glorifying Violence’

The President is sending a terrible message.

Yesterday morning, we discussed reports that President Trump was about to issue an executive order allowing greater regulation of social media platforms that had angered him. The EO was issued and I’ll have more to say about it later. But first, an escalation in the fight from Twitter, both Trump’s chief platform for agitation and his main nemesis.

WSJ (“Twitter Flags Trump Tweet About Minneapolis Protests for ‘Glorifying Violence’“):

Twitter Inc. placed a notice on a tweet from President Trump, shielding it from view for breaking what the company said are its rules about glorifying violence.

Mr. Trump’s tweet was a comment on the violent protests in Minnesota. The post can now only be seen after users click a box with a notice saying it violated Twitter’s rules against encouraging violence, but it otherwise remains visible.

“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” Twitter said on its official communications account.

This is the first time such a step has been taken against a head of state for breaking Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence, a company spokesman said.

The company said users’ ability to interact with the tweet will be limited, and that users can retweet it with comment, but not like, reply to, or otherwise retweet it.

“…These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!,” Mr. Trump’s tweet said.

This is typical Trump—an immature tweet unbefitting the President of the United States, pandering to his base rather than working to unite the country in the face of violence. And I hate, hate, hate, politicians wrapping themselves in the military, claiming they somehow speak for the troops.

It is not, however, “glorifying violence.”

While I deplore the President referring to African-Americans rightly outraged that yet another one of them has been needlessly killed at the hands of police as “THUGS,” the ones in question were in fact committing criminal violence. Despite the officers in question being promptly fired and the announcement by the Justice Department of a “robust and meticulous investigation” into the matter, rioting has moved into a third day. Police officers were forced to evacuate the precinct in fear of their lives and an angry mob set the building on fire.

While their outrage is justified, their actions are not. This is not peaceful protest.

Given that the police of the Third Precinct have been burned out of their building, the local cops manifestly can not handle the situation. And reinforcing them with other Minneapolis Police Department officers in riot gear would likely only escalate the violence, given the roots of the anger.

So, it’s natural that the National Guard has already been ordered to step in by Governor Tim Walz (a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party).

It would be highly unusual to federalize the state Guard troops is this situation and even more unusual to augment them with Active Duty personnel, other than in perhaps very limited support roles. So, Trump’s tweet was, as is often the case, mere bluster.

Could the President inspire violence from his base against the protestors by calling them “THUGS”? That seems a stretch. But, if Twitter really thinks that, then spotlighting the tweet by putting it behind a wrapper would seemingly only intensify that likelihood.

UPDATE: Seeing the reaction to the tweet on Twitter, I see that the issue is the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” I read that as a prediction that looting by the protestors would naturally lead to violence by them that must be prevented. The historical connotation of that phrase, however, is that state officials should gun down looters. It apparently has its origins with “the controversial Miami Police chief Walter Headley who became infamous in the 1960s for his aggressive tactics in putting down black youths he claimed were taking advantage of civil rights legislation.”

I therefore withdraw my assessment that this is not a glorification of violence.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Donald Trump, Social Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    @TheRickWilson

    Today is going to be insane.

    4
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While I deplore the President referring to African-Americans rightly outraged that yet another one of them has been needlessly killed at the hands of police as “THUGS,” the ones in question were in fact committing criminal violence. Despite the officers in question being promptly fired and the announcement by the Justice Department of a “robust and meticulous investigation” into the matter, rioting has moved into a third day.

    Window dressing James, prelude to a whitewashing if history is any guide.

    11
  3. drj says:

    when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

    He didn’t write “when the looting starts, the arresting starts.”

    He wrote “shooting.” By the military, no less.

    This IS – quite obviously, actually – a case of glorifying mass violence. To make matters worse: against one specific racial minority. (The word “thugs” gives it away quite nicely.)

    29
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Could the President inspire violence from his base against the protestors by calling them “THUGS”?

    And James, what he said that was inspiring of violence was not just “thugs” it was also, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” which in reference to black people… Why do I bother? You are willfully blind to the racism embedded in the power structures of our society and how they feed the racist impulses of certain segments of our populace.

    10
  5. James Joyner says:

    @drj and @OzarkHillbilly: : Your comments weren’t displaying for me when I took the post offline to write the update. But, yes, I misinterpreted that phrase and focused on the “THUGS” and threat to involve the military.

    10
  6. Teve says:

    Trump didn’t author the sentence “When the looting starts the shooting starts”. It is a line with a history that is not exactly what you would call colorblind and equal opportunity.

    10
  7. Jon says:

    While their outrage is justified, their actions are not. This is not peaceful protest.

    So what is the proper way to protest the … christ I’ve lost count of how many African-Americans have been murdered by police in the last 12 months, let’s go with ‘umpteenth’ … incident in which a non-violent African-American offender has been killed ? Being told to settle down and let the system work gets a little old after a while, when we know the system is already working exactly as intended.

    ETA: I should have said “an African-American accused of a non-violent offense” rather than “a non-violent African-American offender”, I think.

    13
  8. Scott says:

    There are quite a few of us who are old enough (at least high school age) when the Detroit riots happened in July, 1967, followed by violence in 1968 (worldwide), Kent State killings by National Guard.\

    This is feeling like that again. And we have a President that is immoral, corrupt, and incompetent. I hope it calms down but I get a rising feeling of despair for all of us.

    15
  9. CSK says:

    Cult45 is going nuts insisting that Trump was referring to white thugs as well as black ones. It may be the first time they’ve ever admitted that white people can commit crimes. All to protect Donny.

