Or, at least, as Ronald Reagan said (over and over and over…), trust but verify. I give you the interim police chief of Ferguson, Missouri (boldface mine):
We got a lot of negative notoriety and it all stemmed from Michael Brown’s body having to [lie] on the parking lot for 41/2 hours. The reason he was there for so long was because of hostile fire against our officers. We could not get to Michael Brown’s body.
Never mind there are pictures of police standing near and next to his body looking unfazed–certainly not “under fire.” Has anyone heard this? The Justice Department investigation never stated this. The Ferguson police department never claimed this (until this interview). No news reports described this.
Amazingly, the interviewer does not follow up on this: were this true, this would be a major story.
That statement is either delusional, or else just outright sociopathic lying. It’s also incredibly stupid and incompetent–the police chief isn’t even a good liar.
Speaking of which, what Ed at Gin and Tacos wrote about small-town government seems appropriate here (boldface mine):
The people who are capable of leaving – young, not tied down, not incarcerated or on probation, not dirt poor – leave. So who’s left behind? Old people who refuse to leave. Young people counting down the minutes until they can leave. People who can’t pay their bills let alone the cost of moving. People with life-obliterating problems (with drugs, with booze, with gambling). People who have no skills or education that might be salable elsewhere. People who are barely adults and have four kids. People who don’t have a parole officer. People who don’t think that (insert name of essentially city anywhere) is better than Scott County. People who can’t get their shit together even if they have the means. People who either had their asses kicked by life or are losers, basically.
So who ends up in charge? Who makes the decisions that make the Scott Counties of the world so spectacularly and consistently backward? Well. The idiots elect a handful of other idiots, who hire their idiot relatives to perform important jobs very badly. The Chief of Police in Scott County is behaving like some kind of reactionary, pitiably stupid backcountry hick because he is a reactionary, pitiably stupid backcountry hick. We know that with certainty because if he were any good at his job or had marketable skills he would move 25 miles away to work in the safe, fancy suburbs of Louisville, KY and do the same job only easier and at double the salary. And that’s the reason communities like these are in a death spiral – anyone good enough to do the job(s) of running the place well is good enough to get a better job in a better place at a better salary. If a few capable people do stick around, they’ll find it impossible to accomplish anything against the tendencies of the elderly, the ignorant, and the ignorant elderly.
How could someone trust this police chief? And don’t think he’s an outlier–it’s only that attention is being paid in this particular instance.