Justine Damond: An Inconvenient Death

"Pathways to Policing" is the misguided affirmative action program that killed Justine Damond. It needs to be suspended immediately and completely reassessed.

Credit: The Daily Telegraph-AmericanNightmare

A week ago Justine Damond called 911 from her home, in the comfortable neighborhood of Minneapolis known as Fulton, to report what she believed was a woman in distress in her alley. When she met the squad car, Officer Mohammed Noor, sitting in the front passenger seat, shot across his partner while she was speaking to him. Justine, a citizen of Australia, bled out in the very alley the concern about which prompted her call.

The story made and continues to make international headlines.

Just another cop in the Twin Cities shooting and killing a civilian, right? Here, though, the usual social justice warrior narrative encountered inconvenient facts. The victim was a white woman, the cop was a Somali born man who’s joining the police force was celebrated at the time by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges as proof of all that is good, right and progressive in the city. What’s a virtue signaling person to do?

Speaking of which, Governor Mark Dayton maintained utter silence for three long days before breaking it on the fourth. This was in marked contrast with another tragedy, the shooting of Philando Castile. In that instance Dayton wasted no time before saying, without the slightest shred of evidence, “Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white? I don’t think it would have.” Thinking has never been the governor’s strong suit.

Local media temporized while awaiting instructions from CAIR on how to handle the coverage of Damond. If you think I exaggerate, think again. Last year I wrote “The Islamization of Minnesota Media.” If I do say so myself, it’s worth reading.

The priority of the Regressive Left was to deflect any legitimate concerns about affirmative action hiring, which necessarily would include skimping on training, and instead deflect to the shopworn tropes of gun control or, failing that, to so called bigotry. This time, however, the public seems markedly less inclined to be intimidated by tactics designed to shut down discussion.

It didn’t go unnoticed that the Washington Post ran a 1,200 word article without mentioning Noor once. The same goes for Vox, which weighed in with 2,000 words and nary a mention of ethnicity.

In their passivity, local media were entirely eclipsed by real, hardworking journalists at “The Daily Mail” (UK) and several Australian newspapers. For example, neighbors of Noor characterized him as “nervous” and “jumpy.” One African-American man said “He has little respect for women, he has little respect for blacks and kids.”

If this had been said of a white cop, local media would be all over it. But it wasn’t so they weren’t. More inconvenient facts. A reporter for MPR actually trolled Twitter asking for warm, fuzzy anecdotes about Noor. No outlet that I know of picked up on the foreign reporting as to what type of person Mohammed Noor might be.

All news is produced. Think of produced as “manufactured” and you begin to get a real understanding of what is offered up as objective realities. Keep in mind, too, that what isn’t covered is the single greatest source of media bias.

The real problem, I’d go so far as to say the causal reason of Damond’s death, is more happy clappy affirmative action foisted upon Minnesota by liberals from above. “Pathways to Policing” is a terrible, nefarious program designed to make people police officers not because they would be good but because they check an affirmative action box. Officer Noor was one such person. There are many others in the pipeline. This led Robert Spencer to observe this  “just ensures that in the future, there will be more Justine Damonds.” He’s right; the point is inarguable.

Liberals, in their haste, literally put aside the preeminent qualification for public safety: competence. While the program has been hailed as a great success, Justine Damond is unavailable for comment. Republicans in their wisdom this last session saw fit to increase the funding for it.

“Pathways to Policing” should be suspended until a complete review of the program has been conducted and its results made known. A woman is dead because of the way it is currently being run. The public deserves a greater understanding of what the costs to their safety are in order for liberals to advance police candidates who otherwise couldn’t cut it.

Mayor Hodges has said “the city must embrace the discomfort of transformation.” It was one thing when this was only vapid, laughable virtue signaling. It has now become a death threat. That’s a lot of discomfort and no laughing matter.

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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor. He blogs at MinnesotaConservatives.org and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy

John Gilmore

John Gilmore is an author, freelance writer & former opinion columnist for Alpha News. He blogs at minnesotaconservatives.org & is @Shabbosgoy on Twitter