A response to two critics of my reporting
It's difficult to find clarity in a discussion of law enforcement, especially when the subtext is always, How do we "police" and protect the US while upholding its constitutional and democratic norms?
Mr. Balko's right wing critics, even when they are making reasonably good points, are nevertheless part of the right's outrage machine: their job, therefore, is to generate outrage, to darken the picture, to be ominous, to create a panicky sense that chaos and violence are as near as the next attempt at police reform.
Mr. Balko's job is to present the facts with as much clarity and respect (and as little outrage) as he can muster. He does it well.
“It seems perfectly reasonable for a town to conclude that those aren’t the sort of officers it wants on its police force.”
I live in Golden Valley, MN, and this analysis is right on!
One note: Roslyn Harmon was elected mayor last week, not last year. She will take office in January of 2024.
While I’m glad to see all those police officers quit, the reforms are milk toast and won’t do anything. Until qualified immunity is eliminated and police pension put at risk we will not solve this problem.
Love your pieces in general, but ...I'm not sure how this follows from your story: "If Chief Green is correct about the differences between his department and the sheriff’s department in how they write police reports, we should see a big increase in the number of charged crimes in Golden Valley referred by sheriff’s deputies so far in 2023, and a big decrease in crimes referred by the Golden Valley Police Department for both 2022 and 2023." This would be true if the data reflected all police reports, but they only reflect *charged crimes*, so I don't think the conclusion follows from the premise (unless I'm missing something).