Patterico's Pontifications

9/22/2007

Reynolds and Balko on the “Jena 6″

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:27 am



Glenn Reynolds usually thinks it’s okay for someone who is violently attacked to defend themselves with a gun. What might get him to change his mind? If his only source for the facts is Radley Balko.

Reynolds has a post on the “Jena 6″ incident. This is the incident in which 6 black teenagers, one with an extensive record of violence, attacked and stomped on a white student, rendering him unconscious. Here’s how one news account described the incident:

According to court documents, someone hit [victim Justin] Barker from behind, knocking him out, then others began to kick and stomp his “lifeless” body. He spent about three hours in a local emergency room for treatment of injuries to his head and face.

The case is getting attention from the usual squad of Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons. Reynolds begins:

Okay, the fact that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are involved doesn’t prove that there’s no actual injustice, but it was enough to make me email Radley Balko — I’ve gotten a lot of email on the case, but most of it seems to assume that I already know what’s going on. Radley’s lengthy reply is below: click “read more” to read it. As always, it’s constructive to ask how people would act if the races were reversed.

I fully agree with that last sentence, and I guarantee you that if six white students beat and stomped a black student into unconsciousness, the Jacksons and Sharptons would be demanding that he be prosecuted to the full extent of the law — and appropriately so. However, this isn’t the message that comes across in the Radley Balko e-mail that Reynolds proceeds to reprint. Instead, Balko’s e-mail contains (to nobody’s surprise) a pro-defense spin on virtually every aspect of the case. (It could be that Radley Balko once fully presented the prosecution side of a criminal case; I just haven’t seen it yet.) Balko presents this account of one of the incidents leading up to the “Jena 6″ incident:

What’s got everyone upset is the racial disparity in the sentences. In one case, a white kid pulled a shotgun on three black kids. The black kids wrestled the gun from him, and took off. The black kids were charged with stealing the gun, the white kid wasn’t charged.

Is there another side to the story? Indeed there is. Does Balko present it? He does not. Here is what Balko (and by extension Reynolds) doesn’t tell you.

According to CNN, the shotgun incident took place at a “convenience store in a predominantly black part of Jena.” The Jena Times says:

The victim, Matt Windham, alleges that three black males attacked and robbed him while the three accused are claiming self-defense.

According to CNN, Windham

would later tell police he felt threatened by three black students. Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

What really happened? I have no idea. But according to the Jena Times story:

Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[‘s].

It could be that the Jena Times is a racially biased paper. It could be that the independent witnesses didn’t say what the paper claims they say — or, if they do, it could be that they are lying are wrong. Let me be perfectly clear: I have absolutely no idea what really happened.

But I know there’s another side to the story — and I know it wasn’t presented by Radley Balko.

P.S. Reynolds also reprints this portion of the Balko e-mail:

The prosecutor initially charged the six black kids with attempted murder. After some public backlash, he dropped them to felony assault with a deadly weapon (the weapons, as it turned out, were the students’ shoes). As I understand it, none of the six had prior records. The first to be tried–Mychal Bell– had his charges dropped to felony aggravated battery, but still received a 15-year sentence. An appellate judge just tossed that sentence out, ruling he shouldn’t have been tried as an adult. The rest have yet to be tried.

This quote remains as is, despite the fact that, as we will soon see, Mychal Bell has quite a history for violence. Now, Reynolds doesn’t hide that fact, but he doesn’t make it as clear as I think he should. Here’s how Reynolds presents the information on Bell’s record — and note how many clicks it takes for the reader to get the full facts.

Near the head of his post, Reynolds posts an update alerting readers that there is an “update and a minor correction at Radley’s blog.” No further details are presented. If you follow the link to Balko’s blog, you’ll see this:

I was wrong on one point. I said that all of the Jena 6 had no prior record. Mychal Bell does in fact have prior convictions. All were as a juvenile, but his record had been sealed until a bond hearing last month.

That does sound potentially minor — until you click through to the link and see the full extent of Bell’s violent priors:

In addition to Mychal Bell’s recent felony conviction, his criminal history was revealed Friday to contain four other violent crimes.

. . . .

Three months prior to [the “Jena 6″] attack, Bell committed two violent crimes while on probation for a battery Christmas Day 2005, according to testimony. . . . Bell was adjudicated — the juvenile equivalent to a conviction — of battery Sept. 2 and criminal damage to property Sept. 3, said Cynthia Bradford, LaSalle Parish deputy clerk.

As a prosecutor, I can tell you that the most important factors in the treatment of any criminal defendant are (1) the seriousness of the current offense, and (2) the nature of the defendant’s prior criminal history — with a special focus on similar actions.

It is not a “minor” detail that a person charged with a violent crime has a criminal history, including four previous violent crimes.

Nor should a reader have to click through two other sites to get the essence of that information.

UPDATE: It is classy of Reynolds to link this post even though it is mildly critical of a previous post of his. This, by the way, is fairly characteristic of him; even if I think he is, at times, somewhat reflexively anti law-enforcement, he gives voice to the other side — and I respect that.

By the way, the L.A. Times has been systematically distorting the facts of this case. More on that here.

67 Responses to “Reynolds and Balko on the “Jena 6″”

  1. Well done, Patterico. I had concerns about this story, too, but I could never have written about it as well as you have.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  2. The other point that I saw discussed neither on Balko, Reynolds, not Patterico’s articles is that the “noose in the tree” incident that was the precurser to the beating by the Jena 6 happened 3 months previously.
    This wasn’t retribution, it was an attack of opportunity.