    11
  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Maybe hiring a guy that couldn’t run Casino’s, to run the country, wasn’t such a good idea after all?

    11
  11. Teve says:

    So now Trump had the official White House Twitter account, @WhiteHouse, retweet his flagged message.

    2
  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Scott:

    There are quite a few of us who are old enough (at least high school age) when the Detroit riots happened in July, 1967

    I don’t see this as a riot. I went thru several race riots in Miami as a broadcast news photographer.
    THIS IS A REBELLION.
    But…her emails…

    12
  13. drj says:

    the ones in question were in fact committing criminal violence.

    Yes. The law is a joke to these people.

    But why do you think that is?

    Helpful Twitter thread.

    Not to condone this, but you have no clue what it is like to be policed like these people are.

    7
  14. Teve says:

    @Jon: if black people want to protest being murdered, they should have done something nonviolent like kneeling at a public event. White people would have totally respected that kind of protest!

    (Touching earpiece) “wait…I’m hearing…”

    35
  15. Scott says:

    I think it would be helpful for the country if Twitter just shut their servers down for the weekend. Kind of a circuit breaker and cooling off period.

    13
  16. rachel says:

    @Scott: Let’ add Facebook and all the rest to that.

    10
  17. Teve says:

    @Acosta

    Trump said he would shut down Twitter, if he could: “If it were legal, if it could be legally shut down, I would do it.” But Trump also told reporters he’s not deleting his account.

    3
  18. @Teve:

    if black people want to protest being murdered, they should have done something nonviolent like kneeling at a public event. White people would have totally respected that kind of protest!

    Indeed. My mind keeps going back to that whole situation quite a bit of late.

    Prolonged, repeated injustice leads to deep, seething rage. And that rages eventually boils over.

    22
  19. KM says:

    No, this is not a peaceful protest. We cannot condone arson, looting, and assault on others as a society of laws. However, most protests haven’t been peaceful lately. Legislative houses and personal homes have been broken into, weapons have been pointed at officials, threats of violence and things like hung effigies are popping up everywhere. As a society of law, we should have been all over that with the same kind of concern we have for what’s happening in Minnesota right now. We weren’t and that’s a big reason behind *why* rioting is happening.

    Let’s be clear here: Twitter did the bare minimum here. You ask “could the President inspire violence from his base against the protesters by calling them “THUGS”? Well, we’ve seen POTUS inspire violence against cashiers and store manager for calling masks “stupid” and “politically correct” – it’s not a stretch to think someone who’d shoot over being asked to a mask during a pandemic would shoot someone they think is a dangerous “thug”. His words hold incredible weight with his base as they are the basis of their current reality. They hang on his tweets like they’re missives from God. Not to mention that the base has been waiting for this since COVID started – they’ve been itching for folks to start shooting and now here’s their chance.

    13
  20. Modulo Myself says:

    The police have been treated with respect in this country for a very long time and in return they’ve made themselves into soldiers fighting an endless war. They’re like a bunch of militia cosplayers. I wonder, exactly, how tolerant the National Guard will be to the police and if they have more in common with the citizens being brutalized by the cops. Order is a relative concept. There’s a certain sector of America who needs the fix of imagining looters being shot–they can’t get enough of the horror of watching a Target or an Autozone or an empty police station being violated. Choking a POC to death is one thing. Target is another. They need revenge for what was done to that poor, poor Target. But this idea of order might not be the idea of order that goes through the mind of people who have seen combat recently, or who are thirty and capable of jogging down the block.

    11
  21. MarkedMan says:

    This is one of the things I worried about when Trump got the nomination. He is a thug, little better than an animal. He has been trying to goad his supporters into committing violent acts since his campaign started. Giving power to an atavistic psychopath like this was insanity.

    8
  22. James Joyner says:

    @Teve:

    if black people want to protest being murdered, they should have done something nonviolent like kneeling at a public event. White people would have totally respected that kind of protest!

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Prolonged, repeated injustice leads to deep, seething rage. And that rages eventually boils over.

    I don’t disagree with any of that. I supported Kaepernick et al in their cause but thought using the National Anthem as their vehicle was simply counterproductive, as it was naturally going to spark backlash rather than common cause.

    But—and I’m not suggesting either of you are saying otherwise–while burning down a police precinct building is understandable under the weight of all that has happened, it surely can’t be condoned by local, state, and federal authorities. Sending in the Guard is proper here. Implying that they should engage in extrajudicial killings, however, is outrageous.

    9
  23. Jon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Prolonged, repeated injustice leads to deep, seething rage. And that rages eventually boils over.

    “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

    12
  24. Beth says:
  25. KM says:

    @James:

    Sending in the Guard is proper here. Implying that they should engage in extrajudicial killings, however, is outrageous.

    Agreed. I sympathize with the anger that’s pushed the rioters to risk this during a pandemic. This is a lot of crap risking to the surface and it doesn’t help that POTUS keeps gleefully tossing gas on the fire. Those rioters are still Americans and he should not be advocating violence of any stripe against his bosses. We’re seeing reporters arrested live on TV, perfect metaphor for what’s going on. The recording of a problem is treated by the system as worse then the problem – showing the public terrible actions that incite them to demand justice is more of a threat then armed men standing over a legislature is session, trying to intimidate them. Trump’s not calling the killers THUGS, just the people who are pissed the THUGS keep getting away with it.

