Walter Katz used to poke me for not being radical enough. He was a criminal defense lawyer, a public defender, and thought I tended to be too moderate in my views. We both argued for police and law reform, but he took a harder line than I did and he let me know it. Fair enough. Walter went on to become the independent police auditor for San Jose, and later for Chicago following the Laquan McDonald murder.
Walter was left. Now he’s not.
Take note: This is how the police “reform” crowd prevents real change. They poo-poo anything that isn’t a meaningless fig leaf pre-approved by them as “unproven” — as though the way police behave now is “proven.” https://t.co/9kPvYA8HA5
— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) June 6, 2020
The Mayor of Minneapolis, former civil rights lawyer Jacob Frey, swept into office in 2018 with the blue wave of reform, ardent voice against the cops who killed George Floyd, does the walk of shame after he refuses to commit to “defund police.“
— CTUL (@CTUL_TC) June 6, 2020
Former criminal defense lawyer Larry Krasner, elected to be the progressive district attorney of Philadelphia, is now a pariah for not adhering to every demand of the orthodoxy.
— mindy🌷 #DSA4USPS (@lil_yenta) June 6, 2020
Larry was the darling of progressive prosecutors. Until he wasn’t.
These are three reformers who were progressive and reform heroes. Until they weren’t. Walter, Jacob and Larry have spent their careers facing, dealing with, challenging the system and fighting to fix it. And they were appreciated, maybe even adored, for their efforts.
There are issues that require deep knowledge, understanding and experience to recognize. Instead, the mob has slogans, snark and epithets, none of which contribute anything of substance, although it appears that the unduly passionate lack the capacity to grasp that adding the adjective “transformative” before a noun isn’t actually a plan.
Yet, they are certain, to the point of constant if infantile attack, that there is nothing to discuss. And even broaching the idea of challenging their simplistic slogans is tantamount to coddling white supremacists.
It doesn’t matter if you agree with Walter, Jacob and Larry. There’s room for dispute, for questions, for challenging the means of accomplishing reforms that will work, will be sustainable and will improve life for everyone. But they can’t disagree with the mob, fail in any way to do its more radical bidding, or they will be torn off their pedestals and burned at the stake.
The old joke is that three lefts make a right. Now, they make a bonfire. All this knowledge and experience, concern and angst, maybe even too much, too radical, too extreme, isn’t enough to save them.