Friday, January 13, 2012

Ogden Shootings Story Update: Three New Items From The Standard-Examiner

Congrats to the Standard, as it continues to keep on top of this fast-developing story

Three more new 1/4/12 Ogden Shootings related items appear this morning's Standard-Examiner online edition, the first two of which are also carried on the front page of this morning's hard-copy edition:

1) Encouraging news from Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson:
Many lumpencitizens have been wondering on public message boards, and various other places all over the nation, how a simple pot bust could have resulted in anyone's death; so it's reassuring to learn that Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force policies and tactics will soon be subject to an intelligent re-examination. Rather than to adopt new procedures which might escalate the level of violence in future police/suspect encounters. we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that the Strike Force Board of Directors will "learn from" this tragic experience, and formulate new practices which are in greater conformity with an ethos placing a high value on the protection of human life.

2) Disheartening news for all concerned in re this tragic incident:
Out thoughts and prayers go out to OPD Officer Rounkles this morning. We're already hearing about the prospective filing of one aggravated murder charge in connection with this incident, which is one death penalty case too many, in our view.

3) As the story develops, the Standard offers this letter to the editor from one disgruntled reader, who hyperbolically complains that "[t]he state's propaganda machine that bestows police the 'hero' title is no different that the North Korean propaganda machine that called Kim Jong-il the supreme leader, and the funerals were similar":
We're sure that S-E Editor Doug Gibson was well aware that the publication of this letter would stir up a hornet's nest, which is exactly what's happening in the S-E lower comments section, of course.

Congrats to the Standard, as it continues to keep on top of this fast-developing story, particularly with regard to our beloved home town newspaper's obvious commitment toward publishing material expressing even politically unpopular points of view.

That's it for now.

The floor's open for your comments, folks.


Bob Becker said...

What surprises me in re: item number three is that so many people think someone who apparently can't distinguish between Utah and North Korea, and between the funeral in Ogden yesterday and the state organized [attendance often compulsory] funeral in North Korea is someone worth engaging on comment boards.   Go for a walk.  Play with a kid.  Watch mindless daytime TV talk.  Read pages of the phone book at random. Count the little holes in some ceiling tile.  All of those things would have more point than engaging the troll in anything resembling discussion. 

Bob Becker said...

Update on the officer downgraded to "serious" condition:  he has improved and is back on "fair" status, the SL Trib reports:  
Ogden police Office Michael Rounkles, whose condition had slipped on Thursday to serious, was restored Friday to fair condition and is now expected to eventually recover from gunshot wounds sustained in a Jan. 4 drug raid firefight.

Trib story is here:

rudizink said...

Thanks for the update, Bob.  Good news indeed.

Oh Brother said...

The school children in attendance in Ogden were compelled.  They were given no choice.  Thus, it was the same as North Korea except the local government compelled children to attend whereas the North Koreans compelled the adults.  

Another similarity is that both countries use state employees to act as apologists.  Persons like college professors, for instance.  Know anybody like that Bob?

Why said...

Ron Paul, why don't other candidates talk about drug policy?

Ogdentaxpayer said...

The whole shooting thing problem may not have happened IF the guy they were after didn't try to protect his own property. Has anyone thought of that. That this guy was woke up by the noise they made and he may have thought it was someone out to do him harm and all he was doing was protecting himself and his property. Just saying.

Bob Becker said...

Some of the HS students released to watch the funeral ended up in Grounds for Coffee.  Nobody seemed to be requiring them to stand and watch, or compelling them to visibly mourn or  even compelling them to silence as the casket passed.  It's a ridiculous parallel to draw.

If you know of any college professors who were ordered by the state of Utah, or the City of Ogden, or the County of Weber, to attend and visibly mourn, let us know.  This former  college professor chose to stand along the route as the coffin came by, and place hat over heart in honor of the officer who died.  No one told me to be there.  No one ordered me to be there.  No one had the authority, right or power to order me to be there.  And when I was working for WSU, no one would have ordered me to attend, no one had the authority, right or power to do so.  And if you can't figure out how that is different from how things are in North Korea, you're beyond the reach of reasoned discussion I'm afraid.