    Sending in the Guard makes sense because, again, pandemic and clearly no social distancing is happening. This needs to end for everyone’s safety in more ways then one. They need to do it carefully and non-violently so here’s hoping cool heads prevail and everyone stays safe.

    7
  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    It’s not just President Trump twitter is now having to censor. They had to slap the same warning label on the White House’s official account as well: https://twitter.com/MaxLewisTV/status/1266368869649678336

    9
  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    In a post at today’s Open Forum that linked to an ACLU report on the Minneapolis police that was released today, I stated.

    The Minneapolis Police have long had reputation as “cowboy cops,” when I moved there in the late 70’s friends warned me that the uniformed cops who were hired as bouncers for the downtown bars and clubs were known for breaking heads, Black, white, it didn’t matter. The number of police successful brutality lawsuits throughout the 80’s gave credence to those warnings.

    The incidence of police brutality went down in the 90’s and we left the city in 1999, so I’m not current on what went on later. Though I do receive information from community organizer friends when something egregious happens. Last night I wished a friend who lives in a neighborhood near the area of the rioting, a quiet night. He didn’t get it and this morning thanked me for my thoughts and expressed the frustration the the local DA hadn’t indicted the officers. In reply, I reminded him that in America, a cop killing a black person isn’t considered a crime or at least it seems so.

    3
  28. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Of course it can be done legally. All El PITO has to do is acquire the company and then he can shut it down, all within the law.

    1
  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    James, thank you for being a rational person, who when presented with information that counters a previously held idea, that you can change you mind and incorporate the new info.

    13
  30. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    You know what would be proper? To arrest the officer who killed Mr. Floyd, and all the others involved in the incident.

    7
  31. drj says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I wonder, exactly, how tolerant the National Guard will be to the police and if they have more in common with the citizens being brutalized by the cops.

    The military won’t save you.

    It’s a nice fantasy, of course, that the real hard men will ride to the rescue and give the previously untouchable evildoers their justified comeuppance.

    Real change takes work. Fortunately, every little bit helps.

    7
  32. @James Joyner:

    it surely can’t be condoned by local, state, and federal authorities. Sending in the Guard is proper here.

    Clearly, the rioting cannot be condoned by officials. I don’t condone it.

    But, in terms of how I think I feel about this, and what I think the broader societal reaction needs to be is captured in what @Modulo Myself said above:

    Choking a POC to death is one thing. Target is another. They need revenge for what was done to that poor, poor Target.

    A lot of people are going to be a lot more upset about the rioting than they are about an innocent man being murdered by law enforcement largely because he was black (and the fact that such incidences are far too common).

    To quote MLK (following @Jon):

    Let me say as I’ve always said, and I will always continue to say, that riots are socially destructive and self-defeating. I’m still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice. I feel that violence will only create more social problems than they will solve. That in a real sense it is impracticable for the Negro to even think of mounting a violent revolution in the United States. So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way. And continue to affirm that there is another way.

    But at the same time, it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

    21
  33. MarkedMan says:

    It’s worth remembering that violent mobs can form in opposition to government or in support of it. The treatment of the Trump supporting gun nuts threatening violence in Michigan suggests a certain level of governmental approval, especially as compared to the usually violent reaction to any people of color so much as shouting at the police.

    And of course the Trump states have a long history of a depraved white culture forming mobs to burn down the houses of uppity darkies, or killing them for sport, all under the protection of the government.

    If anyone believes that “it can’t happen here” bear in mind that the unstated goal of the Republican party is to turn the entire country into Mississippi. Paraphrasing a paraphrase, under the Republican party there is a class of people who are protected by the law but not bound by it, and everyone else is bound by the law but not protected by it.

    15
  34. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    I supported Kaepernick et al in their cause but thought using the National Anthem as their vehicle was simply counterproductive, as it was naturally going to spark backlash rather than common cause.

    And what, do you suggest, would have caused common cause after 400 years of racism?
    What was Kaepernick failed to account for was a President who had based his entire candidacy on racism, a President who would belittle the cause of Racial Injustice, call protesters sons-of-a-bitches, and then go on to actually endorse police brutality, white supremacy, and indeed even employ white supremacists.
    This is the Trump Rebellion.

    14
  35. Modulo Myself says:

    @drj:

    I’m not talking about the military saving anybody. I’m just wondering how they’re going to view the situation. We’re not in the 60s. What kind of order are they installing here? What are they saving? Trump, the right, dumb centrists, the majority of police–they all seem to be toddlers playing on television who expect the nation to be horrified by these images. The right loves to use ‘virtue signaling’ for everything. Well, guess what? It’s total projection from disordered minds.

    2
  36. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “I don’t disagree with any of that. I supported Kaepernick et al in their cause but thought using the National Anthem as their vehicle was simply counterproductive, as it was naturally going to spark backlash rather than common cause. ”

    James, that tactic was developed after talking with veterans’ groups, to find something which would be respectful.

    And so far, there is no tactic which the right will accept.

    24
  37. gVOR08 says:

    Trump is a know nothing idiot. But do you think the Republican apparatchiks who surround him aren’t reminding him that Nixon used “law and order” in response to urban violence to get elected?

    5
  38. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Let’s remember this: the protesters want Chauvin and his co-murderers to be charged and handed over to the justice system. Despite everything that’s happened in the past, they want the justice system to do its job. They’re not calling for Chauvin et al to be lynched, soaked with gasoline, hung from a tree and set ablaze, to be dragged behind a car with a rope until his head separates from his body. All of which has happened to black people in this country during the past 170 years.