    The race baiting victimhood chear leaders sharpton, jackson, and the MSM will never mention that.

    MaaddMaaxx (c46f5e)

  3. I concur with DRJ, Patterico, very well done.

    Mychal Bell has a violent criminal history, not some juvenile record for throwing snowballs at school buses. He’s right where he needs to be.

    lc (1401be)

  4. I should have said, where society needs him to be.

    lc (1401be)

  5. It almost sounds as if Jena is a poster-city for the old Viet-Nam saying: We had to destroy the village to save it.

    There must be something in the water in LA that just prevents people from living a productive, rational life?

    Is it too late to sell it back to the French?
    They could use it for their Muslim friends.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  6. Tennie Pierce, O.J. and the Jena 6?

    Nothing on Blackwater though?

    alphie (99bc18)

  7. That’s because Blackwater actually accomplishes something!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  8. Alphie,

    You’ve asked several times about the posting strategy at Patterico’s Pontifications. I can’t speak for the host but, for me, there are two possibilities. I’ll present both here and let you decide which one I follow.

    Either: My posting strategy is carefully calibrated to inflict the most damage to liberals and to help conservatives, coupled with special rules I have devised to make sure the content is presented at the perfect time according to my foolproof formula. I won’t divulge my formula (for obvious reasons!) but it generally includes consulting the lunar cycle, covering topics in reverse alphabetical order (and please note I am not covering “B” stories at present), and liberal use of reference books such as the Harry Potter series, the Da Vinci Code and the Farmer’s Almanac.

    Or: I post on whatever suits my fancy at any given moment, whether it’s good or bad news for conservative or liberal causes.

    I know you can figure out which one is correct, Alphie.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  9. The Narrative was correct but the facts were wrong.

    Silly me. I didn’t know that Civil Rights meant the right of six black kids to assault a white kid, kicking him while he was unconscious.

    Revealing how the Black community in LA and nationwide has rallied behind these thugs. Bell in particular. Parallels between Serbia’s defense of Milosevic and Ratko Miladec are unavoidable.

    Jena is not about Civil Rights and equal treatment under the law. But who has the most power through physical intimidation, beatings, and so on.

    [Bell and friends were pulled off the lone white kid and more than thirty witnessess including teachers and students identified them.]

    My question would be, given the nature of the six-on-one incident, how many gang ties do the assailants have? Given that it is SOP for Gangs to display their power: public beatings/killings in full view of everyone with manpower advantage. A demonstration of who has the power and runs things.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  10. alpee

    you got your own blog … go dribble there.

    Darleen (187edc)

  11. the weapons, as it turned out, were the students’ shoes.

    Yeah, so? Their feet were in the shoes and they were kicking the victim, were they not? It is not at all unusual to allege GBI with hands and feet. Do people really think you can’t beat and/or kick someone and not seriously injure or kill them?

    Mychal Bell has quite a history for violence.

    Have you ever done juvie court? Everything is overcharged and charged as a felony. Having a couple of batteries is really nothing and it is getting blown way out of proportion.

    dave (381bcc)

  12. You bet I did juvie, about 6-7 years ago. Even if they had all been misdemeanors, 4 recent violent acts, in the context of a beating like this, is quite a history of violence for a young man.

    That’s my opinion.

    And it didn’t rest on the issue of whether the priors were felonies or not.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  13. I have read/heard only scant info on this. The TV and radio covered the protests last week much more than what was being protested.

    Once I begin to read more, the facts become almost indiscernible.

    I saw a post on the Townhall website, and the column itself seemed very misinformed as well,
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MikeGallagher/2007/09/20/jena_2007?page=full&comments=true

    But one poster (“Top Gun”, early in the discussion) gave an extended series of posts and claimed it was originally from a student at Jena. Here is one passage:

    “The square at Jena High School has been known for the center of school spirit and/or pranks for many years. I’ve seen everything from “funerals” of opponent football teams to the tree and surrounding area covered with toilet tissue. Jena High School is known for themed activities surrounding football games. This particular week, JHS was playing a team in which the mascot is Cowboys! Hence, the nooses in the tree…”hang’em high!” Not for one moment did the thought of racism cross my mind or the majority of the others. It was football season. We were playing the cowboys. The kids, girls and boys, wore boots to school and had a western themed pep rally! Nooses = cowboys and horse theives in my world. Maybe I’ve watched too much Gunsmoke, but racism was not even a thought. Due to the reaction of ADULTS in the black community, not the kids at the school, the boys were suspended.”

    This is from one description billed as an accurate account. I have no idea how accurate it is, but in the context of the entire story it seems quite plausible.

    Apparently the idea of tennis shoes being “deadly weapons” was so entertaining that leaders of the nation-wide protest suggested people send old tennis shoes to the DA trying the case.

    Blunt trauma from a tennis shoe can rupture a spleen or lacerate a liver and a person can bleed to death within minutes. Ha, Ha, very funny. Using a foot covered in a tennis shoe can kick someone’s head against a hard surface and cause brain damage or kill a person. Ha, Ha, again real d___ funny.

    The fact that the fellow was not seriously injured is seen as reason for not taking the crime too seriously. Kicking someone on the ground who is unconscious, and the attack stopped when other people intervene, is apparently beside the point for some. Even if the noose incident was racially motivated, that gives no reason to come to the defense of those who perpetrate a vicious attack.

