The movie White House Down came out in 2013. It focused on terrorists seizing control of the most famous residence in the world. Fortunately, it was fictitious. What happened in Scottsdale last night as its house collapsed was anything but.
Why has it unnerved and angered so many in the city?
Because government failed, so obviously, at its most important function. Arrogance. Lack of planning. Lack of imagination. Lack of hustle. Lack of courage. There could be and are many reasons. The people know it. But the police – and some politicians – don’t.
To listen to the Scottsdale PD press conference today was pathetic. No apologies. No insight. No confidence building measures.
The so-called strategy to allow the city center to be looted to supposedly provide an off-ramp to criminals who might otherwise migrate to nearby residential neighborhoods is Monday morning spin. Nothing more. Department spokespersons last night were embarrassingly bad. They were no better today, even citing intelligence from “interns.”
What PD doesn’t get is they allowed rioters a victory. A big one. This will only beget more violence and more loss. They allowed the community’s Citadel – Scottsdale Fashion Square – to be ransacked without interruption and consequence.
It’s not only a blow to civic psyche, it is devastating to area small businesses who were already on their financial backs and now face a weeklong curfew.
It didn’t have to be this way. Scottsdale PD rejected help before the riots from state and other area municipalities. Rather than have the resources to stand its ground and say not on our watch, not tonight – it laid down, letting down the very people they are supposed to protect.
What is the citizenry supposed to now do when its government cannot protect it? What are the people supposed to do when so many and too many businesses were recently locked down over the past months yet government cannot and will not do anything to protect these patriots as they try to salvage their businesses? Anyone not moved by Scottsdale property owner Janet Wilson today alongside Old Town resident and business owner Bill Crawford at their press conference has little heart, or head.
None of this is meant to discredit the rightful frustration in the national African American community and many others over the death of George Floyd. Nor is it meant to excuse a President who is letting America burn because he believes it is serving his own political self-interest rather than attempting to gain justice and healing for our collective, best possible future.
Last night and as reported by Channel 12 a courageous Scottsdale jewelry store stared down the mob with a strong display of its Second Amendment rights. We can be grateful no violence occurred but how long will that last in Scottsdale or otherwise, if government cannot keep the peace?
It is OK to ask for help Scottsdale. That’s what true leaders do. But that’s not what was done last night. Literally, nothing was. Attempting to move the goal posts of success this afternoon when everyone saw the fumbles last night was disheartening and even sickening.
Heads need to roll. The community doesn’t need nor does it deserve a governmental response more akin to Hurricane Katrina’s than help, real help.