    And James, give me a break with “in fear for their lives”. A cop driving through a protest march was caught on camera pepper-spraying the protesters from the car window. They’re not afraid; they’re contemptuous.

    18
  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    @James Joyner:
    Forever white people have called for some form of docile black pacifist protests.
    And it reaches it’s peak when a racist President calls them un-American for kneeling at a football game because racist cops keep murdering them.
    The Trump Rebellion.

    7
  40. Monala says:

    @CSK: Yeah, recall that the Charlottesville “Jews will not replace us” crew, who ran over a crowd of people and killed a woman – were referred to as “good people” by Trump. Not thugs.

    9
  41. wr says:

    @Jon: “While their outrage is justified, their actions are not. This is not peaceful protest.”

    And while I’ve yet to see anyone draw this connection publicly, we’re in the third month of a pandemic which has hit minority communities much harder than white ones in every possibly way — and the federal and state governments don’t seem to care about that at all. The Republicans have been cramming dynamite into a box, and then are shocked when it finally explodes.

    12
  42. Kurtz says:

    Police officers were forced to evacuate the precinct in fear of their lives and an angry mob set the building on fire.

    Wardlow v. Illinois

    “I’m talking poetic justice, poetic justice
    If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?”

    –Kendrick Lamar

    2
  43. Kurtz says:

    https://youtu.be/HKP5_qyGs8c

    And my favorite speech

    –Stokely Carmichael

    I’ve mellowed as I’ve moved toward middle age, wanting to trust that the system could get us where we need to be.

    Shit like this? Fuck that.

    1
  44. Kurtz says:

    https://youtu.be/DIoKr9VDg3A

    Buffalo Springfield

    1
  45. Kurtz says:

    Warning. Many N-Bombs. But the hook was chanted during BLM protests when it was first released.

    https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHY

    annotated lyrics

    But listen to the song and watch the video as well.

    Also, https://youtu.be/VdPtVZDspIY

    Annotated lyrics

  46. Jon says:

    @wr:

    Whoa hey, that’s not me saying that, that’s me quoting the OP 🙂 And good point on the pandemic tie-in.

    In general this whole conversation strikes me as yet another way to try the shift focus from what protesters *are* protesting to *how* they are protesting.

    1
  47. wr says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: “Despite everything that’s happened in the past, they want the justice system to do its job.”

    And unlike the “peaceful” — read: heavily armed and white — mask protesters, they’re not hanging officials in effigy.

    4
  48. Mister Bluster says:

    If you can believe it, Mayor Daley was a little more charitable towards looters in 1968 after the assassination of The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

    Mayor Richard J. Daley gave police the authority “to shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand … and … to shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting any stores in our city.”
    WikiP

  49. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Actually, Trump said that crew of Tiki torch-bearers were “very fine people.”

    2
  50. de stijl says:

    I used to live in a neighborhood policed by the the 3rd precinct.

    Those guys were d-bags, the lot of them. Thumpers and escalators.

    That was painting with too broad a brush. Minneapolis is a quite segregated city. Cops in S Mpls often do the opposite of de-escalation just so they can beat on folks, cuz they think it’s fun and a job perk.

    Statistically, I am sure there are fine, right-minded, civic-minded police officers there. Experientially, they basically want to whale on folks with a stick and get away with it.

    5
  51. wr says:

    @Jon: I knew that! I was merely using your post for my own convenience. Thought about saying that, got lazy. Sorry!

    1
  52. wr says:

    @de stijl: “Cops in S Mpls often do the opposite of de-escalation just so they can beat on folks, cuz they think it’s fun and a job perk.”

    If only there had been a county prosecutor who had the guts to try to end this by prosecuting some of the criminal cops instead of letting them off in the name of law’n’order. Imagine that might have been a decent credential for someone hoping to be Biden’s VP pick about now. Sorry, Amy!

    4
  53. de stijl says:

    It wasn’t a poor split second choice.

    That was deliberate murder that took ten minutes. People were begging him to stop.

    Chauvin straight up murdered that guy.

    7
  54. MarkedMan says:

    @Barry:

    And so far, there is no tactic which the right will accept.

    100% this. It’s the “but her emails” syndrome. The professional Republicans come up with something, anything to give “reasonable, serious” people reason to object to the sames things that are driving their racist base crazy.

    5
  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Having lived in the 3rd precinct myself, I vouch for what you saying. @Sleeping Dog:

    Here is the truly disgusting thing about this situation, unless the police department’s union contract and the the civil service regulations have changed in the last 20 years, I’d bet that these for will be reinstated and given their badges and guns back, unless convicted.

    3
  56. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy:

    You know what would be proper? To arrest the officer who killed Mr. Floyd, and all the others involved in the incident.

    That will almost certainly happen in due course. Internal Affairs will investigate. The Justice Department will investigate. Unless some shocking new information comes to light, I presume they will be arrested and tried.

    I understand that it’s frustrating but the legal presumption of a police-involved killing is that the officers are innocent. While it’s often not the case in fact—and doesn’t appear to be the case here—it’s the right presumption given the risks we ask police to bear on our behalf.

    4
  57. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    And what, do you suggest, would have caused common cause after 400 years of racism?

    We have come a long way over the last 400 years. Indeed, the last 40. Has the bending of the curve towards justice been too slow? Yes. Does rioting help bend it in the right direction? No.

    4
  58. James Joyner says:

    @Barry:

    James, that tactic was developed after talking with veterans’ groups, to find something which would be respectful.

