One of the police officers charged with killing Freddie Gray will oversee complaints against other Baltimore cops

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A subject matter expert. Of a kind.


Not one person in management thought that this might just be a not-so-great idea?



Alicia White:BPDIA::Ajit Pai:FCC

In other words, this is a transparently bad idea.

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They wanted someone experienced?


“Unfortunately, that day someone lost their life.”

She’s got the passive voice nailed down flat. A true cop.


They don’t care what the public thinks. The promotion gets a problem cop, i.e., a friend into a position to oversee cases involving other problem cops. And round and round they go.


And anyone who complains about the choice of problem cop Alicia White to command the internal affairs division is objecting to a Black woman being appointed to an important position. The “optics” of opposing her appointment are very bad – for the people opposing it.

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Mostly to a certain tier of middle-class and generally-white liberal that is over-represented in media punditry but doesn’t matter quite so much in the real world. Which is why the word “optics” is exactly right, including the quotes.

One of the few points of progress in the last few years is a broader public intuition of how problems of policing and racism thread together. “More to prove and fewer ways to prove it”


I can’t help but note that she didn’t say what she did was right or wrong, just that she was trained to do it. And I believe that. Blindly following orders and training, and ignoring what you know to be right and wrong, gets people killed. As it did with Freddie Gray.


They thought it was a GREAT idead


There’s something utterly fascinating with the sheer blandness of her appearance.


Until police actually have to answer to some sort of external oversight, they might as well have people like this heading internal affairs. Who cares if the public doesn’t like it, no one can stop them.

Following your training should only be a valid defense after your trainer is locked up.

And even then…

I have a feeling that if everyone did what they were trained to do – and nothing else – then the world be in an even more horrible state.

Years back at Rocketdyne, a colleague told me of one test engineer’s comment to the tech he had been assigned to work with: “You’re not paid to think. That’s my job.”

I hate that attitude, but it’s unfortunately common in engineering. I don’t remember the name of the company, and they may not even exist anymore, but when I was graduating with my BS in Aerospace Engineering, I interviewed with a company in Texas that did retrofits and customs modifications of commercial aircraft, and the interviewer asked me what I would do if one of the manufacturing guys challenged something I designed. I told him I would listen to the guy because he probably had a lot of practical experience I lacked. He might not be right, but he might be, so I would hear him out. That cost me the job. The right answer was that I was supposed to say that I would tell him I was the engineer and I knew best, and to do what I said.

ETA: My second job after I graduated was with an HVAC manufacturer in Oklahoma. I was hired to be the lab and R&D manager. I was warned by multiple people that one of the lab techs had a problem with authority and that I’d need to be strong with him. The first week or so, I could see it was true that he had a problem with authority. Then, we were working on something together in the lab one day, and he asked me a question about something engineering related, and I honestly said, “I don’t know. That’s a good question.” He stopped in his tracks, looked at me and said, “You know…I like you. Unlike everyone else around here, you’re not completely full of shit.” I never had another problem with him, and all I had to do was admit I didn’t know something.


Over the course of my 30+ years with Rocketdyne, I had dozens of different techs assigned to me, and only at that one time did I hear of such treatment.

Note that just a few years later the a-hole “That’s my job” engineer was promoted to management within our department. The angry consensus was that he achieved the position solely for being quite tall. But…eventually, things actually got much, much better. After more than a few complaints lodged by union techs and upper management’s awareness of lawsuits (one each) to said a-hole (and another troublesome manager forced into our midst), action was taken. Both managers were “deported” to the Santa Susana Field Labs to manage other areas. On occasion, I’d visit SSFL and work with test and R&D engineers up there, and during one of those visits one engineer in test sarcastically – sneeringly – “thanked” me for gifting them the a-hole. I’m pretty sure that I was smiling the whole time. Heck. I’m smiling right now!


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