To Protect and Serve
is the end of a sentence that starts "The Supreme Court has ruled that police have no legal obligation..."
The AP reports that for the entire forty minute duration of the Uvalde school shooting, armed police stood outside the school, preventing parents from attempting to help their children while also not trying to help anyone themselves. If this seems surprising, you don’t have to take the AP’s word for it. At least two videos from the scene are circulating, one a full hour of Facebook live stream recorded outside the school during the shooting, and the other a shorter clip that appears to show police holding one parent pinned to the ground while a crowd of others scream in horror and beg any of the dozens of heavily armed cops shoving them to make the smallest effort to stop the ongoing murder of their children just yards away. Even the New York Post was like, “hey… they did what now?”
Andy Specht @AndySpechtCops stood outside the school while the killer rampaged inside. Onlookers yelled at them to go in. They didn’t. One parent urged bystanders: “Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to.” @AP story: https://t.co/l2CqPCzmAf
After the worse part of an hour, a tactical team from the Border Patrol (one of our nation’s most cartoonishly vicious and bungling law enforcement agencies) entered the school but “had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key.” Uvalde spends more than $3.5 million on police, which Dan Sinker calculated is more than half the city’s total personnel budget. Here’s the town’s SWAT team, who didn’t protect or serve anyone:
In Vice, Tess Owen attempted to piece together a timeline of events from law enforcement’s “strangely opaque” and sometimes contradictory statements. When the Border patrol team did finally reach the shooter, a fourth grader told KENS 5 reporter Henry Ramos:
“When the cops came, the cop said: 'Yell if you need help!' And one of the persons in my class said 'help.' The guy overheard and he came in and shot her," the boy said.
Incredibly, “not trying to stop the shooter” might be one of the less objectionable things that police on the scene did. Some are interpreting the incomprehensible gibberish emitted by this DPS Lieutenant to confirm that local police did enter the school, specifically to rescue just their own kids. Given that cops are liars, when a cop says they’re also cowards, can we believe him?
And, perhaps worst of all,1 The Wall St. Journal’s Rob Copeland, Elizabeth Findell, and Douglas Belkin report that police outside the school couldn’t rescue anyone because they were too busy pepper spraying parents:
Ms. Gomez, a farm supervisor, said that she was one of numerous parents who began encouraging—first politely, and then with more urgency—police and other law enforcement to enter the school. After a few minutes, she said, federal marshals approached her and put her in handcuffs, telling her she was being arrested for intervening in an active investigation.
Ms. Gomez convinced local Uvalde police officers whom she knew to persuade the marshals to set her free. Around her, the scene was frantic. She said she saw a father tackled and thrown to the ground by police and a third pepper-sprayed. Once freed from her cuffs, Ms. Gomez made her distance from the crowd, jumped the school fence, and ran inside to grab her two children. She sprinted out of the school with them.
If you were too young in 1999 or have just forgotten the details of the Columbine shooting, which kicked off the modern era of school-based mass murder, a few months ago Twitter user @the_cleric posted a thread on how police also not only failed to help anyone there too, but actively made the event much worse before, during, and for a long time afterward:
Just last month, Ramenda Cyrus reminded us in The American Prospect that legally “because of a precedent established by the U.S. Supreme Court: the cops do not have a duty to protect you, or anyone.” So what are they for, then?
The U.S. Senate, which Ryan Cooper writes has “forfeited its right to exist,” and President Biden, who plaintively asked the American people when we’re going to fix this problem for him.
Somehow Other Things Continue to Happen:
Behind the Teal Curtain in authoritarian Florida, one high school class president found a clever way to speak around the strict censorship imposed by the state’s repressive ruling clerics. We’re still talking about Dimes Square I guess? In The Baffler, Will Harrison blew the lid off the Metrograph necktie mafia, and in Dirt, Drew Austin wrote that “Dimes Square, then, is the product of that widespread content-about-content perspective reentering the physical world,” which I guess makes his post content-about-content-about-content and this one content-about-content-about-content-about-content. Meanwhile, Anna Khachiyan posted Cannes-tent.
Joseph Cox says Elon’s Elden Rings build sucks. I’m pretty sure I do more work than Elon Musk, and folks, I do not work very hard. “How to murder your husband” writer Nancy Crampton Brophy found legally bad at murder plots. My “teachers at the Blue Man Group-founded school in Manhattan are on strike” t-shirt is raising a lot of questions that are absolutely not answered by my t-shirt. “(The school does not teach students how to join the Blue Man Group),” Lauren Kaori Gurley clarifies. The collapse of algorithmic unstable coin Terra was in many ways hilarious, but of course none of crypto’s crimes are victimless. Rest of World’s Leo Schwartz and Abubakar Idris found more than a dozen UST holders around the world who believed the promise of U.S. dollar parity and viewed Terra as a safe haven from their local hyperinflationary currency, losing everything in the crash. Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon will launch a new version of LUNA tomorrow, because nothing matters and there are no consequences anymore. And with Winnie the Pooh finally in the public domain, get ready for upcoming horror film: “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.”
And Finally: The Cut has an unexpectedly boring profile of Emily Gould and Keith Gessen, both famous for their public messiness. I guess there’s a tiny bit of that here but it’s a slog to find it. Instead read David Ehrlich absolutely panning “Baz Luhrmann’s utterly deranged musical biopic about the King of Rock & Roll,” ELVIS. It’s both fun to read and the extremely rare critical roast that still makes me want to see the movie. What can I say, “I LOVE THE BAZMATAZ, BABY!"
Today’s Song: Scroobius Pip, Sage Francis & P.O.S, “Let em come”
~ tabs, then, is the product of that widespread content-about-content perspective reentering the physical world ~
It’s amazing that you are all so supportive when I occasionally go way off-script and write something you didn’t really sign up for, like yesterday’s Tabs. You are the wind beneath my wings. Try to, you know, get out and touch grass somehow this weekend. It’s been a week. ❤️
“Worst of all” so far, I suppose. It’s early days.