    My understanding is the DA was trying to find a way under LA state law to make this guy with a violent history pay some real time before he did kill someone. I know no more than that.

    It is disgusting and revolting that in this age instead of getting clear facts about a situation all we can get is coverage of asinine protests repeating garbage fed to them by people interested only in having a reason to be in the limelight. This is what fuels racism. One group is made to feel victimized by obscuring common sense (don’t kick people flat on the ground unconscious, didn’t your mother teach you not to do that). Another group feels no justice or common sense will prevail, so you do have to take it into your own hands.

    Where is there a federal prosecutor or senator or US representative who will investigate under incitement to riot or other charges? It should not be legal to broadcast innuendo and rumor that causes disruption across the country.

    When will people learn “justice for all or no justice at all”? Lady Justice is supposed to be blind, remember? Blind to prejudice, not blind to the facts.

    I know that I’m preaching to the choir for the most part, but thank you for letting me air the rant.*

    *Obviously, this takes a bit of a different tone, but only a bit, if the noose hanging was racial, etc. It is still criminal that the facts can not be broadcast as well as the innuendo and protests.

    Roman bread and circuses is all it is. Even the news is treated like a reality show to be played for the ratings, not for accuracy. The heads of these networks must have pictures of Pontius Pilate washing his hands on their walls with the caption, “What is truth?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  14. I have read that those who intervened were black, including the youth who supposedly was the victim of the “intimidation with the nooses”. This should be a case of, “Some people are thugs, some are heroes. People from all races fall in both categories.” The important thing is not what race a person is, but what category. At least that is what Martin Luther King, Jr. said.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  15. In the past I sided with Balko when the two of you had that last big pissing match (sorry, I don’t tend to keep track of things like that beyond such generalities…) However, on this I cannot for the life of me fathom how Balko can be sympathetic barring him being completely ignorant of the facts as presented, or possessing some super secret so explosive that it would force a complete public reevaluation of the case. As I have said, one of the things that I just don’t get about this case is that Mychal Bell and his cohorts are clearly guilty of a very serious offense irrespective of any other factors, including government malfeasance, and that statistically speaking, the odds are very good that it will be a black man who will pay for this white guilt (and black racism) next time.

    Attempted murder is perfectly reasonable in my opinion. These thugs clearly had no intention of stopping, and you can only gang-beat someone for so long before they die.

    MikeT (d7e453)

  16. Dale at Mostly Cajun has what appears to be a reasonably accurate summary.

    Regards,
    Ric

    Ric Locke (171a08)

  17. If aggravated assault cases are not prosecuted, then nobody feels safe. If you think there is immediate danger to your life going to the store to buy bread, then you arm yourself, regardless of statute, so that you will arrive home safely and be with your family. The alternative of not arriving home at all is more important than any statute. If you are confronted and your life is in danger, you open fire, because the alternative is that your are very likely dead. There is no fate worse than death, don’t let anybody tell you that there is. Aggravated assault must be seriously prosecuted or we will devolve into tribal vendettas. If you try to kill somebody, then that was your decision and you should be judged. The only reasonable excuse is that you were under attack.

    William Graves (08a9d5)

  18. Why is the “Jenna 6″ case starting to feel like a reverse Duke (non)rape case? The latter had the MSM trying to pass the original charges off as proven fact. As time went by, the MSM seemed to lose interest as the facts undermined the “narrative”.

    By contrast, the original reports on the “Jena 6″ case are scarce, and the MSM has concentrated almost solely on the demonstrations that have taken place. It almost looks like the MSM is determined to keep the facts from undermining the “narrative” a second time.

    Mwalimu Daudi (f57033)

  19. I agree Mwalimu, except I would omit the word “almost”.

    Time to start presenting a Pontius Pilate Award for careless and criminal distortion of facts. The only problem would be too many finalists to choose from.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  20. The right of black men to beat white men unconscious when aggrieved is an inalienable right.

    It needs to be protected.

    The courts and Congress will do nothing. It is up to the people to force their hand.

    M. Simon (cf8ab0)

  21. Part of this is not race related, as the following vignette reveals.

    Some time ago outside Philly a woman was beaten in the head with a hammer by her estranged husband while he shouted, “I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you”. This occurred after previous threats that he was “going to kill her”. He didn’t succeed, in large poart because the young adult boyfriend of the victim’s daughter intervened and managed to interfere with the attack until the police arrived.

    The jury refused to convict him on attempted murder. One jury member was quoted as saying, “But we don’t know for sure what he was thinking”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  22. […] Patterico’s Pontifications » Reynolds and Balko on the “Jena 6″ […]

    Daily Pundit » Patterico Weighs In (a78e16)

  23. dave wrote:

    It is not at all unusual to allege GBI with hands and feet. Do people really think you can’t beat and/or kick someone and not seriously injure or kill them? … Having a couple of batteries is really nothing and it is getting blown way out of proportion.

    dave, why don’t you do this bit of research? Do a full-contact re-enactment of the beating with yourself as the victim. Let us know how you feel afterwards.

    Jim C. (a6819b)

  24. MaaddMaaxx wrote:

    The other point that I saw discussed neither on Balko, Reynolds, not Patterico’s articles is that the “noose in the tree” incident that was the precurser to the beating by the Jena 6 happened 3 months previously.

