Brace yourselves, kids. Let’s take a look at the news.
In April of 2015 a South Carolina cop, Michael Slager, shot Walter Scott eight times in the back, killing him. Slager pulled Scott over and Scott ran on foot. Slager caught him, there was a scuffle, and Slager claimed Scott took his taser, so he “felt threatened” and shot him while Scott was running away. Except there was a witness video that seemed to show that not only did Scott not take the taser, but that Slager shot him, and then planted the taser and lied about the incident.
In case you haven’t heard this song before, Slager was a white cop and Scott was a black man. Residents of the area where Slager policed, North Charleston, have accused the police of harassment, racially profiling African Americans, and using tasers all the time without cause.
The case went to court, obviously, and the jury, made up of 11 white people and one black man, couldn’t return a verdict, so a mistrial was declared today. The prosecutors in the case will probably try to bring it to trial again, but they might also try for a plea deal.
As you might imagine, folks are mad.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump nominated Ben Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Carson has accepted. This would be the same Ben Carson who thought the pyramids in Egypt were used for storing grain, and also the same Ben Carson who, less than a month ago, said he wouldn’t take a cabinet position because he didn’t have any government experience. So… yeah. That’s happened.
If you haven’t been playing along at home, NPR has a running tally of Trump’s nominations, with bios and information. It’s kind of a horror show.
Of particular note today is retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is now our National Security Adviser. This guy is a raving conspiracy theorist who, along with his son, Michael Flynn Jr., pushed the fake news story about “Pizzagate.” You can read more about that here and here.
I mention all this because, thanks to the conspiracy theory, some dude went into the pizzeria in question yesterday, with a gun, to “investigate.” He even got a shot off. Fortunately, no one was hurt. That’s how crazy the “Pizzagate” situation has gotten, and Flynn’s helping it along.
That’s the guy advising Trump on national security. I feel safe, don’t you?
In other news, Al Gore went to meet with Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump today about climate change. Yep. That happened. I think that fills my daily requirement for surrealism.
To wrap up, here’s a few good reads:
- TechDirt: Thanks To Months Of Doing Nothing, Senate Allows DOJ’s Rule 41 Changes To Become Law (Here’s some more information on what that does.)
- Vox: News organizations are telling writers to be clear that the alt-right is a racist movement
- TPM: Trump, Free Speech, and Why Journalists Must be Activists
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.