Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the nearly unanimous public condemnation of the treatment of George Floyd and that there must be justice in the case. They also note that some will try to use the looting and arson from Wednesday night to drives wedges in that united front. They also unload on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for having the gall to suggest that nursing homes are to blame for accepting COVID-positive patients when New York forbid nursing homes from rejecting such patients or even testing incoming patients for COVID-19. And as CBS is forced to make layoffs in the news division, they’re stunned to see news reports that the list reportedly includes respected White House reporter Mark Knoller.
It’s all bad martinis today! After a brief commentary on the CDC still not getting its coronavirus guidelines straight, Jim and Greg groan for the First Amendment as Twitter starts meddling with free speech and President Trump starts threatening government regulation of social media. They also shudder at the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, which was caught on video. And they discuss the story of the “Central Park Karen” and whether being cooped up for months has some people itching for confrontations.
As the coronavirus restriction ease faster in some places than others, stories are emerging of disturbing confrontations between police and the public.
In recent days, police in Texas brought out an MRAP and deployed a SWAT team after a bar owner defied the governor’s order to stay closed and recruited some armed citizens to help her. NYPD officers were filmed tackling social distancing violators to the sidewalk. Multiple parents have been arrested for playing with their kids in closed parks.
Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead says the lockdown orders and how they are being enforced ought to be a wake-up call for all Americans that our first, fourth, and fifth amendment rights.
Whitehead explain why he thinks we’re moving uncomfortably close to martial law in parts of the country and that heavy-handed police tactics are now used to stop people from doing anything the government doesn’t like, regardless of whether it’s constitutional.
Whitehead also details what role he believes police should be playing in our communities and what citizens can do to improve things.
Join Jim and Greg as the evidence piles up that the coronavirus likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan and the Chinese lied about it for weeks. They also hammer Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for vowing to arrest people at parties for getting too close to others. And they groan as Barack Obama and other liberals gripe in an ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan not being a political activist during his career.
Hey, we made it to Friday! Join Jim and Greg as they applaud cities and states for gearing up for the worst of coronavirus before it hits. They also cringe as Washington, D.C., officials claim the COVID-19 peak may not come there until late June or early July. And they call for a common sense review as sheriff’s officials in southern California arrest a man for defying state orders by paddle boarding in the ocean by himself.
Good news is a bit scarce today but the Three Martini Lunch is discussing three big stories. Join Jim and Greg as they document the latest evidence that China covered up the COVID-19 outbreak and refused to admit person-to-person transmission until late January. They also bang their heads on their desks as Philadelphia police make it known they are not going to arrest people for a wide variety of crimes while New York City and other major metropolitan areas look to empty their jails to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. And they wonder why Bernie Sanders continues his presidential when he’s hopelessly behind in the delegate count after another major shellacking on Tuesday.
This episode is sponsored by Acre Gold. Go to getacregold.com/martini. Acre is giving away a gold bar for the month of March. Tweet why you should win and mention @get_acre for a chance to win the free gold.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are grateful to see Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson rebuke Jussie Smollett for perpetrating a hate crime hoax and damaging the reputation of the city. Johnson also blasted the media for ignoring serious issues while providing wall to wall coverage of Smollett. They’re also horrified by reports of a active duty military officer who plotted to kill many people with bombings, shootings, and outbreaks of disease. And they correct MSNBC hosts Katy Tur and Ari Melber for claiming that George Washington was a “native son of New York”.
Listen to “Warnings Abounded in Annapolis, Heroes Amidst Horror, Gillibrand’s Grand Delusions” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America mourn the murders of five people in an Annapolis mass shooting and are frustrated by the litany of ignored warning signs and the knee-jerk online condemnation of President Trump for the killings because of his criticisms of the media. They also applaud the police for arriving on scene in just 60 seconds and saving many lives… and the staff of the Gazette for it’s commitment to publishing a paper today. And they try to make sense of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand suddenly supporting the abolition of ICE and wrongly insisting that no Democrats voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
As the media focus on the thousands of students walking out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence and demand gun control legislation, a longtime officer and police academy director says a critical element of stopping or limiting mass shootings is finding the right people to become police officers and training them well.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School did have armed security when a former student killed 17 people on Feb. 14, but resource officer Scot Peterson did not enter the school when he determined shots were being fired inside.
Many critics branded Peterson a coward for his inaction, but 21-year Illinois police officer Randy Petersen (no relation) says it’s more complicated than that.
