Accountability and other myths


America is in the throes of an agonizing debate—police reform—and it has no answers.
Yet that’s how the U.S. tackles its problems—and often solves them—through heated fulminations and some final distillations into changes. The biggest problems—today—are racism and income disparity.
George Floyd launched the discussion on race through the vehicle of illustration. He served as the symbol. His case had everything: race, thumperism, official indifference and egregious cruelty.
Colin Kaepernick was sacrificed—unheard. George Floyd—through the heroics of a Black child’s recording—was emblazoned to stardom. Irony.
Withal, no sensible police reforms have surfaced. A lot of idiot notions, however, have:
Defund the police.
How clever.
Charter reform.
Innovative and slick—but mindless.
The race to invent nostrums became a hysterical marathon.
The simple, capitalist, answer would not be heard. It is accountability.
Every enterprise is based on it, except for very benign and tolerant socialism. And policing is socialism in drag.
I digress.
In the late ‘80s I decided I’d leave the Chief’s job after nine years. They’d all suffered enough.
Would I have any suggestion for Mayor Fraser if he asked me?
It had to be yes—so I thought and thought and finally emerged with an obvious solution—my number two. He’d do a good job.
So, I asked him—expecting a teary acceptance.
He shocked me.
“I can’t work with that Council. Don’t even suggest me!”
That was it. I was floored.
Fraser never asked.
My choice became a chief elsewhere and served with distinction for about a decade.
Fraser chose a feckless caretaker who, with one exception, began a parade of get-alongs, go-alongs who brought us Justine Damond, George Floyd, Terrance Franklin and countless others.
The thumpers rolled on; the union held sway, the politicos congratulated themselves and you got screwed.
And all that needed to be done was to hold someone accountable for how they fought street crime, responded to 911 emergencies and controlled traffic.
One knowing look at the MPD budget and you’ll know you’re in the hands of idiots and fools. Yes, reducing that budget 10% would—in the hands of knowing, willing executives—produce miracles of efficiency through accountability.
It ain’t gonna happen.
The band plays on.
With all the debates, riots, pillages, burning and urban unrest, not a thing—in policing—has changed.
But we did get a lot more Black faces onto TV.

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