The fallout from last night kept me busy all day. I didn't leave the apartment but was on the phone and computer without stop. Several local news outlets did cover the violence, one with a blog, another with a story about the police targeting journalists, and the main newspaper included some videos that tell the story pretty clearly. National news was busy with trumpery. I spent the day listening to people's stories and networking, knowing I would have been out there with that crowd last night if it weren't for Covid-19.
JoAnn Hardesty, whose successful campaign I supported whole-heartedly, issued a statement arount 7pm today chiding the police. My favorite part of her statement is this:
The irony of community members protesting police violence being met with police violence is not lost on me. Community members exercising their freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are not the enemy, and I ask that the bureau and its staff reflect that understanding in its response to events. From videos, witness accounts, journalist accounts, and conversations with community members, a number of issues around police response and conduct have been brought up that I’m requesting you act on. That includes:
• Immediately drop all charges to members of the media who have been arrested and released from jail.
• Immediately discontinue the use of tear gas, LRAD, and close-range rubber bullets. Regardless of your belief of compliance with court-order given exemptions, I’m asking that you commit to not using those munitions under any circumstance.
Everyone else in local government, including the mayor, who is formally in charge of the police, was vaguely non-committal. But the streets, like this one, are quiet tonight.
It was my great-grandson Raiden's third birthday today, and we had a joyous video chat in which he regaled me with stories of his new toy cars.