    But Glenn Reynolds doesn’t usually “discuss” anything: he links, often with some kind of comment. And I first learned about the “noose” incident from one of his links on 9/21.
    See here:

    http://instapundit.com/archives2/009644.php

    Jacques (569902)

  25. Unfortunately, finding out what really happened with the “Jena 6″ is one of those jobs that the MSM won’t do. The “narrative” is more important and must be protected at all costs.

    It looks like the bloggers are going to have to get to the bottom of what happened in this case. Again.

    Mwalimu Daudi (f57033)

  26. I’ve been blogging about this for a while now, and from the beginning I’ve been skeptical of the received narrative. Oh, I certainly think it’s possible that there is racism in Jena, and it could have an impact on what’s going on. But it could be that the locals are just sick of letting a group of young thugs get away with being thugs. In a very informative article, one local minister said that the Jena 6 have instituted a “reign of terror” over the town, and that adult coaches and school officials have protected them because of their athletic prowess. It’s worth nothing that Mychal Bell rushed for over 100 yards and three touchdowns just a few days after being “adjudicated” (convicted in juvenile court) for battery.

    And, I will add, that the canonization of these six really rubs me the wrong way. If they are indeed guilty of stomping Justin Barker while he was on the ground, unconscious, they’re cowardly thugs. And that, to me, is one of the most annoying things about the whole pro Jena 6 crowd. Their utter failure to acknowledge how despicable and cowardly it is to stomp on an unconscious person when he’s down. If you have reason to believe they didn’t do it, that it was somebody else, I will be happy to listen. But don’t try to minimize the brutality or cowardice of this assault, or attack the victim. As too many have done.

    Cheerful Iconoclast (06404c)

  27. 2007.09.22 Politics and National Defense Roundup…

    Rather v. CBS: Experts, “boardroom truth”
    versus “courtroom truth,” and settlement values
    Beldar (H/T: Clarice Feldman)

    … The danger inherent in Dan Rather’s new lawsuit against CBS is that neither side’s self-interests will necessarily be …

    Old War Dogs (72c8fd)

  28. Another Drew wrote:

    It almost sounds as if Jena is a poster-city for the old Viet-Nam saying: We had to destroy the village to save it.

    There must be something in the water in LA that just prevents people from living a productive, rational life?

    Is it too late to sell it back to the French?
    They could use it for their Muslim friends.

    Most of us do live productive lives down here, despite the efforts of idiots from up North attempting to blow cases like this out of proportion and idiots like you who believe them.

    Maybe one day you’ll get your wish and there really won’t be a Union any more, but I doubt very much you’ll enjoy it.

    Phil Fraering (8196b2)

  29. Phil Fraering,

    What exactly has been blown out of proportion in this case – the attackers’ version, the victim’s, or were you referring to something else?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  30. As a resident of Louisiana I’ll offer my two cents. One of the things not reported very widely was that the DA and superintendent of the school board are the same person.
    The principal of the high school had strongly recommended expulsion for the ones who hung the noose but was overridden by the DA/Supt Pres. According to the accounts we are reading the principal quit in protest.
    I would have much preferred that Jackson and Company went to W Virginia to protest the brutal imprisonment and assault of a black woman by six miscreants. It was covered in Fox and happened a couple of weeks ago.
    Back to Jena, once the protesters have been long gone the small community will have to come to terms with what happened. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back due to his juvenile status adding yet another wrinkle to the mess.

    voiceofreason63 (b661d0)

  31. Balko’s a tool. I’ve taken him to task on his botched police raids dogma so many times it’s no wonder he doesn’t allow comments at his site.

    patrick (5903bd)

  32. Dear Mr. Frey: You update your post so:

    “It is classy of Reynolds to link this post even though it is mildly critical of a previous post of his. This, by the way, is fairly characteristic of him; even if I think he is, at times, somewhat reflexively anti law-enforcement, he gives voice to the other side — and I respect that.”

    Since Mr. Reynolds is being classy, do you think you’ve been classy in telling the full story here? You may think that Professor Reynolds is somewhat reflexively anti law-enforcement, but like most of us, he’s not part of law enforcement. You have not mentioned Jena District Attorney Reed Walters’s notorious speech to the high school, with his now famous crack “I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of my pen.” (You can read the Dallas MORNING NEWS account of this at http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/092007dnmetjenasetup.3645e08.html at the 15th-17th paragraphs.) Speaking as a prosecutor, could you tell us, is this standard practice? Is this what a prosecutor does to lower the temperature in a community that has “Whites only” and “Blacks only” trees at its high school? I’d very much like to hear your opinion on this.

    Tangentially related: here is:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/specials/undueinfluence/

    a report from a paper close to where I live, the Seattle POST-INTELLIGENCER. I’ll freely concede it is a liberal rag, with its building doors shaped like left horseshoes so all the reporters can walk in and out. This article is a special report on police who were caught driving drunk and waltzed through the justice system, with precious small penalties. This particular article is about police, but it’s not hard to imagine prosecutors having similar treatment. Such treatment is, along with far too many drug busts, what drives cynicism about law enforcement. Law enforcement is absolutely necessary, and great power must be given to those involved in it. But there’s a price to be paid for this, and I don’t think you appreciate this as completely as you might. I think it likely you find my post naive. You might be right. I also think that whenever Radley Balko is working in his carpentry shop and needs sandpaper, he calls up one of your posts about him. In many ways this tension is built into the system. We can only hope that some sort of understanding emerges.

