Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd (4/21)

Thorn: Happy Now, Shields?

New police Chief Erika Shields was billed as a fresh start for the city, so why is she advocating for her officers to continue to escalate against protesters? After a small demonstration on Bardstown Road last Tuesday, in which protesters blocked an intersection for less than an hour with furniture from nearby businesses, Shields said at the Louisville Forum that officers should have made arrests. Instead, they hung back while protesters voiced their justified anger and then cleaned up after demonstrators left. No riot gear, tear gas or forcing people through the criminal justice system — just good trouble met with good policing. Days later, LMPD arrested and brutalized Denorver Garrett for a similar “crime.” Is that what Shields was endorsing?

Thorn: …And A Lackluster Response 

After Denorver Garrett was punched multiple times in the face by a police officer, Shields, in a press release, said that the incident “raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.” Oh, really, a brutal assault as standard procedure isn’t in the LMPD employee handbook — thanks for the update. It’s such an off-putting, public relations-type, distant response that lacks basic empathy, compassion, fairness and justice. Shields needs to win public support. And the only way she can do so is by taking a stronger stand against acts of bad policing. But, we’re not holding our breath.

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Thorn: JUST. STOP. TWEETING.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, who perpetually hangs in the top five of the power rankings for Kentucky’s most embarrassing politician, is very bad at forming thoughts on Twitter. Here’s a post from Monday: “Without an ongoing global pandemic, how do Democrats and spendy Republicans continue to justify spending trillions of dollars above our normal budget? They can’t, and so the pandemic will rage on, or a new crisis must be found.” Saying the government is using the virus to needlessly overspend during a legitimate time of crisis, while hinting it’s currently a hoax, is incredibly irresponsible.  

Rose: More Hours, More Shots

The mass vaccination site at Cardinal Stadium is extending its hours this week, running from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., instead of closing at 6 p.m. as it did previously. At the 28-lane operation, appointments are recommended, but not required. It’s getting easier and easier to get a shot, so if you’ve been holding off because of long work hours or tech problems, hopefully this helps.

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