Think About It said...

Precisely right.  Ask yourself what you'd do if "men  shrouded in black" kicked down your door with guns blazing.

Would you exercise your tight to "self defense;" or would you just lay down and "play" dead?"

Bob Becker said...


   You assert as fact something that we don't know is probably fact, that is in fact largely  supposition on your part: "That this guy was woke up by the noise they made and he may have thought it was someone out to do him harm and all he was doing was protecting himself and his property. Just saying.

That may have happened. May not.  But at this point, neither you or I have anything like enough information to say with certainty that either it did or that it did not. 

Oh Brother said...

All the the kids were made to leave school to stand in mourning.  That some didn't only proves that they were not fully controlled.  But the teachers and kids had no choice.

Nobody said you were ordered.  I only commented that the state uses its hired apologists.  Nobody has to tell you to do it.  You know how your bread is buttered.

Oh Brother said...

So, apologist, do we also NOT know what happened in this Weber County police action?

Bob Becker said...

You haven't spent much time around University professors.   Most of the ones I've worked with, if anyone in administration ever ordered them to do what you're suggesting, would have replied "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on."  Somewhat more diplomatically, given personal preferences, perhaps, but the underlying message would have been the same.

That's what tenure does for University professors: it permits them to tell administrators who may over-estimate the limits of their authority to go piss up a rope.   

You think Administrators can simply control faculty with a wink and a nod, I suggest you ask some Administrators with long experience in the job if that's true.  When they stop laughing at the idea, they'll enlighten you. 

It may be different at religious schools, or some of them. But regarding public universities and colleges, you couldn't be more wrong. 

D. Dalton said...

I think that there are two things that have people worked up: the event generally (and what and how we've been told what since) and the funeral/outpouring/lauding/etc. In this comment, I will try to choose words carefully that aren't too emotionally charged. 

On the event itself: we don't know much. And there's a reason that we don't know much. We can infer some from what we've been told and some fairly logical conclusions should trouble even the most disinterested of us. Absent of much evidence, we can also draw parallels from history as well as draw parallels from what's happened in similar situations across the country. We can also look at trends. Again, with these data in mind, the event itself and its aftermath (so far) should raise questions in any fairminded observer. There are manifold of things that strike me as odd about this case just given what we've been told so far. Then realizing that the data are coming from a single source (generally), the narrative should be questioned as an appeal to honesty in the rhetorical tradition if nothing else.

The funeral and outpouring of support are a more troubling matter. The man was a public servant doing his job. It's tragic for those he left behind. Personally, I know how hard it is to lose a parent as a young child and I really, really feel for those kids and his widow. Then there's the absolute fact that a funeral needs to occur within a window of time far shorter than the trial.  Therefore, the narrative that will inform the circumstances under which the funeral occurs is necessarily one-sided.  That's an artifact of several things, but absolute, nonetheless. Add to that the emotional element--from all angles--and it becomes stickier still.

Part of the problem that we are seeing in these discussions is that some of those participating (in general--and on both sides if there are sides) are uncomfortable with skepticism, questions, and the need for real, unspun data--of which there is, to understate grossly, a paucity. They already know what they know without wondering what they know or how they know it. Withholding judgment, pointing out inconsistencies, advocating transparency, and appealing to precedent in the absence of fact are all unpopular positions to take in the face of a tragedy like this which is naturally emotionally charged.

And this is my argument:  At this point in the narrative, it
is every bit as disingenuous to lionize the behavior of the state and
its agents as it is to vilify it. (You may reverse the order within that statement if it suits you.) What we need are data, clear heads, and honest, open inquiry.

Well, in rereading that it strikes me that I will probably end up irritating just about everyone involved. I suppose that means something itself.

D. Dalton said...


rudizink said...

Good goin' DD!  Thanks to your sharp eyes and alert demeanor, we now have a new story up on the WCF front page:

Breaking: Matthew Stewart Charged With Aggravated Murder

Great to have you aboard, as I said.

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