“Maybe it’s not a cowardly person but someone who is unsure of themselves, unskilled, haven’t been trained up properly. Anytime you have something like that, we can have this situation where we shoot people that we don’t want shot or we don’t shoot people that need to be shot,” said Petersen, who also directed one of the largest police academies in Texas and is a senior researcher at Right on Crime.
“To go to the point where we have a police officer that is either incompetent in their physical skills, their defensive tactics skills, their shooting, they’re not going to have confidence and a lack of confidence can get you to a point where an officer either fails to act or overreacts,” said Petersen.
Petersen says a special type of demeanor is needed to be an effective police officer.
“We want a blend of these two qualities where a person is not overly excitable, not easily offended, but at the same time very competent and very capable,” said Petersen.
He says finding those qualities ought to be a high priority in the hiring process.
“We can train people to fight. We can train them to be good at sports. We can train them for an event, but we don’t know how they’re going to perform before they actually do it. What we can do is, during hiring and testing, we can have an idea of what we’re looking for an officer to be able to do,” said Petersen.
However, Petersen admits the vast majority of police officers never fire their weapons during their careers, so how can there be any certainty how they’ll perform under pressure?
He says training drills can be very effective.
“You’d be surprised at how realistic your role players, if you have good ones. Some of the technologies we have can really re-create the situations you can get in the training academy or in inservice training. You can get a real picture for how someone’s going to respond,” said Petersen.
“You can put them under pressure where the stress levels will give them that adrenaline dump, make them scared, make them nervous, make them physically exhausted, right up to the point to where the real situation is going to be just a little bit different,” said Petersen.
He says the key question is what police departments are wiling to do about the officers who can’t do the job well.
“The problem becomes whether or not we’re willing to weed out people who can’t. In a lot of situations I think that we don’t. We don’t weed out the people that we recognize and say, ‘I think this person’s not going to be able to do this,'” said Petersen.
Petersen says the problem is often not with the police departments but with the powerful allies of the officers not measuring up to the job.
“The union can make it difficult in a lot of states to terminate an officer that either has a lot of complaints filed against them or is basically incompetent. A lot of times they can end up getting their jobs back.
“It’s not that police agencies themselves are hesitant to get rid of them. Sometimes they fire them and they come right back on the job,” said Petersen.
While Right on Crime does not endorse any particular legislation to address mass shootings, Petersen says armed school security officers can be a good thing, but only if proven to be capable of handling a crisis of that magnitude.
He also says those officers can be limited in their effectiveness on a large piece of property.
“A police officer that’s on a sprawling campus still may have to run all the way across the campus to get to it, which may only take a matter of a minute or two but that’s a minute or two that we have active shooting going on. By the time the officer gets there, they may be winded. That changes the dynamics of being able to shoot and fight skillfully,” said Petersen.
On the issue allowing teachers to carry guns if they want to, Petersen says it may make a big difference when seconds count.
“Having administrators and/or teachers that are armed would be keeping in line with the doctrine of active shooter training because you’re going to have people with guns on scene faster to intercept that person,” said Peterson.
The explosion of sexual abuse revelations in recent months reveals a much bigger problem than many imagined, and Americans are now far more aware of the sexual abuse of children from cases ranging from Hollywood to disgraced USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar.
And a career sex crimes prosecutor says parents can play a vital role in preparing kids to recognize lewd behavior and in helping them come forward if abuse has occured.
Stacey Honowitz serves as an assistant state attorney in Florida, specializing in cases of sexual abuse. She is also the author of “My Privates are My Privates,” a book designed to teach young kids about where people should not be touching them.
Honowitz says the litany of allegations of abuse remind us all that sexual predators are not creepy looking guys in trench coats.
“I’ve seen in my 30 years experience that it’s not that stranger. It’s normally somebody that you know. It could be someone in the family. It could be a coach. It could be a rabbi. It could be a priest. Sex crimes really know no boundaries. Anybody can be a predator and anybody can be a victim,” said Honowitz.
In short, it’s often people that we instinctively trust who may feel the most emboldened to act in an illicit way.
“What we find is people who were so trusted are usually master manipulators, because they know that the kids trust them. They know the kids aren’t going to report them. They know the kids have this bond with them. They feel they can manipulate the child so if they do something wrong then that child is never going to come forward,” said Honowitz.