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Koster

    Gregory Koster (3d4432)

  33. We can only hope that some sort of understanding emerges.

    I don’t quite understand your comment, actually.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  34. Gregory,

    Why would you be cynical of a whole group of individuals based on the actions of a few? Or at best a small percentage. As a group, I think persons involved in the criminal justice system are less likely than other groups to be involved in criminal behavior. However, when they are involved there is an air of hypocracy because of their carrer, maybe that’s why they are likely to be judged harsher by those outside.

    Put another way, your analogy would smack of prejudice.

    patrick (5903bd)

  35. Good post, Cheerful Iconoclast!

    Phil Fraering-Don’t be too hard on these ignorant yankees. As we all know they think they know everything but each time they shoot off their mouths they prove they know nothing.

    Mwalimu Daudi-The MSM has never been too concerned with reporting facts. They are nothing more then the propaganda wing of the Democratic party. They know nothing of this country outside of their enclaves in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

    I think Jessie and Al are throwing gas on the fire to try to get the blacks in Louisiana back on the “Democratic plantation” because the party machine there is falling apart. Too bad for them that most of the black people in Louisiana see them for who and what they are-race pimps who only “care” about black people when there is money for them to be made out of them or they can be used as tools to push their agendas. Now ask yourself why ol’ Jessie and Al only showed up in Louisiana for a photo op after Katrina and never came to the Astrodome. I will tell you why. Because they knew that they would get the beat down there and could not afford to have video of black people calling them race pimps and telling them to get the hell out.

    Ennis (8e671e)

  36. Dear Mr. Frey: I hope I am not cynical of the whole group of law enforcement. So far as understanding goes there are two often irreconcilable forces a) the need for society to have law enforcement but b) recognizing that corrupt elements in law enforcement can as DA Reed Walters put it, “…make your lives disappear with a stroke of a pen.” There’s a tension between these two facts. The left would solve the tension by hamstringing or even abolishing law enforcement. I think this is a mistake.

    I guess I was not clear enough in my 33. I will try again: I would like your opinion if DA Walters’s comments to the high school students of Jena (as reported in the MORNING NEWS I linked to) are a) standard practice for a DA and b) if you think this comment lowered the temperature of race relations? It’s embarrassing to have to point out why I am asking this, but here goes: I am a layman, unconnected to law enforcement. You are a working prosecutor. To be sure, California prosecutors have some differing rules and procedures than Louisiana prosecutors do, given the Code Napoleonic background of Louisiana law, but I would expect that there are a great many similarities. You can speak to my questions. So far you have not done so. So I ask again, I hope politely. Having reflected on my question, could you tell us if the citizens of Jena, black or white, should have confidence in DA Walters’s skill, judgment, and competence? Given that prosecutorial discretion is broad, I would think judgment is a prime consideration of prosecutors. Do you think Mr. Walters has it? It’s hard on prosecutors to keep having Mike Nifong thrown in their faces, but absent self-criticism from prosecutors, the field is open to Sharpton and Co., and they certinaly have no scruples about demagogery.

    So far as judging a group by the bad apples, you will note in the POST-INTELLIGENCER article that much of the misconduct is not criminally prosecuted. So the statistics are skewed. How much? Good question.

    Here’s another article for you:

    http://www.coltcco.com/?p=187

    This article is about a Knoxville man who was carrying a handgun, openly. He had the proper license. A policeman stopped him, and it is fair to say, hassled him. Worse, the policeman claimed the Knoxville man was violating the law, and even if he wasn’t the policeman could think up some cause for an arrest.

    If a citizen did this to any law enforcement officer or prosecutor, they likely would end up in jail. The officer gets a letter of reprimand. Unpleasant, to be sure, but far better than a spell in the klink. The people who are on the receiving end of this “at best a small percentage” may have a different opinion of the damage done than you do.

    There’s many more examples, where these came from. Perhaps even enough to make a small percentage big enough to notice. Let me know if you would like more examples.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Koster

    Gregory Koster (3d4432)

  37. Regardless of what the facts are in the Jena cease, there can be no doubt that Reynolds is flexively anti-law enforcement (and definately anti-camera use in law enforcement). But that is just his libertarian roots showing through.

    There is also no doubt he is classy.

    David (6c1c6f)

  38. To label Glenn Reynolds “anti-law enforcement” is probably misplaced. Bewteen Reynolds and Balko, as much as Balko agitates about “militarization” and “Overkill” and the purported excesses of Police and SWAT teams, I would say the latter is far more deserving of that label than Reynolds.

    TheNewGuy (2e7a0f)

  39. What exactly has been blown out of proportion in this case – the attackers’ version, the victim’s, or were you referring to something else?

    IMO, the whole image that people have had built up in their heads that this is the 1950’s again is a fiction.

    They’re helped a little bit by an overzealous prosecutor, who looks like he was trying to overcorrect for the previous three times the guy committed assault but the community leaders decided they needed him out of jail and back on the football team. His overreaction in that case let everyone pretend this was the 1950’s again, though, and replay all the scripts they have in their head of Fighting Back Against The Man.

    Even activists from New Orleans.

    MEANWHILE, New Orleans itself has had, for the last day I can find a total for (Aug. 17th), about 120 murders thus far this year.

    (I found the figure here:

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=c5860b89-3e3c-42af-993b-d052d61d95e7&k=92362

    There’s an interesting interactive map here for 2006:

    http://blog.nola.com/graphics/nomurders2006.html

    Look at the second one.

