ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Rusty Rodgers did not fit everyone’s image of a law enforcement officer, particularly in deeply conservative northeast Florida.
John Thrasher, the president of Florida State University, is a former politician who once was chairman of the Rules Committee in the Florida Senate and served a stint as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He knows how to spin, and how to play hardball.
All year I’d been bracing for the police video that would come out of Chicago. Then the footage of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was hit with 16 bullets in 15 seconds, was released. And it wasn’t merely an officer-involved shooting. It looked like an execution.
Austin police were so preoccupied with ganging up on and tasing a black man that they allowed a white man in handcuffs to stand up and run away. The video, posted Thursday on Youtube, is quickly going viral and being decried as an obvious example of institutionalized racism.