Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thick as Thieves

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an interview with Michael Quinn, the retired police offier who was the main source for Pointergate. It's ... not as awful as it could have been. That isn't to say it's good, by any means. He remains adamant that this was a gang sign, which is just transparently ludicrous at this point, and completely dismisses any racial overtones to the story. That said, his discussion about the role of racism in the criminal justice system is definitely above median. Anytime I hear a cop state that racial divides in arrest rates is both "evidence of racism individually and certainly of racist policies" I have to give a little nod of my head. Ditto with "There is something really wrong with law enforcement policies and criminal justice polices that puts that many people at risk." This is an unusual combination, to be honest -- acknowledging systematic racism in the abstract but denying it in what seems to be a really clear cut case (normally, one acknowledges the obvious case but dismisses it as an aberration). So, I dunno -- 3.5/10? Maybe 4/10 if I'm feeling generous.

But the best part of the interview -- and this is on the transcriber -- was when Quinn was asked whether this would have been a story if Hodge's photo-mate had been White:
"This isn't about the race of the gang. We've got white gangs within the state of Minnesota that are every bit as viscous as any black gang on the street."
While I'm sure Quinn actually said "vicious", I do like to think that the primary problem with gangs in Minnesota is that they're so damn sticky.

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