    MOST OF THOSE LITTLE BLUE OR LITTLE RED BALLOONS ARE MURDERED BLACK PEOPLE.

    For some strange reason we’ve decided that situation isn’t really oppressive but the situation in Jena _is_.

    With Mayor Nagin running New Orleans, and the killings motivated by greed or lust for power instead of racism, the media and activists can’t make the situation fit any of the scripts they want to push on the public at this time. They can do that with Jena, so that’s what we hear about.

    Phil Fraering (8196b2)

  40. To label Glenn Reynolds “anti-law enforcement” is probably misplaced.

    Actually, what I said was a little milder: that Prof. Reynolds “is, at times, somewhat reflexively anti law-enforcement.”

    I just seem to have noticed an antipathy to prosecutors in many of his postings. Granted, some prosecutors have done things to merit suspicion, but I don’t want our profession painted with a broad brush.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  41. Mr. Koster:

    I don’t know the full context of the prosecutor’s remark about how he could ruin people’s lives with the stroke of a pen. It’s not something I would ever say, but it could be more or less innocuous depending on the context. Let me give you two possible hypothetical contexts:

    Hypothetical context #1:

    If you kids don’t stop these schoolyard fights, I am going to turn them into criminal cases. I have the power to do whatever I want. I can ruin your lives with the stroke of a pen. If you want to push me on this, go ahead.

    Hypothetical context #2:

    I know some of you don’t realize that when you hit someone in school, it can land you in jail or prison. But it can. It’s against the law. That’s why I’m here: to explain this to you so that you don’t end up in trouble. Because if you end up in the criminal justice system, it will change your life forever. I can ruin your lives with the stroke of a pen. But I don’t want to do that. It’s the last thing I want. I’d rather see you go about your lives and have good memories. So please, don’t engage in violence.

    In either context, it would be an ill-advised statement. But the two read very differently, don’t they?

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  42. Dear Mr. Frey: Many thanks for your take. You are quite right, they do read differently, but both versions are, as you say, ill-advised. I have searched for a news account that would give more background so we could both see better, but come up empty. I also can’t find a news account that gives a good general history of this imbroglio. For example, the Windham incident. You wrote, in your original post:

    According to CNN, the shotgun incident took place at a “convenience store in a predominantly black part of Jena.” The Jena Times says:

    The victim, Matt Windham, alleges that three black males attacked and robbed him while the three accused are claiming self-defense.

    According to CNN, Windham

    would later tell police he felt threatened by three black students. Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

    What really happened? I have no idea. But according to the Jena Times story:

    Both the victim and those arrested offered different statements to the police, however, eye witnesses to the event unrelated to the victim or those arrested, gave a report of the incident that corresponded with the victim[’s].

    This news account is too vague to get us very far. I had the impression at first that Windham was being chased by the three black guys, and was running for his shotgun, to defend himself. But the TIMES writes:

    Windham hurried to his pickup truck and returned with his shotgun. Three black students wrestled it away from him.

    which sounds to me more like an argument breaking out, and Windham going for his twelve bore to settle the argument, and then returning. I don’t know about anyone else, but if three guys were chasing me, I would not come back, gun or no gun. Even if I had a gun, I wouldn’t know if the three had one as well. Three against one isn’t a fair fight in any context. But Windham did come back. So I finish this post with some equations I think just about all of us can agree on:

    1. MSM “narratives” + laziness = Wretched public understanding

    2. Wretched public understanding + racial background = lots of heat, no light

    3. Lots of heat, no light > understanding needed to decide what to do.

    These equations are much too prevalent, and will be more so if Dan Rather has his way.

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Koster

    Gregory Koster (3d4432)

  43. When ever something like this come up JEESIE JACKASSON and AL SHARKTON are always getting themselves involved realy they should keep their big fat noses out and the thugs should get 80 years in prison and have the feet and hands amputated

    krazy kagu (444070)

  44. Yet no one goes marching to West Virginia to speak out against the injustice six white committed against a black woman, imprisoning her for a week, forcing the most unspeakable acts upon her. Hardly any press coverage and certainly ZERO mention in right leaning blogs.Too many white people only care when there is a case like Jena where Jackson or Sharpton get involved. A relatively minor incident gets blown out of all proportion by both sides.The white males can thump their chest and rail against the hypocrisy of it all.
    Suggestions to cut off their hands and feet are not that uncommon. Death threats begin to be made against the “Jena 6″ from around the country and nooses begin to be hung in various places.

    But in the end they give not one iota of a damn that in this day and age a woman can have the crimes committed against her in W Va. It is a little too inconvenient to the script that white men are a unprotected class who MUST be given victim status, somehow, some way.

    The really truly sad and pathetic part about this is that I beleive that most white men feel this way yet refuse to call out the haters amongst them.

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  45. correction to above. Last sentence should have read …. I believe that most white men don’t feel this way…

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  46. Voice of “reason”:

    Yet no one goes marching to West Virginia to speak out against the injustice six white committed against a black woman, imprisoning her for a week, forcing the most unspeakable acts upon her. Hardly any press coverage and certainly ZERO mention in right leaning blogs. Too many white people only care when there is a case like Jena where Jackson or Sharpton get involved

    Give me a friggin’ break. No one talked about Jena at the time of the attack, either. Do you really think we’d be any less upset if a bunch of white racists marched to WV to defend the “civil rights” of the sickos who had kidnapped, raped and tortured that woman? The only way prosecutors there can spark a Jena-style outrage is if they don’t go far enough.

