Thorns and Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd (7/15)

Our police, a broken record(ing) | Thorn

An NBC News story on audio of interviews from the police investigation of Breonna Taylor’s slaying reveals the profound brokenness of the police department. That includes how the interviewer, Sgt. Jason Vance, seemed to suggest answers for Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg by Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who thought intruders, not cops, had broken down their apartment door. Mattingly told Vance that after he was wounded, he fired four times at Walker and then left the apartment. Vance replied: “That’s kind of like what I was getting to because of your positioning, you know, initially when you’re shot — and then rightfully so, you’re returning fire.” Mattingly responds: “Mm-hmm.” And then, Vance says: “But you know you just said you made a conscious decision, you know, ‘I’m now injured, I need to move, so they can protect themselves and me as well. And then — I don’t want to put words in your mouth …” Replies Mattingly: “No, that’s it.” That interview took place weeks after the shooting, and Mattingly had a lawyer. Walker was interviewed hours after the raid, and one interviewer encourages Walker to waive his right to an attorney. “I’m scared about what to say,” Walker says. The interviewer says: “It would be good for you to sign this and then we can get you, get your statement, and then we can leave you alone.” The NBC story relates his recollection of being taken into custody: “As he backed out of the apartment, arms raised, he says an officer holding a dog told him, ‘‘I’m going to let this dog on you. You’re going to jail for the rest of your life.’ He says the officer asked, ‘Did you get hit by any bullets? And I’m like, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s unfortunate.’” And, finally, you might recall Sgt. Brett Hankison who was canned for firing “blindly” into the apartment, endangering neighbors. Mattingly told Vance that, before the raid, Hankison was “a little bit worked up,” arguing with and pointing his gun at a neighbor who was objecting as police banged on Taylor’s door, NBC reported.

Listen to us, don’t listen to us | Absurd

The Courier Journal, in a rare editorial and even rarer front-page editorial, called on Gov. Andy to require Kentuckians to wear masks. Strong stand! It was odd that the editorial ran online with a disclaimer in safety yellow and black that said: “EDITORIALS | Opinion This piece expresses the views of its author(s), separate from those of this publication.” Does that mean The CJ’s editorial — the voice of the publication — is not the voice of the publication? The CJ has long tried to convince readers that the op-ed page is for opinions, not to be confused with ostensibly objective news stories. So, now, to reinforce that, the paper is placing a yellow-and-black “OPINION” tag on all online op-eds. Finally, we all will know Republican bullhorn Scott Jennings’ wedge shots are his opinion, not The CJ’s.