The above footage was captured on May 30, 2011, by a camera in the Taser unit deployed by Metro Nashville Police Officer Neil P. Wolfe on Micheal Minick. Minick's family alleges that the now-deceased Gallatin man, who was originally wanted on a traffic violation, was beaten to death while in the custody of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office at Metro Nashville General Hospital in the weeks following this arrest.
In the grainy black-and-white video, Minick is shown standing in waist-high foliage in an area somewhere near Happy Valley Road in Goodlettsville, Tenn., according to Wolfe's June 6, 2011, affidavit. Officer Wolfe can be heard saying "I'm going to tase you! I am going to tase you right now!" as a laser aiming dot appears on Minick's body. Minick can be heard saying "I want water," although the quality of the audio and the cross-chatter of their voices makes it hard to understand what, exactly, Minick was saying to Wolfe.
Moments later, Wolfe deploys the Taser and Minick falls to the ground. Wolfe approaches Minick from above and behind, keeping the taser sight trained on Minick's back.
Minick was then taken to Nashville Metro General Hospital where, according to his affidavit, Wolfe learned that Minick was admitted "for dehydration and that he had ingested 500 mg of 'Loco Motion Bath Salts.' " Bath salts are a legally obtainable drug with powerful effects, inducing hallucinations and other reportedly psychotic behavior in users.
In the story, Forrester identifies "the line" Democrats hope to hold this fall as 24 seats in the House and eight in the Senate. After redistricting and the spate of retirements that followed, Forrester told me that's just the hand they've been dealt.
But apparently, some elected Democrats — on the ground, as it were — saw that as a concession of defeat in this year's open races. After talking to staffers on both sides, it sounds like inboxes at the TNDP headquarters have been lighting up about the matter.
IZZY POP?... NOT! Think Sound of Music, the hills are alive, sheep, overcast skies, and Izzy coloring the greens. Izzy is a blond heartthrob, just 3 years old. No peroxide ’do for her. She’s a natural. Terrier relatives, home-ready, loves to rock ’n’ roll too. Nashville Humane has Izzy featured this week. And do they have cats! June is Cat Month at the shelter. So drive over and have a look inside Nashville’s most fun adoption center. Behind Sprintz off WhiteBridge Road, 352-1010.
Portrait by PeterNashDogs.com.
First comes this mention — "There were numerous skirmishes in the area including a June 1863 fight in which Confederate Gen. N.B. Forrest’s artillery put a cannon ball through the roof of Federal commander Gen. Gordon Granger’s headquarters."—in this story about efforts to identify and preserve fortifications in Triune.
Then comes the news that Franklin's Charge has met the deadline to receive matching funds from the Civil War Trust to purchase the strip mall anchored by the Domino's in Franklin in order to tear it down and build an interpretive park. Forrest isn't specifically mentioned, but who can forget when the Carter House used to show that film of the Battle of Franklin that was fifteen 15 of Forrest's luxurious long hair flowing behind him like a literal manifestation of the trail of glory he was on?
And then, Forrest gets a huge article in the Murfreesboro Post all about how they're going to reenact his raid on the Rutherford County Courthouse in July in honor of the raid's 150th anniversary.
"Bring me the head of Chris Hayes!"
That was the cry of conventional-wisdom merchants across the land through Memorial Day and into this week after the Sunday-morning MSNBC host devoted a segment to an honest discussion of what we talk about when we talk about The Troops.
The flashpoint can be seen at about the 6:40 point of the video above. Hayes introduces a segment by sharing his own feelings on the matter, which, by now, you've probably heard:
"It is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the word hero. Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word hero. I feel uncomfortable with the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. And I obviously don't want to desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that has fallen. Obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is tremendous heroism. You know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that's problematic, but maybe I'm wrong about that."
Tonight he'll be discussing his new book, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership. Chapter 16 has an overview:
Powell’s love for the stories he has accumulated is obvious, and they can at times seem too self-referential. But as full of the pronoun “I” as they are, the stories are just as often heavy with praise for others—from those who gave him his start in life to others who taught him how to lead. Because of his background, his examples come almost exclusively from military or government service, but he carefully explains how they should apply to any good manager in the private sector. In a chapter about correcting mistakes, he notes, “These truths are known to every good classroom teacher, every good coach, every good violin teacher, every good parent, and every good construction foreman.”
