Escambia County, Florida, Sheriff David Morgan has presided lately over two stories of police misuse of their guns, one shooting a man 15 times in his own driveway, another killing two dogs in a house the police entered without good cause.
His reaction to media criticism, much of it coming from right here? Dahlia Lithwick at Slate notes, it's a bunch of disconnected anecdotes about black criminals. (The people whose home the cops invaded and killed their dogs were white, though the man they shot in his own driveway was black.)
This week Sheriff Morgan spoke at a weekly Rotary Club of Pensacola meeting and made it clear that the real victim of the racial injustice here is Sheriff David Morgan. You should watch it. It's a case study in grievance- and blame-shifting….
The substance of Morgan's argument is that the community must "address statistics for what they are and not inject race." Then he proceeds to inject race. And then he does it again…..
Morgan says that he is "hobbled by the law" and complains that he is unable to defend the actions of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office (which he is presumably now doing) because of pending investigations into the misconduct of his officers—a situation he likens, weirdly, to "allowing a deputy to handcuff you and beat you because you can't defend yourself." This is of course not far from what his officers allegedly did to the actual victims in these incidents….
at this point that Morgan pivots to argue that to achieve a real national dialogue on race, "those of you in the white community must overcome your fear of being labeled a racist. Because that's what we all fear in trying to open a dialogue with minority communities. It's when we enter that first juncture of the disagreement we will be called a racist. Anybody want that label?"
Then Morgan loftily adds that we "must address those statistics for what they are, and not inject race," adding, "Last night we had four black male teenagers attacked a 77-year-old white man. Where was the public outrage in that?" He cites another attack in which "two black males and one black female brutally attacked a white female … beat her to death with a hammer and crowbar . . . where is the public outrage in that?" Then he cites another execution-style murder by an armed black male against a white male. Plus graphic crime scene details. None of these cases involves the police. They're just examples of vicious black-on-white crimes that presumably justify—what, exactly? Police brutality? Racial profiling? More warrantless searches? Morgan never exactly tells us what we are meant to conclude from all these allegedly neutral "statistics," …