Six dead, one remembered, and the $64,000 question.

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You’ll remember that Philando Castile was killed in cold blood by a St. Anthony cop, who was later acquitted with the defense that “he was a black guy, I wuz scared.”

A couple of days ago, tragically and sadly, a cop in a town near me was run over by a driver who was probably on drugs and drunk, who was told by the courts she was not allowed to drive because she is so dangerous but was driving anyway. That is very sad. That particular cop was said by others to be “one of the good ones” and I believe that. He had a boy my son’s age, in the same school system (but a different building). The memorial service for that officer was yesterday and today. Imma come back to that later.

Anyway, an on line fundraiser was started some time back to help feed the kids in the Saint Paul school district. Philando Castile worked in the cafeteria in one of the elementary schools there. The fundraiser, Pamela Fergus’s idea, was supposed to cover the costs of the school lunch debts for kids in Philando’s schol, which would have required something less than $5,000. Imma come back to that later.

So, anyway, today a guy was run over in Saint Paul by a drunk driver driving an SUV. Another guy was killed a couple of days ago in nearby Robbinsdale when a drunk driver ran his pickup into a building, killing the guy in side. Over the last year and a half, over an area with a radius of about 2 miles or less, three people were killed on roads near my house by drunk drivers, people who were either nowhere near the road, on a foot or bike path, or, as is the case of the police officer mentioned above, out with his police car removing an obstruction from the highway.

It is sad that all of those people died, including Philando who was killed for exactly one reason, that he was black. Including the three pedestrians who were committing the crime of walking down the street, and the one guy in the business who was just sitting there minding his own business, and the cop who was doing his job.

Two big things happened today. One of them is that several miles of road and several acres of parking were shut down, school buses delayed and rerouted, and traffic (somewhat, not much I think) messed up in order to have a huge memorial for the officer who was run over. Cops came from all over, it was a huge, huge deal.

The other big thing is that it was reported that the fundraiser for kids at Philando Castile’s school produced $64,400 instead of $5,000. So, that’s enough to cover all of the debts for all of the students in Saint Paul’s rather large school district.

I don’t have a problem with a big memorial for a cop that died in the line of duty. But I just want to point out that a huge memorial happened for one guy who was killed exactly the same way as a bunch of other people who didn’t get the memorial. It is almost like the cops are royalty, so when one of them dies there is a big procession and the streets are closed down and everybody has to salute and be sad. And since they are cops and can harass or kill people, you can’t really complain about it.

You might think I’m annoyed at the cop memorial and not annoyed at the Castile fundraider, but actually, I’m annoyed at the fundraiser as well. In Minnesota we feed the kids in our schools. Kids who are short of resources get the food for free or cheap, and if the bills are not paid nobody does anything. So, I think the fundraiser was a bit too specific. There are kids who are above the cutoff for free or reduced lunch that probably still can’t pay, but what the J.J.Hill school, where Philando worked needs, is probably some other stuff. Since the fundraiser is for lunch debt, now the extra money, it seems, will be spread across the school district, and is probably paying for something the school would have covered because they don’t have a choice. I’d love to see all the money go to just his school, for things school administrations are not already forced to cover but that kids need.

Oh, and another thing that is related to all of this in the usual sick and demented way. Today it was revealed that a security guard, a rent-a-cop, at a local Catholic college, admitted that he had lied. He claimed that he had been shot, and specifically, that he was shot by some black guy. Turns out he accidentally shot himself. This is the sort of thing that happens sometimes.

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21 thoughts on “Six dead, one remembered, and the $64,000 question.

  1. Even though the school (or school district) will still feed those kids even if they can’t pay, there is a real monetary cost to the school to do so. That money has to come from somewhere and if that somewhere is not from the school board or city’s school taxes then it is going to come out of programs or supplies that otherwise would have been available. Having it come from the Phillando Castille fundraiser eases that burden on the school.

  2. Um; is there something stopping kids from taking tbeir lunch to school from home??? Im only guessing but i reckon a sandwich maybe costs about USD 20 cents or so. And an apple or mandarin maybe another 20 cents.
    When the heck did school become a restaurant? And since when did restaurants give credit? And since when did children qualify for credit?

  3. Doug, you have a lot more faith than I do in the ability of school admins and boards to make smart education oriented decisions!

  4. I agree with you GL. Yes, I do.
    No sarcasm.

    We’ve turned cops into #Heroes after the events of 9/11/01 and given them the national honor/glory/praise that we previously reserved only for soldiers who fought in wars on foreign soil. We throw them parades multiple times a year and insist that people stand, cover their hearts and sing the anthem of freedom, while giving these people the legal authority to destroy anyone and their dog, even at the “wrong address” (oops), without consequence. We’ve encouraged the LOCAL police force to militarize, given them MRAPs and other equipment that has no place on America’s streets, as we’ve built them for unlawful foreign conflicts. The wars have come home, and we’re all the worse off as we’ve become second class mundane citizens at the mercy of our costumed government officials.