Powell acknowledges making many mistakes in his long career, and he includes some of them as examples of how to learn from failures. In a section titled “Reflections,” the general finally addresses the elephant in the room, the mistake of all mistakes, which happened on a date, he writes, that “is as burned into my memory as my own birthday.” On February 5, 2003, acting as secretary of state for George W. Bush, Powell stood before the United Nations Security Council and laid out America’s case against Saddam Hussein. It was a powerful, effective speech that turned out to be dead wrong in its most important aspect: the claim that Saddam possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Here was one of America’s most trusted leaders apparently forgetting that “You can’t make good decisions unless you have good information and can separate facts from opinions and speculation.”
This horrific mistake, which Powell admits is a “blot” on his record, is one for which he accepts responsibility but for which he is also quick to share blame. His questions about the veracity of the information were not answered completely, he writes, and some officials withheld their concerns about the intelligence sources. It is clearly, nine years later, an open wound—for both Powell and America: “I have never before written my account of the events surrounding my 2003 UN speech,” he writes. “I’ll probably never write another.”
Tonight's event begins 7 p.m. at Belmont University's Massey Concert Hall.
Two big questions linger after reading this flabbergasting story by Pierce Greenberg in the City Paper. One: How does a man go from a suspended driver's license charge to a severe beating and death? Two: Four deputies allegedly beat a man into a coma who was already in restraints? Greenberg:
Michael Minick’s wife and mother, the co-administrators of his estate, filed a lawsuit against several local law enforcement agencies, Corrections Corporation of America, and Nashville General Hospital over Minick’s death. Overall, the suit names 17 individuals and agencies for their involvement in Minick’s death.
According to the lawsuit, Minick, 39, was beaten into a coma by four [Davidson County] sheriff’s deputies while being treated at Nashville General Hospital after his arrest.
Metro Nashville Police Department officers arrested Minick on May 30, 2011, after he was found wandering in the woods. Police allegedly used a stun gun on Minick and took him into custody for failing to appear in court for a suspended driver’s license charge. He was later admitted to Nashville General Hospital for loss of muscle mass and severe dehydration.
The lawsuit said a deputy called for backup in the hospital room after Minick became combative. Then, four deputies allegedly beat Minick, who was already in handcuffs and other restraints. The suit claims Minick was punched, struck with a baton and pepper-sprayed during the incident. When nurses came in, Minick was breathless and blue, the lawsuit said. Hospital personnel were able to resuscitate Minick after 20 minutes. ...
Less than a month later, Minick, a father of three, died in hospice care. The lawsuit alleges a failure to provide constitutionally adequate care, failure to protect, and cruel and unusual punishment.
Read the rest of the story here. Though be warned: it raises more questions than it answers.
Steven Hale has a great, in-depth and nuanced look at the fall and ... um ... further fall of the state Democratic Party in this week's City Paper.
This is about as full an accounting as one is going to get, but there's no discussion of Rosalind Kurita in it. And I'm not sure if this is because the Kurita incident wasn't important or if it's because the Democrats don't realize that it was important — and so, when they tell their story of why they are where they are, they're missing a crucial component.
I could kind of be convinced either way. But I'm leaning toward it being a lesson the Democrats are resolutely refusing, still, to face. I think when Kurita voted for Ramsey over Wilder in 2007, then was primaried by Tim Barnes in 2008 and (even though she got more votes than Barnes) "lost" the election to him, Democrats felt they were within their rights to run out a politician who wasn't playing nicely with the rest of the party.
But I think that played to voters as evidence that the Democratic party was more concerned with preserving their good-ol'-boy network than doing what was right for the state as a whole. No one had to make an attack ad saying that. It was just in the news, story after story after story.
It also didn't go unnoticed among women that a party in which women have few leadership positions turned on a woman willing to (or at least giving the appearance of) voting her conscience was then pretty publicly demolished for doing so.
A new ruling from PolitiFact gave a "Pants On Fire" rating to claims made by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey in a newsletter/victory-lap regarding credit for the minuscule food tax cut. In case you were never a child: They're saying he lied, or at the very least least, has a short memory.
In the newsletter, Ramsey — or whoever wrote the unending celebration of "Two years of unified Republican Government" — said Republicans "gave every Tennessean tax relief by again reducing the food tax – reductions previous Democrat regimes refused to make."
"Say what?" said an unnamed PolitiFact staffer, we assume.
"This decision does not preclude the county and the various county entities from again considering the same issues at a subsequent hearing when proper notice is given."
—Chancellor Robert Corlew III, in a decision halting the construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro on the grounds that "there was insufficient notice" given to the public about the public meeting at which the project was given the go-ahead.
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