By Steve Hunley

We Need To Get This Right

Local media has been consumed by the story of the shooting of Austin-East student Anthony Thompson.  Some readers will remember when Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon called a hasty press conference in a city park in twenty degree weather, following one of the shootings of an Austin-East student, Constance Every showed up with her bullhorn.   Every screamed throughout Kincannon’s remarks and the mayor could barely be heard above Every’s babble.  Every is less a community activist than a belligerent public nuisance who imposes herself obnoxiously on both the large and the small.  The City administration and the mild and meek Knoxville City Council have stoically borne Every’s harassment.   Every slings around the accusation of “murderer” with abandon, flinging the ugly words at one and all who dare question her or get in her way.  Kincannon and her council, who seem to have all the courage of an abused titmouse, have allowed Constance Every to bully them shamelessly.  When Every kept hurling accusations, obscenities, and chants at Mayor Kincannon’s press conference, Chief of Police Eve Thomas stood there like a knot on a log.  If Indya is indeed “Mayor Houseplant” she and her city council could be sold at Stanley’s Greenhouse or, more likely, the produce section of any local grocery store.

It was a different story when Constance Every and her posse showed up at last week’s work session of the Knox County Commission.

Accompanied by a reverend who was an also-ran candidate in the last mayoral election and several clueless Gen Z white kids, Every whipped out her bullhorn and began screaming at the commissioners.   Sheriff Tom Spangler, independently elected, not appointed as is Chief Eve Thomas, showed the difference between the two.  Sheriff Spangler was having none of it.  Everly was promptly hustled off and arrested, along with six others, including the Reverend Calvin Taylor Skinner.  The city folks could learn a valuable lesson from this episode.

Another protester, David Hayes, while bedecked in his best garb, stayed well away from Constance and her crew.  Hayes has been arrested multiple times and is planning to run again for the Knoxville City Council this year.  Dave was careful not to get himself arrested, but was quick to issue a statement calling for social justice, which always includes a bigger welfare state and higher taxes for those who pay them.  Of course thus far, none of the council incumbents seem to be against a bigger, fatter, heftier welfare state locally.  I reckon the socialists simply think they are better at it than those who label themselves as plain old Democrats.

These folks ignore the admonition of the late Reverend Martin Luther King who looked forward to the day when his children were not judged by the color of their skin, but rather the content of their characters.  Not Constance and her crowd, as it is entirely about the color of one’s skin and has nothing whatever to do with the content of one’s character.

Spangler’s no-nonsense approach to enforcing the law pretty well leaves the city folks, if not standing around nekkid, certainly in their skivvies.  For all the city administration’s prattle in trying to appease people who will never be appeased (the socialists), they’ve done little to provide some measure of comfort to the families of Janaira Muhammed, Stanley Freeman, Jr. and Justin Taylor.  Does anyone aside from their families remember them with the uproar about Anthony Thompson?  Of course none of the others were killed by a police officer, that is, sadly, the difference.

I don’t know of a single soul anywhere who is opposed to releasing the body cam footage of the shooting.  Not one.  Yet there have been so many rumors and accusations floating around and this is a situation our community has to get right.  I agreed with District Attorney General Charme Allen, let the TBI complete the investigation and then release the full body cam footage for transparency.  Allen has now released the cam footage, drawing a complaint from Thompson’s aunt.

The preacher who was crying that Allen was trying to thwart the “will of the people” is a reminder of yet another ugly spectacle in our history.  Mob violence was oftentimes the will of the people.  They were rightly also highly illegal.  Judicial officers are not in office to follow the will of the people, but rather to follow the law.  There is no equity under the law when it does not apply equally to everyone.  There is no fairness under the law when it is not colorblind.

And we’ve seen the justice system does indeed work in the case of Derek Chauvin.

The same holds true for “Auntie Maxine” Waters whose trip to Minneapolis and cry for a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial called for violence if Chauvin was found not guilty.  The death of Capitol Police Officer Sicknick has now been determined to be from natural causes.  You will recall the New York Times reported Sicknick had been bludgeoned and died from his wounds.  Without determining a single fact, most of the mainstream media followed suit.  Then there was the claim Brian Sicknick died from have been doused with Bear Spray.  Now the Washington, D. C. coroner has determined he died from natural causes.

Maxine Waters was one of the litigants suing to have Trump impeached and Democrats have done a complete about face.  They refuse to criticize the notorious anti-Semites in their midst.  They stripped Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments for things she said before she was elected to Congress.  Waters should be stripped of her committee chairmanship and committee assignments if all things are equal.  The judge in the Chauvin case acknowledged Waters’ remarks and told the defense counsel the California congresswoman likely gave the defendant cause for a possible successful appeal of the jury’s verdict.  Waters also insisted Chauvin be convicted of first degree murder, a crime he wasn’t charged with by the prosecution.  The system worked without Auntie Maxine’s help.

There is the hypocrisy of the difference between “insurrections” and “mostly peaceful protests.”  Violence, looting and burning of property are not remotely peaceful. Accurate reporting of facts, instead of pushing a particular narrative, remain important.


Local Politics

Commissioner-at-Large Larsen Jay is being challenged inside the Republican primary by Christine Cruz.  Evidently, Cruz will try and make the case Jay isn’t sufficiently conservative enough, yet the chairman of the county commission was the target, along with South Knox County Commissioner Carson Dailey, of Constance Every and her posse.  Larsen Jay is also taking a very strong stand on behalf of the 287(g) program and is a friend to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.  Jay is also an unabashed supporter of small business and a thorough-going capitalist.  Ms. Cruz will likely have her hands full in trying to outflank Larsen Jay from the right.  Commissioner Jay makes a point to return phone calls promptly and pays close attention to communications from Knox Countians.

Nor are Sheriff Tom Spangler’s recent actions likely to harm the sheriff’s reelection bid inside the Republican primary.  Spangler’s insistence upon allowing the county commission to conduct the people’s business is not going to hurt him at all with GOP voters.  And before the leftists start squalling about cutting off the free speech of the noise-makers, all of them, including Reverend Skinner, could have signed up to speak before the county commission.  Nor does the commission have a blessed thing to do with when Charme Allen authorizes the release of the body cam footage. Nor does Constance Every give a fig about free speech, except for her own.

Unfortunately, it seems hypocrisy isn’t merely vacationing, or boarding, but rather moving in with every intention to stay permanently and she’s brought her relatives with her.