    Your example (of a benefit for a “fallen officer” vs very little for other victims) is proof positive that we place a higher value on the lives of the costumed official.

    Both parties are hypocrites on this matter: Republicans falsely fly the “smaller government” flag while insisting that the cops are above the law and the Democrats decry the great powers of the enforcement arm of the State they always seek to empower/grow as they insist that freedom recedes from the life of the citizen. Republicans and Democrats each abuse their constituencies, failing to carry out an agenda that benefits the constituents, knowing that they’re each is opposed to the other side, that the votes will flow in.

    Simply stated, proper governments are instituted to protect the Rights of its citizens. We’re very far from that goal.

    “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”- Thomas Jefferson

    (As an aside, this “hero worship” that has been heaped on soldiers and others is a way to suppress their consciences from expressing any negativity towards the missions they carried out. Because they are now worshiped as heroes back home, they must not speak out against the atrocities/injustices of battle, lest they tarnish the #Hero mantle for others, or seem ungrateful for the praise/worship being heaped upon them. Their pride and ego are stroked, as their limbs, minds and lives are taken from them. Not to mention the hypocrisy of obtaining veterans discounts and other benefits as payment for their mercenary services.)

  5. Jefferson never said that Ron. Monticello archivists state there is no record of in his writings or correspondences, and state the first record of it’s appearance is 1914.

  6. Strike it from the record.

    No issues ron — and please don’t take my comment as gruff as it now seems to be on revisiting.

    This part of Michigan is extremely conservative, even for Michigan. Things like that one, stuff that admittedly sounds like it should be true and so get a lot of play by everyone, are tossed around quite a bit by our local libertarians and tea baggers. This one has gotten a lot of play, and still does, despite the fact that it isn’t authentic.

    Greg, how are public schools funded in Minnesota? I have a hard time believing funding there could be as bad as ours, but it sounds like it is.

  7. Re #3: Yes there are thing stopping many kids from bringing their lunch from home. It’s called neglect, a lot of which is economic. We have a huge number of poor people in the U. S. The reasons are various and include low wages and/or mental illness and/or drug addiction among the providers for the children. Many poor children – and some not above poverty but still needy – do not have breakfast before coming to school, so schools in many places have taken over the task. In large part this is an attempt to improve learning; it is hard for a child to concentrate on learning anything when they are chronically hungry.

    As you say, sandwiches can be made fairly cheaply but they are far from containing all the nutrition a growing child needs per day. Fruit is not so cheap in the U. S., particularly out of season. A single apple can cost a dollar. Minimum wage is about $7/hour and many poor families have more than one child. Minimum wage-paying companies are known to keep their staff from working full time to avoid paying for health care and retirement benefits.

    The U. S. is not an easy country to live in with a very restricted income.

  8. Dean, this is not a state wide question. This is the St Paul district. It has demographics that are unique compares to districts across the state.

  9. In their few published efforts to bring scholarly work to this topic, the Center for Policing Equity has come to some preliminary conclusions. Police profile Blacks over Whites. And Blacks resist arrest and injure cops more than Whites. A perfect storm. Not specifically referring to Castile.

  10. > Police profile Blacks over Whites. And Blacks resist arrest and injure cops more than Whites.

    The second leads to the first. The first can produce the second.

  11. Here are the murder stats for Minnesota from 2011 – 2016, by race of offender.

    2011 total 83 White 29 34.94% Black 33 39.76%
    2012 total 94 White 26 27.66% Black 39 41.49%
    2013 total 123 White 36 29.27% Black 48 39.02%
    2014 total 90 White 30 33.33% Black 32 35.56%
    2015 total 145 White 46 31.72% Black 53 36.55%
    2016 total 117 White 49 41.88% Black 40 34.19%

    As of July 1, 2016, white % of population of MN 85%, black % 6.2%

    When 6.2% of the population causes more than 1/3 of the murders in the state, year after year, people take notice. Black on black crime is a big problem in Minnesota, but these sorts of stats lead to profiling.

  12. From the Minnesota link given by rickA: this is from page 21, top of page, end of section 4.1.1

    “Offenses involving murder totaled 100 in 2016 in Minnesota compared to 130 in 2015, a decrease of 23.1 percent”

    Rick’s number must have come from the link that no longer works (I’m guessing a table he created no longer exists)

    Top of page 50, same report: 114 murders reported, 14 unfounded, actual offenses 100.

    Without verification of rickA’s numbers the rest of his stuff is uncertain.

  13. dean:

    Sorry about the factfinder link. The data is there, but hard to link to.

    As for the 2016 murder total, I added up the numbers from the graph on pg. 28, fig. 4.11. Some of the other tables add up to 117 also. Weird.

  14. “I’m guessing a table he created no longer exists”

    “The data is there, but hard to link to”

    Some of their interfaces can be, to put it mildly, neither intuitive nor user friendly.

  15. I thought it might be the number of murder incidents vs the number of murders, so multiple murders in one incident is changing the numbers. However, it looks like it is multiple murderers.

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