According to the November 3, 2021, Times Union, the leadership of the Black Lives Matter group is “ecstatic” over the success of the Democratic candidates in the November city election.
A Grand Jury?
To their credit, they have successfully put the investigation into the death of Daryll Mount into play some eight years following the incident in which he sustained an injury that led to his death. Both James Montagnino, elected as Commissioner of Public Safety, and Ron Kim, elected as Mayor, have publicly committed to calling for Karen Heggen, the Saratoga County District Attorney, to convene a grand jury to investigate Mount’s death.
It is undeniable that the leaders of BLM’s dogged campaign to have the case reinvestigated has had an impact.
Of course, the District Attorney, Karen Heggen, can ignore all this.
Maybe we will finally find out why she apparently ignored the referrals from the New York State Attorney General to review Mount’s injury and death back in 2013.
An Unstable Alliance
An alliance based on a shared enemy is notoriously unstable.
Lexis Figuereo, Alexus Brown, and Samira Sangare attended the election-eve gathering of the Democrats and cheered the results.
The Democratic candidates had successfully gained their support during the campaigns.
A careful analysis of the Democrats they supported suggests that the honeymoon between these people may not last very long.
The following is from the November 3, 2021 article in the Foothills Business Daily:
Montagnino expects to draft a report ready for his first day as commissioner. In it, he plans to outline both what happened and what the various legal concerns may be. He admitted, that he will let people draw their own conclusions on who or what caused the death [JK:My emphasis], but he believes a full report is needed for a community discussion.Foothills Business Daily
Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Sangare have made it crystal clear that as far as they are concerned, the police murdered Darryl Mount. How will they respond to a report by Mr. Montagnino if it fails to support their claim?
In another article, Mr. Montagnino floated that the composition of the police review board may be based on a pool of potential members similar to the selection from a jury pool.
I anticipate that Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Sangare expect that activists such as themselves should be appointed to the civilian review board.
How will they respond if the method for selecting members of the board frustrates their expectations?
I find the BLM alliance with mayor-elect Ron Kim especially odd. In their fervor to defeat Republican Heidi Owen West, they have chosen to ignore the significance of the fact that Ron Kim served as Commissioner of Public Safety for two terms. Conspicuously absent during his tenure was any public discussion of issues of racism or misconduct in the police department.
Is it really plausible that somehow the police department was free of racism and excessive force during his terms but that somehow three years later under his successor, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, the department descended into bigotry and violence?
Overall it is clear that the leadership of BLM credits themselves for being a major factor in the success of the Democrats. That belief has led them to have high expectations about what they deserve from the new administration.
Mr. Figuereo told WAMC radio, “We are definitely looking for reciprocation, for sure. One hand washes the other.”
In the same article, Mr. Figuereo speculated that with the new commissioners that jobs might open up for members of his group.
He told WAMC, “There’s a lot of different positions that are going to be available. We would like them to be opened up to everybody, not just the normal people – Caucasians – of our community.”
It remains to be seen what will happen should the new City Council not meet BLM’s expectations.
It is hard to believe, given the bitter denunciation of the Saratoga Springs Police Department at the BLM demonstrations as being white supremacist murderers, that the recently elected candidates will not also eventually find themselves the targets of BLM’s anger.