After police killing, ‘the power of self-interested reasoning’

Slate’s Leon Neyfakh writes today that the killing of Justine Damond (nee: Ruszczyk) has illustrated “the kind of flawed, ideological thinking that shows through when people need to protect their preexisting beliefs and irrational biases.”

People who have been silent about police shootings in the past have spoken up now. Why? The shooter was black, he suggests.

At a speech in Waconia, a city about 30 miles outside of Minneapolis, former Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann gave a speech in which she expressed outrage over Damond’s death and zeroed in on the ethnicity of the police officer who killed her. She called him an “affirmative-action hire” and invited audience members to consider the possibility that Noor had shot Damond for “cultural” reasons. Later, in an interview with WorldNetDaily, Bachman was quoted as saying, “Noor comes from the mandated cover-up women culture. That’s why I’m wondering if they’ll ask whether his cultural views led him to shoot her. That’s something, if true, I can’t imagine the progressives would allow to get out.” As far as I can tell, this was the first time in recent years that Bachmann had commented on police violence, unless you count the “All Labs Matter” dog meme she tweeted two weeks after Castile’s death.

“Faced with an opportunity to advance an argument about the dangers of diversity, and of Islam in particular, people whose politics typically incline them to defend police officers at all costs are willing to criticize an embattled cop—as long as he’s of Somali heritage and his victim is white,” he writes.

“What real people really believe is that a police officer is more likely to shoot an innocent woman because he’s a Somali American zealot than because of improper training that makes him and many of his colleagues in law enforcement scared of everything that moves.”

Related: Fear as an element of police culture (MPR News)

Fast-track training put officer Mohamed Noor on Minneapolis police force (Star Tribune)