    Xrlq (b6ac5d)

  47. voiceofidiocy – I understand the outrage over the noose. But attacking somebody 3 months later, and then using the noose as mitigation seems like a bit of a stretch. I know usually it takes 3 months to let it sink in that you should be outraged. This seems like a convenient excuse for a group of criminals to act like a group of criminals.

    JD (c3bb88)

  48. #47
    You don’t get it. The outrage only manifests itself when a white person is treated unfairly. Many whites could give a damn less when it is a black person on the receiving end.

    Sorry if the shoe fits.

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  49. So, voiceofreason, how were the Jena 6 treated unfairly?

    JD (c3bb88)

  50. #50
    JD,

    I can’t help you if you are unable to comprehend what I’ve written. Sylvan offers pretty good rates and I’ve heard they do pretty well with most students.

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  51. I forgot, vor. We are all racists. My bad.

    JD (c3bb88)

  52. “We are all racists. My bad.

    Comment by JD”

    Acceptance is the first step to healing.

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  53. You don’t get it. The outrage only manifests itself when a white person is treated unfairly. Many whites could give a damn less when it is a black person on the receiving end.

    I don’t suppose you’ve bothered to do a site search for Genarlow Wilson or Kathryn Johnson, have you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. Yes, my friends, it is racist to point out that 6 youths, at least 1 of which had a history of violent behavior, kicked another youth unconscious, and then proceeded to keep kicking him while laying on the ground. This is horrible no matter what the races are. I wonder what party the people were in that put the noose in the tree? vor – your act is as tiring as it is predictable.

    JD (c3bb88)

  55. Pablo #54,

    VOR is a jerk. A subtle and insidious jerk but a jerk nonetheless.

    nk (7c7414)

  56. nk – You are too nice.

    JD (c3bb88)

  57. Pablo,

    One came up, the other didn’t. The story I am referring to is at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296429,00.html
    As I mentioned no right leaning blogs bothered to consider it newsworthy.

    JD,
    As usual it is all about which political party a criminal belongs to. If they are republican you defend, if they are democrat you attack.
    Your motives as well as your heartlessness are pretty clear to see with that reply.

    NK,
    Get out of the basement and get some fresh air. Your comments certainly are stale by now.

    voiceofreason (ee5c1e)

  58. You could be right, JD. He’s starting to make Alphie sound good.

    nk (7c7414)

  59. VOR,

    FOAD. Better yet, why don’t you and Alphie get together and get your jollies with each other instead of polluting this site?

    nk (7c7414)

  60. One came up, the other didn’t.

    Try Johnston, with a “T”. My mistake. And what of the Wilson case? Does the reaction to that fit under your broad, and dare I say racist brush?

    Pablo (99243e)

  61. vor – You failed to point out one single instance where I defended a racist. I assume that just slipped your mind in the course of making a vile assertion. Feel free to do so, or retract.

    JD (c3bb88)

  62. VoR, when you say ‘no one goes marching to WV’, do you mean black people? Liberals? Racial or civil rights activists?

    Because, insofar as I see it, those are the usual marchers. Why would you expect–and I’m assuming here– white people to march in outrage over this? The criminals are caught, they’re going to be punished. There’s nothing to be outraged over.

    Or should people march to try to indict the community where this happened?

    I’m really at a loss here. What more do you expect people to do?

    The problem in Jena is that the rally supports the criminals. Imagine that people marched in WV to support the animals who hurt that poor woman. That’s what’s going on in Jena. Al, and Jesse, and all the idiots rallying around them are supporting the criminals

    And they’re not denying the crime.

    They’re saying that the criminals shouldn’t have been pubished so harshly because three months prior some OTHER white people tied nooses in a tree. Some OTHER white person pulled a shotgun in an incident that Al and Jesse are doing their best to make people think happened at the school.

    The word ‘OTHER’ is very important here. Other people commited the acts that the marchers use as justification for the victims’ beating. The criminals attacked the victim–supposedly– for things others did. No one sane can deny that this is wrong.

    It would be like saying that what happened to the black woman in WV was justified because a white guy in LA was beaten by some black guys. A situation I’m sure you’d think would be disgusting.

    I can only conclude that your studied ignorance of this situation is deliberate. No one could sanely equate the two situations

    jack (2099e7)

  63. I’m black, and I’m disgusted that these Jena kids are getting so much attention and sympathy. The fact that team Jesse and Al got involved was their first strike against them. The second is, as you said, that the public has no interest in learning the facts behind this case. All the media had to say was white vs. black, and suddenly thousands of people are sending their condolences.

    I agree that the initial sentencing was harsh, which is why the judge reduced it. GET OVER IT, BLACK AMERICA. And as for the Bell kid, he should thank god he doesn’t live in a 3 strike state like California. He could’ve stolen a pack of gum with his current record and gone to jail for 22 years. It’s, it’s…painful, is what it is. And it makes me so angry that they’re getting away with this solely because they’re black.

    Unfortunately, ignorance is ingrained into the human experience as surely as life and death; there’s no escaping it, not matter what we try and do.

    AJ (84e304)

  64. I find it interesting that you mention the nooses were painted in school colors and were apparantly intended on “supporting” a football theme of “Hang the Cowboys” – a rival town’s team coming in for a visiting game.
    Link?
    And apparantly no protests until early September when two black on white racial fights led a black religious-community activist group to claim it was “those nooses”. Which led to a full police and FBI “hate crime” investigation which found there was none.
    Althouse is right. The reporting, like in the Duke case, has been very poor.

