In his most recent column in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Politicians at fault for attacks on police, Otter Tail County Republican activist Bill Schulz sees a motive in Governor Mark Dayton's observation that had Philando Castile been white, he might still be alive.
What is the Governor really after? Slave labor camps for those who don't agree with him.
“A day after a St. Anthony police officer shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile, a black man, on July 6, Dayton said, ‘Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white? I don’t think it would have.’”
Those who follow politics are probably not surprised that our Gov. Dayton would use such caustic language about police. Dayton is merely copying the tactics of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other liberal and progressive activists. It is a common tactic in the left to impose their will upon a population by causing friction between disparate groups, to fan the flames of dissension and hostility, and step back while the groups destroy or enfeeble each other. Once the ranks of the people are thinned or subjugated, send the most recalcitrant members to the slave labor camps, and put the reminder to hard physical work — those who are exhausted from long days of labor are unlikely to cause any difficulties for the ruling elite. It worked for Stalin and Mao Zedong, didn’t it?
That's more than hyperbole. It's pure nincompoopery--the stuff of conspiracy theorists who image FEMA concentration camps under every rock while chemtrails poison the citizenry.
Moreover, Schulz is under the delusion that members of law enforcement are the only ones who will be prosecuted in lethal confrontations:
Many street thugs feel that they have been given the green light by Obama and the likes of Dayton and other radical government leaders nationwide to attack police, to loot and burn. The message is clear that only police will be prosecuted in lethal confrontations. . . .
Perhaps he missed Hennepin County Mike Freeman's press conference clearing the officers involved in the shooting of Jamar Clark, and the fact that law enforcement officers are rarely indicted following lethal confrontations.
When officers are killed in the line of duty, those responsible are routinely prosecuted--if they're not taken down in the act, as were the men who murdered police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. He's technically correct in saying the shooters in those cases weren't prosecuted, but we fail to see the point of putting their corpses on trial. They've gotten what they deserved for doing the indefensible.
As for officers being prosecuted, data on officer-involved shootings is difficult to identify. In April 2015, the Washington Post reported in Thousands Dead, Few Prosecuted:
Among the thousands of fatal shootings at the hands of police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged, a Post analysis found. Most were cleared or acquitted in the cases that have been resolved.
Think Progress reported earlier this month:
According to the Wall Street Journal, 2015 saw the highest number of police officers being charged for deadly, on-duty shootings in a decade: 12 as of September 2015. Still, in a year when approximately 1,200 people were killed by police, zero officers were convicted of murder or manslaughter, painting the picture that officers involved in killing another person will not be held accountable for their actions.
In 2016, several officers have gone to trial but none of them received jail time. . . .
At the conservative libertarian site Reason, John Stossel points out some issues with the "War on Cops" frame:
But Black Lives protesters also have a point: Some cops are sadistic, racist bullies.
Not many are, but with 765,000 police officers in America, if just 1 percent were racist, that would still leave 7,650 bullies with guns. For years, when officers said, "I had to use force; I had to shoot," Americans usually believed them. Now videos show that, in many cases, officers lied.
In addition, DNA evidence reveals that cops and prosecutors have locked up lots of innocent people—disproportionately poor people and blacks.
So there are good reasons for blacks to be angry.
The "war on cops" narrative is overblown, too. "War" means killing. The attack on officers in Dallas was despicable, but, even including those five deaths, it is still safer to be a cop today than in years past. According to FBI records, 2015 was one of the safest years ever recorded.
Crime is down, too. The media mislead us by dwelling on increases in cities like Chicago, but overall, crime continues to drop.
As for Dayton and officers murdered in the line of duty? The killer of Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick was tried and remains behind bars; Governor Dayton attended Patrick's funeral. Dayton also attended the funeral of Aitkin County Deputy Sheriff Steven Sandberg, murdered by a suspect he was guarding in a hospital in St. Cloud; the killer later died after being Tased.
And then there's the governor's alliance with law enforcement during the debate over legalizing medical cannabis. Dayton isn't anti-law enforcement.
We agree with Governor Dayton's observation about the shooting of Philando Castile, though we can understand the reaction on the part of law enforcement to his words. Schulz's column--with its attribution of motives to Dayton of seeking to create chaos in order to send resisters to slave camps--is pure paranoia.
Americans certainly have the right to think, speak, and write all sorts of crazy things--so Schulz has the right to include utter malarky in his column. But as we learned most recently from the actions of murderer Gavin Long, who entertained the ideas of the "sovereign citizen" movement, those rights don't extend to actions that harm other citizens, including law enforcement.
Given the outlandishness of Schulz's fearmongering, it's hard not to look for a motive in heightening alarm about the Governor's observation. Perhaps it's found in an earlier column, Donald Trump a symptom of a larger problem.
Despite the headline, the columnist is a Trump supporter, so perhaps stoking fears of a Governor Gulag and Clinton Camps is simply a rhetorical strategy to get his fellow elected. Fancy that.
The Fergus Falls Journal is published daily; according to the Minnesota Newspaper Association membership directory, it has a circulation of just over 3900. In 2015, the Census estimated the city's population at 13,281; the regional center is growing as its lively mix of lakes, jobs, arts and great food helps to contribute to a "brain gain."
Irony alert: Schulz may be familiar to readers who remember when he was attacked by another Republican in 2014, as the Fergus Falls Journal reported in Charges possible after fight at GOP committee meeting and Bluestem posted in Man allegedly assaulted at GOP SD8 convention planning meeting as Franson v. Nelson heats up. The person who hit Schulz was a supporter of Perham Tea Party activist and law & order candidate Sue Nelson, whose husband is a retired member of law enforcement.
Photo: Governor Mark Dayton thanks a member of the Patriot Guard at Deputy Steven Sandberg's funeral. Doesn't look like a plan for slave labor camps. Photo via MPR.
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