    It was modified after the initial backlash to his refusing to stand to him kneeling. By that point, it was already seen in a bad light. But, especially with the President egging on the other side, it was never going to be seen as respectful.

    4
  59. Gustopher says:

    When you systematically eliminate all effectiveness of peaceful demonstrations, you cannot be surprised when demonstrations turn violent.

    And, as a society, we have eliminated the effectiveness of peaceful demonstrations. Peaceful protests are either ignored or ridiculed, by and large, while a few idiots with long guns will get incessant coverage. Sometimes you reap what you sow.

    15
  60. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Gustopher:

    Not forget, that if the only change the protesters have seen, is that the lives have become worse after their peaceful, but ineffectual protests.

    2
  61. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    I understand that it’s frustrating but the legal presumption of a police-involved killing is that the officers are innocent. While it’s often not the case in fact—and doesn’t appear to be the case here—it’s the right presumption given the risks we ask police to bear on our behalf.

    Chauvin has a history of complaints against him for violence, and should have been removed from the force ages ago. Both to protect the public, and to protect him and his fellow officers.

    There are people who are not cut out to be police. People who will escalate problems and make poor decisions. We do them a disservice by letting them remain as police rather than gently whisking them aside and training them to be plumbers or something.*

    Now, one man is dead, a Target is burned, and the officer’s life is going to be turned upside down either with jail time or a new career as an “urban policing expert” on Fox. There are no winners in letting these problem police stay on the force.

    ——
    *: The training to become a police officer is significant, so this would make them whole. Plus, it would give them an option other than just move and become a police officer somewhere else.

    2
  62. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “t was never going to be seen as respectful.”

    Because by definition no protest by the underclass against the ruling class will EVER be seen as respectful by the ruling class.

    I’d love to see you give one example of such a protest that has been seen as respectful. Not forty years later, the way Republicans pretend to honor Rosa Parks. But at the time.

    Hard to get more respectful than “Please, sir, I want some more.” Didn’t seem that way to the people who ran the workhouse…

    14
  63. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    How many people flagrantly seen committing a crime are given the privilege of staying free and on the streets while an investigation goes on?

    6
  64. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Joyner:

    That will almost certainly happen in due course. Internal Affairs will investigate. The Justice Department will investigate. Unless some shocking new information comes to light, I presume they will be arrested and tried.

    Hey, did you know that the police are still allowed to continue investigations AFTER they arrest people?

    5
  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Window dressing James, prelude to a whitewashing if history is any guide.

    Particularly in a Trump administration with Barr as AG. They’re going to care about the killing of a black man? By a police officer? REALLY?

    2
  66. CSK says:

    I wonder who gave Trump the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”? He has absolutely no knowledge of history–the fact that Lincoln was a Republican only dawned on him a few years ago, and he assumed it would be a revelation to everyone else as well–so clearly he didn’t remember it from reading, which he doesn’t, in any case, do. So who provided him with it?

    3
  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @drj: Ms Rice makes a good point. I live in a city again–however small, it’s an urban-like area–a block away from city hall, so I see lots of police cars all the time, every day, but when I lived in the plastic suburbs, I could go weeks at a time without seeing any police presence–[ETA:] except at the donut shop 7/11 store 😛 .

    Being white, I find all the police presence rather comforting, but I expect that I would find it more problematical if I were black or Hispanic or living in my car or…

    2
  68. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    That will almost certainly happen in due course. Internal Affairs will investigate. The Justice Department will investigate. Unless some shocking new information comes to light, I presume they will be arrested and tried.

    I understand that it’s frustrating but the legal presumption of a police-involved killing is that the officers are innocent. While it’s often not the case in fact—and doesn’t appear to be the case here—it’s the right presumption given the risks we ask police to bear on our behalf.

    James:
    1) Contra the TV show narrative, police IAD are almost always ass-covering exercises, kabuki theater resulting in nothing.

    2) There is no Justice Department. There’s a corrupt lickspittle using the shell of the DOJ to attack Trump’s enemies.

    3) Even if a cop is arrested do you have any doubt that Trump will at least seriously consider pardoning him? As he’s done with the war criminal SEAL?

    When every path to justice is blocked, things get burned down.

    14
  69. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    White cops.

    White cops in South Minneapolis get to murder someone on camera and then just go home after their shift is done.

    If you or I had done that, we’d be in jail facing a murder charge.

    4
  70. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: That may be how you see it. But in my experience, modern Republicans will always find an excuse for why any action by people of color or their supporters isn’t the “right way”. So I’ll put that out as a challenge. Can you name even one protest action taken by a group of people of color that “serious Republicans” ever praised? [Edit: I see wr beat me to it]

    It’s all very fine to infinitely parse each action until the Republicans can condemn it, but the lie is shown when that leaves nothing in the acceptable column.

    13
  71. CSK says:

    Hennepin County Atty Mike Freeman concedes that while the video is horrific, he has “evidence that does not support” a murder charge against Chauvin. He does not reveal what this evidence is.

    Uh…wut?????

    2
  72. charon says:

    Apparently not protesters doing the looting, protesters are keeping the cops occupied so looters showing up to take advantage of the cops being otherwise occupied.

    3
  73. Kit says:

    @wr:

    Not forty years later, the way Republicans pretend to honor Rosa Parks. But at the time.

    What about how Republicans love to remind everyone that they are the party of Lincoln, instead of just happening to own the party name after a drawn out game of musical chairs?

    Or what about how the seemingly innocuous #BlackLivesMatter also draws the ire of the Right?

