MSNBC, a left-wing network that traffics in conspiracy theories while often lamenting conspiracy theories, has broadcast a doozy that unfortunately, in the big picture, could contribute little to improving police-community relations.
One of the Texas Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. to prevent the GOP legislature from passing an election reform measure, claims, without evidence, that his family could be put in danger from rogue or vigilante cops who are somehow freelancing for Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a cringeworthy and seemingly orchestrated exchange, MSNBC host Jonathan Capeheart asked State Rep. Jarvis Johnson about the lawmaker’s concerns over alleged retaliation.
With state troopers or others supposedly ready to pounce, Johnson responded by claiming that his son was in self-imposed lockdown for a week because he usually drives his dad’s car that is apparently equipped with legislative license plates.
“The governor put out the call and he said that he was going to round us up and corral us up and bring us back. And we’ve watched all across this country when there’s a leader that does something like this, that there are people in their party that will take this and run with it…,” Johnson opined.
“And so, my son drives my car, which has state plates. And I just don’t want some rural cop, or some fanatic of the Republican Party that listens to Governor Abbott, as they say they need to bring us back because we’re fugitives. And so I’ve had to say that to my son. Because we do understand, I understand, what relationships are with police officers and black males, and I do know what’s going on with most of the Republican Party, when they want to take the law into their own hands and act as the hero to say, ‘we rounded one up.’
Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions:
“And I don’t want that mistaken identity, and I certainly don’t want my son put in that situation. And so, unfortunately, they don’t understand what me as a black father have to go through. And as I talk to my son almost daily about, make sure you get a ride from someone else. But for a whole week he didn’t even go to work. He couldn’t go out,” Johnson concluded.
Capeheart punctuated the cop-bashing segment with one word: “Wow.”
GOP Gov. Abbott has indeed vowed to arrest the missing lawmakers upon their return to the Lone Star State.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, however, the rules over such potential arrests are vague and far less onerous than Rep. Johnson is implying.
Details are scarce on exactly what such an arrest would look like or to what lengths law enforcement officers may go to take lawmakers into custody….The [House] sergeant-at-arms issues civil warrants, not criminal — meaning that errant lawmakers aren’t charged with a crime for their nonattendance, and thus wouldn’t be taken to jail…a source within the Texas Department of Public Safety said that law enforcement is legally unable to compel lawmakers in violation of House rules to do anything or go anywhere.
The voting reform bill has passed the Texas Senate, but an absence of a quorum because the Democrats are AWOL has stalled it in the lower chamber.
In the meantime, six lawmakers in the Texas delegation, all of whom were apparently fully vaccinated, reportedly have tested positive for COVID-19 while in D.C. and may have spread it to others. The delegation flew to Washington on private jets to meet with national Democrats and were photographed maskless while on board at least one of the planes.
The well-publicized stunt by about 50 or more Texas Democrats is reminiscent of how Wisconsin Democrat lawmakers in 2011 abandoned their legislative work stations and headed to Illinois to block passage of collective bargaining reform. The bill eventually passed, however.
The bill that the GOP is attempting to enact in Texas “would ban 24-hour and late-night voting, prohibit drive-thru voting, add an identification requirement to mail-in ballots, allow partisan poll watchers to move freely in polling places, and create new or stiffer penalties for voter fraud, among other provisions,” the Statesman noted.
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