    And expanding, it is the media again trying to force a story into it’s patented “racial suffering of blacks and their justified outrage” metanarrative . Again willfully ignoring the facts of the case available to any reporter they dared send with an open mind to interview people. Which none of them did, as with the Duke case.

    The media and black leaders tried to argue its still the 1920s in the Deep South, whites are terrorizing “innocent blacks”, and lynchings haunt the landscape.

    In fact, in most American’s lifetimes, it is not blacks who are the hunted. They are the hunters. In the “Color of Crime”, a statistical study – A white is 12 times more likely to be murdered by a black than the reverse. A black victimized by an armed non-black robber is 38 times less likely than a white, hispanic, or Asian being held up at gunpoint by a black thug. A white woman who is raped now has a 50-50 chance her attacker was black. Black women have a one in 130 chance their rapist will be a non-black.

    But media, the old black leadership, and guilty white liberals prefer instead to pretend that the present reality is one where innocent blacks cower in fear of school lynchings and KKK riding and guns, not the people misusing them, are the problem. Or, desperately feel compelled to prove they are not evil racist whites as they are indoctrinated by seeking in any crime to establish a “moral equivalency” when black thugs are involved. Sure he is a black thug with multiple rapes and assaults and robberies, but he is no worse than the white racist society that forces him to act like that….

    School officials are notorious about not publicizing their criminal stats, student on teacher threats or violence, classroom disruptions – but sociologists and educators in conferences and in papers admit that “agressive young black males” are the most daunting problem they face in “diverse schools”.

    But with the Jena 6, we have the press, black activists, and guilty whites desperately trying to tie the nooses and “life sentences the noose makers should have gotten” to a racial attack 3 months later that judge, jury, FBI, US Attorney, police investigators determined was not in the thoughts of the 6 black athlete attackers at all.

    Another curious bit is a few white Lefties and females in the media who have never been in a fight or know how to fight claiming the stomping was of little consequence because the “attackers were wearing soft white tennis shoes” and “it’s not like the victim was really hurt”. (The victim was told to stay in the hospital overnight, he had a special ceremony he wanted to go to against doctors advice. His family, lacking health insurance, had 12,000 in bills from the neurological care, emergency care, and tests and were concerned about their ability to pay for a hospital bed)

    The facts are that military combat instructors say that the “stomp” has 6-7 times more power than a full punch. In hand to hand training or reality, the killing or disabling blows focus in knocking a person down and delivering the final blow to the head, face, or throat. Preferable with a weapon, if none, then a foot, then an elbow, then a knee, and only if the other methods cant be used – a fist or open hand.

    And those blows make little difference in the power applied if delivered barefoot, with “soft shoes”, or with hobnailed storm trooper boots. A person who is a lawyer commenting on this remembered his city obtained convictions of 5 blacks who stomped another dug dealer to death in part from sneaker marks on the victims head and face and blood tracks the sneaker soles made leading away

    The 6 black athletes had at least 4 members with criminal records for violent crimes. One was convicted of a past arson. One, whose records are sealed, is purportedly convicted of sexual assault on a 12-year old girl when he was younger. But because they were “great athletes” that made for a winning football team, black and white boosters, the local courts, coaches – all tried to ensure they remained in school.

    Remember it wasn’t just about the “lack of justice ” for the “innocent 6″, as black and white activists call them, the investigation as to who burned down half the high school continues…and two of the “Jena 6″ are suspects. And investigations as to who was making death threats at the school and phoning the kid and the “3 noose hangers” with similar threats continue. And threats blacks made to other whites at school that if they showed up, they would die (reportedly invoving 2 of the 6 black athletes that a local minister said were allowed to conduct “a reign of terror” against schoolmates…
    And one of the Jena 6 not in jail is suspect in 2 other violent assaults, and has convictions for 4 other significant crimes as a juvie.

    Finally, the actions of the local DA make a lot more sense if it is true, as implied, that the only way to get a juvie on a violent rampage in the adult system better able to handle him was by overcharging the crime, then dropping charges in his racial attacks down to more sensible charges of aggravated battery, conspiracy to commit battery. The ringleader he wanted, Mychal Bell, was free at the time and school not notified by the juvenile system despite charges of two other violent assaults. And ability to more freely interrogate and prosecute the other 5 thugs in the adult system did offer the potential of ending the racial attacks and arson through intimidation. This was also only one week after one white kid could have been killed in a race-related gang stomping by strong athletes, an incident involving a struggle for a gun betwen a white kid and 2 of the Jena 6, and with half the high school burned and smoking……

    I think once the details are fairly presented, the black leaders and local black activists will look like the bigoted assholes they were in the Lacrosse case. The media will again be exposed for pursuing their agenda and approved liberal narrative, not reporting on the facts. The town will be faulted for both enabling the black thugs to keep playing football as well as nailing them more harshly than whites because they had past extensive criminal history. The arson of the HS will continue to be investigated. Guilty white liberals and academics will again have their vapid “white oppressor” denunciations reposted and ridiculed – as with the Lacrosse case and dozens of others – when facts are better known.

    DANNY FESTLER (bca926)

  65. Asian Asian Hotties Asian School Girl…

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    Asian Asian Hotties Asian School Girl (08fc82)

  66. stance of tennis…

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    stance of tennis (e870b9)


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