Last night I missed a call from a TV reporter. He had just read Scott Brady’s story in the Duluth News Tribune about the 8th District candidates for Congress and their reactions to the George Floyd case and particularly about the issue of “defunding the police.”
On the actual paper and ink story that was delivered to my front dor, my picture was on the top of a banner headline. However, the tiny paragraph devoted to me was dwarfed by coverage of ex-policeman Pete Stauber. His story and remarks took up 70 percent of the story I got 2 percent and the DFL candidate, Quinn Nystrom.
So this post is all about cops, justice and the neglect of justice.
Today’s DNT also had a safe editorial about the use of military gear by police which also had some news when it explained why it wasn’t used recently in a tense confrontation. There was also a story about Duluth’s High school students begging the School Board not to keep the police liaisons that are currently assigned to our high schools. And there was a story about how the legislature is dealing with possible reforms to policing.
But I just finished a story which tells you more about policing in our time than any of these and its about the 400,000 rape kits that have been neglected in police warehouses over the past 40 years allowing serial rapists the chance to attack one of the least important members of our society – women. They rank right up there with black men only they aren’t killed so dramatically. They have been left to suffer their rapes in silence and indifference.
Heads up. This is a very long story well worth the read by anyone who gives a damn about protecting the public.
But before I leave the subject of policing and my peremptory mention in the Congressional race story let me share an old post about one of Black America’s greatest grievances with the police. The peculiar ability of white police officers to focus in on black males at all times like an Irish Setter. This post was one of several on the subject of a young friend of mine who told me he’d been pulled over repeatedly in his car in the first couple of months when he began driving it. I’ve been pulled over a half dozen times in the last fifty years. So, this is what happened the last time I was pulled over in Duluth.
And I guess I should point out one other important thing. Duluth policing is famous around the nation for its first ever plan to protect battered women – The Duluth Model. It is one of the reasons I showered the Duluth police with compliments in the Congressional candidate story even if the only snippet that broke through to be quoted was about how lucky we are to have Chief Tusken. He is just the latest of about four excellent police Chiefs in a row our police department has had at its helm.