    Over this past year something has snapped in me, and I increasingly feel dirty and complicit in the daily deranged right-wing BS simply by paying it any mind. How far back must we go before finding an issue of national importance in which the Right’s arguments hold up well today? When’s the last time they were able to marshal facts and empathy in service to a noble cause?

    9
  74. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I lived in South Minneapolis. With smallish pockets of black and brown folks to be contained and intimidated.

    In North Minneapolis, where it is far, far worse in regards to policing, thumper cops scratch that itch daily.

  75. Jay L Gischer says:

    I did not know that the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” had a history. That is because I’m a well-to-do white person with no particular racial axe to grind. So I wasn’t part of the group that used that phrase, nor was I part of the group that is threatened by that phrase, so I didn’t know it at all.

    This has happened many, many times. I recall us discussing the use of the Betsy Ross flag in this way. That use, which taints that icon and makes it unusable, saddens me. It’s sort of cultural robbery.

    I’m not sure Trump even cares whether I know what it means or not. I mean, it works… It distracts people like James and me, and might tempt us into defending the phrase as innocuous. So maybe that’s intended. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to care… Of course, that’s part of what makes his whole schtick work.

    Now that I think of it, I suspect that Trump wanted to Tweet something completely outrageous just to show that Dorsey is a wimp and won’t ban him.

    5
  76. de stijl says:

    A lot of people I know have internalized the DWB or shopping while black or walking while black as the price of doing business and getting along.

    That is not my experience, but it is all too wrong.

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jon: Or maybe even more importantly, who is protesting. Don’t those people of color realize that they’re supposed to consider themselves lucky that they are permitted to live at all?

  78. CSK says:

    @CSK:
    Freeman is now backtracking: He was misinterpreted, he says. What he meant was that “it is critical to review all the evidence.”

    2
  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner:

    But, especially with the President egging on the other side, it was never going to be seen as respectful.

    I sort of thought that was Barry’s point–no protest of a black man against [edit:] violence toward blacks by whites under the color of authority was ever going to win the approval of the bunch of crackers Red State America keeps electing. Police killing people of color simply isn’t a crime here. Not to Trump, not to the DOJ under Barr, not to a sizable portion of the citizens of the nation.

    3
  80. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    Does rioting help bend it in the right direction?

    Again…Kaepernick protested peacefully and white privilege told him he wasn’t doing it properly. He wasn’t protesting in a manner they found appropriate for an uppity n……
    What would you do if white Anglo-Saxon Protestants were being killed simply for being WASPs?
    I’m probably as white as it get’s and living the easy life here in lily-white Connecticut.
    But the way our fellow citizens are being treated is abominable…and I will join them in their rebellion.

    9
  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Yeah, but that makes sense. After all, neither you nor Kathy are cops. Why shouldn’t you get arrested?

  82. wr says:

    @Kathy: “How many people flagrantly seen committing a crime are given the privilege of staying free and on the streets while an investigation goes on?”

    The question is not “how many.” It’s “what color.”

    4
  83. Modulo Myself says:

    @James Joyner:

    The LA riots brought reform to the LAPD, which was worse than any gang by 1992, and the blackout riots in NYC maybe were the genesis of hip-hop.

    1
  84. KM says:

    @James Joyner:

    Does rioting help bend it in the right direction?

    Capitalistic and democracy societies have forgotten rioting and rebellion are their foundational roots. That mysterious Invisible Hand of the Market? Before unions, customer protection laws and lawsuits manifests as a mob with pitchforks, tar and feathers. Before creating a culture of peaceful sign waving protests, economic boycotts and social repercussions for offenders like being shunned or fired, we had a culture where the only way you could influence those in power was reminding them how very few of them there are versus the angry mob outside looking for justice.

    Defrauding and disenfranchising the rabble means you risk the rabble being roused against you. We give citizens multiple peaceful alternative tools so they don’t resort to basics to get their point across. Our societies are built on the idea that while we *can* do these things, there’s better methods we all agree to use and to respect. However, don’t honor that agreement and it’s back to riding people out of town on a rail. That’s why the alt-right’s taken to carrying guns to protests. They’re not so subtly reminding everyone that if you don’t tolerate their whining now, they’ve got a backup plan you’ll like even less. These rioters are essentially doing the same thing – they were peacefully protesting, got tear gas fired on by the system and decided screw it, time for the pitchforks and torches.

    If the “right direction” is “let people protest peacefully or else”, well sometimes people need to be reminded “or else” is a functional part of that concept.

    14
  85. Kurtz says:

    Now that I have chance to comment rather than merely post links to Stokely Carmichael speeches and protest songs, I have things to say.

    -Michael correctly points out that IAD, while I’m sure roundly disliked by every other squad is just as susceptible, if not more so, to politics.

    -If you haven’t watched The Wire, then do so at the first opportunity. Its treatment of the dysfunctional institutions at the city level is as accurate and sobering as anything you can read.

    -Institutions, public or private, tend to allow the diffusion of blame for negative outcomes and claims of credit for good outcomes. The former incentivizes those with skin in the game to deflect, obfuscate, and deny to practice self-preservation.

    -I left Facebook shortly after the Kaepernick dust-up, because I got tired of explaining basic facts and getting no one willing to engage at that level.

    1.) kneeling as a social custom has never been a show of disrespect. On the contrary, it has always been a show of fealty, respect, or submission. (it’s in the very definition of “kneel” in just about every dictionary.)

    The very act is putting oneself in a defenseless position–the same posture victims of beheadings are placed into for execution.

