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After exposure, expect more pugnacious Edwards

That Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards for more than two years deliberately misled the public and legislators concerning the death of black motorist Ronald Greene, even as early on it might have served his 2019 reelection campaign this also explains his general behavior since and signals what may come on an important issue.

With last week’s revelations that almost immediately after Greene’s death Edwards knew he died not in an accident but while in Louisiana State Police custody, it became clear Edwards had engaged in a pattern of deceit. Despite being inconceivable that Edwards didn’t know inappropriate use of force was the primary cause of Greene’s death as the incident triggered media reports, various investigations, and personnel actions by the LSP of which he would have been aware, he continued asserting the fiction through public fora and to lawmakers even until recently.

Knowing this makes Edwards’ actions since May 10, 2019 much more understandable. Strategic inaction on his part right after the incident when in the midst of a bruising campaign, if not a deliberate effort to keep himself ignorant of developments as the initial LSP story quickly became challenged and began to unravel prevented publicity adding to alleged sporadic LSP misconduct against blacks on his watch that critics could highlight as a failing of his tenure.


Edwards' Greene case comments strain credulity

In his Checkers Speech that doubled as a news conference, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards tap-danced and misdirected, straining credulity to convince the public that he hasn’t done the same regarding his actions associated with a needless death at the hands of the Louisiana State Police.

In the nearly hour-long session comparable to a dentist’s visit for Edwards, he tried to explain away an Associated Press article that showed he knew immediately about the events surrounding the death of black motorist Ronald Greene in LSP custody but whose few statements about it, added to his inaction in addressing clear signs that the LSP wasn’t forthcoming about that death, created and sustained for a lengthy period the impression that there wasn’t LSP misconduct associated with it. His defense rested largely on unprovable assertions and suspension of disbelief.

Not that he spent even a majority of his remarks actually addressing the piece. Much of the time he rhetorically built straw men and traversed blind alleys. He kept insisting there was no evidence that he “obstructed” justice or engaged in a “coverup,” but no politician, news media or widely-read blog site ever accused him of that. What appeared in this space is typical of what was disseminated: by his actions and inactions that allowed a narrative that Greene died in a crash that omitted the savage treatment Greene received in custody, he misled in a way that served to impede oversight and investigation of the incident, at least initially for political purposes.


NW LA epicenter of new mapping controversies

The initial reapportioned maps for Congress and the Louisiana state Senate have been filed for the special session for that purpose, and northwest Louisiana has become ground zero for conflict over potential changes for each.

For Congress, not much would change. Because of population loss, the existing District 4 and 5 will edge a bit more south, and marginal boundary changes accrue to the remainder. These come from a couple of bills, which don’t differ much, filed by the Republican leadership of the Senate and House.

These will prevail over alternatives fronted by Senate Democrats not only because of the large GOP majorities in each chamber, but also because those plans have serious questions concerning their constitutionality since they draw districts with race as the predominant factor, both featuring a meandering majority-minority district that slices off black population from five metropolitan areas, in the process splitting four among two and Baton Rouge among three districts (they also have wider population variances than the courts might accept).


Impeach Edwards for misleading on Greene death

We now know what he knew and when he knew it. And that makes appropriate the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Several times this space (most recently), as well as its author over the airwaves, has asked what did Edwards know about the events leading to the death of black motorist Ronald Greene. Courtesy of an Associated Press investigation, the answer is almost immediately and enough.

Greene died after a high-speed chase by Louisiana State Police ended with a low-impact crash, whereupon troopers apprehended him from the vehicle, constricted him by restraint, and, as an impartial autopsy (in lieu of one influenced by misinformation provided by the LSP) revealed, beat him to death. That was in the early morning hours of May 10, 2019, when Edwards was a half-year out from trying to win reelection.


BC should embrace SporTran Barksdale extension

After a “listening session” earlier this month about extending SporTran service into south Bossier City, recent agendas of the City Council suggest it and Republican Mayor Tommy Chandler will let the matter drop. If so, they should rethink that decision.

Late last year, SporTran announced it would create a new route essentially lengthening bus access from the Barksdale Air Force Base main entrance south along Barksdale Blvd. all the way to a turnaround at Parkway High School. At present, routes that traipse though the city allow riders to stop as far east as Louisiana Downs, just north of Interstate 220 at Airline Dr. and Benton Rd., and westerly to Old Bossier City/East Bank/Louisiana Boardwalk, traversing all the main arteries. The routes also connect through downtown Shreveport, the outskirts of Shreveport’s Stoner Hill and Highland neighborhoods, and along Kings Highway and Shreveport-Barksdale Highway.

Adding the proposed Barksdale Blvd. route would allow southern city residents to access seamlessly all of these endpoints in Bossier City, as well as major employers, government agencies, and health care facilities close to the routes in Shreveport (if in a somewhat time-consuming manner). It also could allow for Shreveporters and Bossier Citians north of Barksdale AFB to come into south Bossier City, mainly for employment purposes, and for southern residents easier access to area amenities such as shopping.