As Minneapolis continues to be burned, looted and generally destroyed by “protesters” who are filling the streets, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued a note of caution to the rioters yesterday. He wanted everyone to show some kindness to the National Guard units and other military personnel who they may encounter. That was rather thoughtful of him, assuming anyone actually listens. It’s the sort of message one might hope the AG would be sending.
Sadly, he didn’t stop there. In order to ensure the rioters knew what he meant, Ellison went on to draw a distinction between the National Guard and the police. You see, it’s okay to direct your anger (and presumably your violence) against the cops. But it’s not the National Guard’s fault. (Free Beacon)
Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison (D.) told Minneapolis residents protesting the death of George Floyd to direct their ire at local police, rather than the National Guard that has been called into the city to help restore order…
“I’d like everyone to recognize the fact that the National Guard just a week ago was administering COVID-19 tests to help people,” Ellison said. “The presence you see on the street, don’t react to them the way you might react to the Minneapolis Police Department. It’s not the same group. They have different leadership, different authority, and their job is to try to bring peace and calm back again. Please remember that this is not the group that you associate with unfair conduct.”
If Ellison had even managed to stop there, you might find room to forgive his poor wording. He’s just drawing a distinction between civilian and military law enforcement. I mean, it’s not as if he’s actually excusing the rioting, arson and violence, right?
Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s exactly what he’s doing. He went on to quote MLK, saying a riot is how “the unheard get heard.”
Both the Governor and the Mayor of Minneapolis are at least mouthing some of the right words and giving the appearance of trying to discourage the rioting. The Governor was even talking about taking up President Trump on his offer to send in some military police. Granted, the Mayor’s response has been a bit more muted and lacks decisiveness, but he’s not completely ordering his cops to stand down and surrendering control of the streets like Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did during the Freddie Gray riots.
But at the same time as they are trying to calm the city down, they’ve got the Attorney General going out in public and saying that it’s basically okay to attack the cops as long as you leave the nice National Guardsmen alone. In this regard, Ellison is standing in for the role that Rawlings-Blake played in Baltimore in 2015. And as I was discussing with some friends on social media this week, after Baltimore burned down, it never really recovered. While other large cities were seeing significant decreases in their murder rates, Charm City was setting new records for the most killings. The police lost faith in City Hall and started doing less policing, It’s a nasty downward spiral that becomes difficult to pump the brakes on once it begins.
Of course, I’m not sure what any of us should have expected. As the linked article reminds us, when Ellison was in Congress (in the seat now held by Ilhan Omar) he openly supported Antifa. When Minnesota chose to elect an Attorney General who has very little interest in enforcing the law, this was pretty much what they signed up for. Perhaps they’ll want to keep all of this in mind next time they go to the polls. I would also remind the Mayor and the Governor that after Baltimore went up in flames in 2015, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s approval ratings plunged so far that she didn’t even bother running for another term. Something needs to be done to bring this situation under control quickly and at least for now, Keith Ellison is part of the problem, not the solution.