    2.) People complained about bringing politics to sports. Let’s forget about Ali, Bill Russell, and the death threats Hank Aaron faced for a second. If people spent the other six days of the week engaged in correcting the wrongs in our country, then they can have their NFL Sundays.

    3.) CK initially sat. When criticized by a former Green Beret, he reached out to his critic to discuss the issue. And changed his approach out of respect for the military.

    Case closed. Done. Not ground for debate, and I rarely say that.

    -Conservatives, self-avowed critics of government over-reach, by definition ought to be concerned about the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

    I’ll repeat two things I’ve said before here.

    Systemic change rarely happens without serious fracture and strife.

    We celebrate MLK, but without the Carmichaels and Malcolm X’s ready to rumble, the peaceful protest gets ignored.

    “when you know you’ve been wronged
    And it’s just one life
    At what point does one fight?
    Good question, right?”
    –Jay-Z, “Justify My Thug”

    10
  86. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I’m not sure Trump even cares whether I know what it means or not. I mean, it works… It distracts people like James and me, and might tempt us into defending the phrase as innocuous. So maybe that’s intended

    Regardless of the history of the phrase, the plain text reading is the President telling people to go shoot looters. That’s not particularly innocuous.

    Particularly THUG looters, and we know who those are.

    This isn’t a carefully crafted dog-whistle. Or if it is, it is mostly drowned out by the shouting of the quiet parts.

    1
  87. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I had never seen that before.

    Thank you for highlighting this.

    2
  88. de stijl says:

    “Fuck Tha Police” did not arise from nihilism, but from experience.

    Plus NWA kicks ass, not as hard as Public Enemy, but pretty hard still. Close enough. NWA was topical, PE was political.

    Chuck D is the godfather. It takes a nation of millions to hold us back.

    Wu Tang Clan is for the children.

    1
  89. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I said this here earlier – not a dog whistle, but a whistle whisle.

    All caps THUG means scary black man.

    “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” is a whistle whistle intended to green-light state sponsored violence, and I will pardon you if the squishy lib Ds in Minnesota prosecute you.

    Joe Biden said a stupid thing last week to prove my both-siderism creds.

    2
  90. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    @wr:

    There are cases when a cop kills someone in circumstances where there can be doubt as to what happened and why. While in pursuit, for example, or if the suspect had a weapon, etc.

    When that happens, an investigation is appropriate before an arrest, if warranted.

    But when the killing occurs in broad daylight, in view of other cops, and in view of the public as well, and in so blatant a manner that the officers involved are fired, I see no excuse not to make an arrest while the investigation proceeds.

    Which is not to say your explanations are wrong.

    2
  91. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Ah, yes. It was intended as descriptive, not prescriptive. Of course, once it became clear that, like Italian Mafia movies and books, there is a market for grime, it becomes divorced from its original intent.

    You may have missed the post the other day, but I cannot recommend the album Undun by The Roots. Masterpiece.

    Also, this song.

    1
  92. de stijl says:

    Chauvin murdered George Floyd in plain sight.

    Bystanders were begging him to stop. You are killing him. The brazen act is chilling.

    Chauvin went home that night instead of to jail.

    1
  93. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I like Rebel Without A Pause.

    Sucka mc’s won’t play me

    Which was an actual thing for NYC radio stations back in the day.

    That was 30 some years ago. Dang! I am really old.

  94. Kurtz says:

    @Kit:

    Or what about how the seemingly innocuous #BlackLivesMatter also draws the ire of the Right?

    The two competing hashtags were non-responsive.

    The first, #AllLivesMatter, was the essential meaning of #BlackLivesMatter. It’s astounding how many steps it takes to conclude that BLM implies that no other lives matter.

    The second, #BlueLivesMatter is nearly insulting in its illogic.

  95. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Sucka MC and Crab/Crab rapper are two common disses that make me chuckle

    1
  96. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I employ sucka mc (or mc’s) often.

    I really shouldn’t cuz I’m a old white guy, but it is fun to say.

    I also use “yo” more than I should.

    The beauty of language is to say the same old shit in new ways.

    Gonna have to Google crab rapper. Is that Beastie Boys?

  97. Bill says:

    @Kathy:

    But when the killing occurs in broad daylight, in view of other cops, and in view of the public as well, and in so blatant a manner that the officers involved are fired, I see no excuse not to make an arrest while the investigation proceeds.

    We had an officer shooting down here, at night and without any eyewitnesses and a lying policeman but a jury rendered a guilty verdict and a judge handed down a 25-year jail sentence. How? Corey Jones was on the phone with AT&T Roadside assistance when Nouman Raja pulled up and without warning or announcing himself, started opening fire on Jones. This murder was caught on audio tape.

    In statements right after the shooting, Raja said he announced himself. Audio said otherwise. If not for a live ongoing phone conversation, Raja would have gotten away with murder.

    Of course if Raja worked for Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, he may still have gotten off with murder. The local Sheriff’s office here will destroy evidence involving a officer related shooting.

    3
  98. Mike in Arlington says:

    @wr: Just to add to what you said, I remember Jesse Helms claiming that MLK was a communist in the 1980s and Reagan’s response (when asked about Helms’ claims) was “well, I guess we’ll know in 35 years”.

  99. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz

    Yo, looked up “crab” in Urban Dictionary. I would have gone with snail in that context.

    Good shorthand. White country people have the same concept in “all hat and no …”

    Crab is way more succinct and subtle.

    1
  100. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    AFAIK Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick.

