Brad details an egregiously stupid comment made by the head of the St. Paul Government Schools--more or less, she asked what she was going to tell her black students about the situation. The police union responded--showing, I'm afraid, some ill fruits of their membership having attended schools like St. Paul Public in their diction--and I'm afraid also missed a golden chance to educate. Here's how I would have responded:
You tweeted an interesting question regarding the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Wilson of the Ferguson Police in the death of Michael Brown; what does one tell black students in this case? Well, our position is that it would be wise for teachers to simply tell the truth, and here's how we'd phrase it.
"The grand jury decided after 200 hours of deliberation that Officer Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown because Mr. Brown had committed aggravated assault with likely intent to kill, including the attempted theft of Officer Wilson's service pistol. They have released all of the information on which they based this decision, and it's worth noting that 90% of the information came from blacks at the scene, and that almost all of them agreed that Michael Brown had committed aggravated assault with likely intent to kill. This is, by the way, the same thing that got Trayvon Martin killed.
Kids, I'm going to be very blunt with you; there are times in school where you may have gotten away with having a fight, even a fight where the loser needed to go to the hospital. However, when you get out in the real world, your victim does not know that you are going to stop "once you've made your point." When you start punching him--especially if you are much larger and male--your victim will assume that you are intending to kill or maim him.
And that, under the law, allows your victim to respond to your likely lethal force with lethal force, whether he is a police officer or not. So choose your behaviors wisely, again, especially if you are large, athletic, and male."
See, that's not so difficult, is it? Moreover, as we look at the crime rates from students in and graduates of the schools you run, it's pretty obviously a lesson that many of these kids need to learn. So let's give it a try, OK?
St. Paul Police Federation
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