“And that’s what we saw in Nassar. These girls never thought that this elite doctor who was training the Olympic athletes would ever do something and cross the line. So they didn’t know to report it and they didn’t know if something was wrong,” said Honowitz.
That why she says parents must communicate with their kids that any improper touching from anyone is wrong.
“You want tell your kid, ‘Even if you love [the suspected predator], even if you trust them, they can always do something to betray that trust. And you can never feel funny about telling mom or dad or somebody that you feel uncomfortable,’ even if you think to yourself this could never be happening,” said Honowitz.
With an endless array of after-school and weekend extracurricular activities, Honowitz says it is vital for parents to keep an eye out for some telltale signs of trouble, starting with someone who is spending more time than necessary with your kids.
“A lot of parents feel that if someone is taking such an interest in their child that it’s wonderful. And I’m not here to tell you that every coach in the world or every person that’s nice to your kid is a sexual predator because that’s not the case.
“But if you see conversations, text messages, the person wants to take your kid when you’re not around, tells you they’re going to babysit or take them to the movies. If it doesn’t pass the smell test or the relationship is just reeking of something that’s not kosher, you need to ask your kid.
“‘What’s going on? Why are you spending so much time? Why is he giving you presents? Why is he taking you there? Why is he asking if you want him to babysit? Why is he taking you to a practice when you don’t have a practice?'” said Honowitz.
She says seeing the warning signs is not as complicated as some think it is.
“You really just kind of need to be smart. Use your common sense. We all think this is such a major thing and that it’s rocket science. It’s not. It’s common sense to see that someone wants to spend a lot of time with your kid and you’re trying to figure out why,” said Honowitz.
If concerns do arise, Honowitz encourages a clear, unscripted conversation.
“You don’t ever want to say, ‘Step one, tell me what happened. Step two, did he talk to you?’ You don’t want to do it that way. That’s why the conversation needs to start early and very casual,” said Honowitz.
How early should the conversation start? Probably earlier than you’d like it to and earlier than you think it should.
“You have to teach the kids, ‘My Privates are My Privates,’ just like I said in the book and no one is allowed to touch them, even if the person tells you, ‘It’s OK. I need to do it for my job,'” said Honowitz.
And she says teaching kids proper anatomy is also crucial.
“You have to be able to tell them, ‘That’s your private,’ and you have to say it in the terms that are proper. So you don’t want to make up a name for vagina. You don’t want to make up a name for penis. Because you want them to know that this is part of their anatomy and no one can touch them there,” said Honowitz
She urges parents to teach kids those proper names the same time they’re learning where their eyes, nose, hand and feet are. Honowitz also says another good way for parents of young kids to communicate is to tell kids no one may touch them in areas that are covered by their underpants or bathing suit.
When it comes to encouraging kids to tell you if they are being abused, Honowitz says stressing that open line of communication takes a lot of power away form an abuser.
“So many times the perpetrator will say, ‘Listen, if you tell somebody I’m going to do this to you. I’m going to hurt your family. I’m going to hurt you. You’re going to be in trouble.’
“You’ve got to tell the kids, ‘If you feel comfortable enough to tell me, you don’t have to worry. You’ll never be in that position. He’s never going to hurt me. He’s never going to hurt my family. But if you don’t tell me what’s going on, you will be a perpetual victim,'” said Honowitz.
Often times victims and their parents feel powerless if the predator is someone powerful or has a sterling reputation. Honowitz says you’d be surprised what happens once someone comes forward.
“Just like in the gymnastics case, there is strength in numbers. Many times when you feel that your child is going to be the only one it doesn’t work out that way. If your child comes forward, lots of times other people will come forward because someone else has taken that step,” said Honowitz.
If a parent doesn’t know what to believe or has a child who often fails to tell the truth, Honowitz says to always bring the matter to authorities. She says investigators are skilled at determining whether allegations are likely to be true or if a child is being coached by one parent to lie about another in a divorce case or some other scheme is afoot.
However, Honowitz strongly encourages parents to believe your child and let the authorities worry about the investigation. She says dismissing a child’s allegations can do great damage to them.
“If you tell your child you don’t believe them, if that child is being sexually abused you cannot imagine what kind of secrets they have to live with for the rest of their lives.
“We saw it happen in Nassar. We saw one of the fathers didn’t believe his daughter. When everybody started coming forward, he ended up committing suicide because he couldn’t live with the guilt,” said Honowitz.