  101. Kingdaddy says:

    What conclusions would you draw from the smaller African-American turnout in the 2016 election?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/03/12/4-4-million-2012-obama-voters-stayed-home-in-2016-more-than-a-third-of-them-black/

    1
  102. Jax says:

    @Kingdaddy: My personal opinion on the matter is that a whole LOT of voters, black, white, red, yellow and brown stayed home because they thought Hillary had it in the bag and there was no freakin way Trump would win.

    I, however, am no expert.

    3
  103. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy: @Jax: IIRC Black turnout for Hillary was down compared to Obama in 2008 and 2012, but up compared to Kerry in 2004. The conclusion I would draw is that Obama was Black.

    2
  104. de stijl says:

    Slick Rick is underappreciated.

    As is Mos Def. That guy is a really good actor too.

    My neighborhood grocery store played Cameo yesterday. Word Up. Tell me what’s the word. Dancing in the aisle. Hadn’t heard in ages.

    Good call, grocery store manager!

  105. de stijl says:

    There is a weird thing I do. Went to the bank yesterday.

    Whenever I am asked to fork over my ID, I say “multipass” like Leeloo says it – mooltipass when I hand it over.

    Some folks get it. It amuses me.

    1
  106. Kingdaddy says:

    “ Humanity many times has had sad experience of super-powerful police forces … As soon as (the police) slip from under the firm thumb of a suspicious local tribune, they become arbitrary, merciless, a law unto themselves. They think no more of justice, but only of establishing themselves as a privileged and envied elite. They mistake the attitude of natural caution and uncertainty of the civilian population as admiration and respect, and presently they start to swagger back and forth jingling weapons, in megalomaniac euphoria. People thereupon become not masters, but servants … Such a police force becomes merely an aggregate of uniformed criminals, the more baneful in that their position is unchallenged and sanctioned by law. The police mentality cannot regard a human being in terms other than as an item or object to be processed as expeditiously as possible. Public convenience or dignity means nothing; police prerogatives assume the status of divine law. Submissiveness is demanded. If a police officer kills a civilian, it is a regrettable circumstance: the officer was possibly over-zealous. If a civilian kills a police officer all hell breaks loose. The police foam at the mouth. All other business comes to a standstill until the perpetrator of this most dastardly act is found out. Inevitably, when apprehended, he is beaten or otherwise tortured for his intolerable presumption … The police complain that they cannot function efficiently, that criminals escape them. Better a hundred unchecked criminals than the despotism of one unbridled police force.” from The Star King, by Jack Vance.

    6
  107. DrDaveT says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    from The Star King, by Jack Vance.

    Loves me some Demon Princes. Thanks.

  108. Ken_L says:

    That innocent term “peaceful protest” is used too often to imply that any other kind of protest is morally wrong. Which is kind of strange, given that (a) countless exercises of non-peaceful protest in both the US and other countries are generally regarded as having made desirable and constructive contributions towards a more democratic, just society, and (b) in the vast majority of cases, “peaceful” protest is a synonym for “ineffectual” protest. Appeals for peaceful protest stem from the same yearning for a life insulated from personal inconvenience as condemnation of workers who dare to strike and interrupt the public’s access to goods or services. Can’t they find some other way to express their grievances? One that doesn’t affect me?

    Non-peaceful protest is a natural response to acts of violence. Sometimes, non-violent kinds of protest might be more effective, for example the boycott or the sit-in. But they are challenging to organize and manage. Moreover they all involve inflicting inconvenience or more on other people or institutions, so while not “violent” they are certainly not “harmless”.

    People standing politely out of the traffic waving signs or chanting slogans would achieve just as much by staying home and posting angry comments on the internet. Mass demonstrations and street marches attract attention, but by themselves they don’t influence the ruling class. They will only do that if they arouse the fear of the mob which, as KM has noted, is the ultimate reason why we enjoy even a semblance of democratic governance and social justice.

    2
  109. de stijl says:

    There are a lot of problems with The Fifth Element. Notably tone and direction.

    However, Mila Jovovich kills.

    Multipass. Question she does not understand. Holds multipass up higher. Points. MULTIPASS!

    If only there was a gif and a meme.

    MOOLTIPASS!

    1
  110. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I told my kid she got her “multipass” when her driver’s license arrived in the mail. Thankfully for me, she got the reference. 😉

    1
  111. Raoul says:

    JJ:When I read the comment about looters and shooters I knew exactly what it meant (I did not know the historical background)-however you came to a different interpretation- why is that? To be sure my interpretation is the most logical but of course I would say that. I guess what I’m suggesting is that -well it is pretty obvious- whitebred naive look at life?

  112. LB says:

    There’s a scene in the 2003 Italian Job where the Ed Norton villain character discovers he’s being targeted because the Charlize Theron character, while on a fake date with Ed’s character, casually utters an idiosyncratic phrase that her father used to say to both of them. There’s no way that Trump just happens to use a similarly idiosyncratic phrase used by a racist police chief in 1967 (and maybe George Wallace?) without at least a sub-conscious knowledge of the context, which was for police to shoot the looters, not that looters cause shooting.

  113. mattbernius says:

    A day later I am still to take to directly address this so I will just share this tweet:

    Louisville police shot rubber bullets directly at the crowd, including the press last night- Local reporter @KaitlinRustWAVE and photographer @jbtcardfan were hit live on air during the protests in Louisville last night. https://t.co/2VDwbxjepH

    Eff our racist president who is too scared to even stand by his incitement to racist violence.

    1