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Essay On What Veterans Day Means To Me

Essay On What Veterans Day Means To Me

















































The Hollywood Reporter

My Father, Woody Allen, and the Danger of Questions Unasked (Guest Column)

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Despite Dylan Farrow’s damning allegations of sexual abuse, the director of Cannes’ opening film today remains beloved by stars, paid by Amazon and rarely interrogated by media as his son, Ronan Farrow, writes about the culture of acquiescence surrounding his father.

"They're accusations. They're not in the headlines. There's no obligation to mention them." These were the objections from a producer at my network. It was September 2014 and I was preparing to interview a respected journalist about his new biography of Bill Cosby. The book omitted allegations of rape and sexual abuse against the entertainer, and I intended to focus on that omission. That producer was one of several industry veterans to warn me against it. At the time, there was little more than a stalled lawsuit and several women with stories, all publicly discredited by Cosby's PR team. There was no criminal conviction. It was old news. It wasn't news.

So we compromised: I would raise the allegations, but only in a single question late in the interview. And I called the author, reporter to reporter, to let him know what was coming. He seemed startled when I brought it up. I was the first to ask about it, he said. He paused for a long time, then asked if it was really necessary. On air, he said he'd looked into the allegations and they didn't check out.

Today, the number of accusers has risen to 60. The author has apologized. And reporters covering Cosby have been forced to examine decades of omissions, of questions unasked, stories untold. I am one of those reporters — I'm ashamed of that interview.

Some reporters have drawn connections between the press' grudging evolution on Cosby and a painful chapter in my own family's history. It was shortly before the Cosby story exploded anew that my sister Dylan Farrow wrote about her own experiences — alleging that our father, Woody Allen, had "groomed" her with inappropriate touching as a young girl and sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old.

Being in the media as my sister's story made headlines, and Woody Allen's PR engine revved into action, gave me a window into just how potent the pressure can be to take the easy way out. Every day, colleagues at news organizations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen's powerful publicist, who had years earlier orchestrated a robust publicity campaign to validate my father's sexual relationship with another one of my siblings. Those emails featured talking points ready-made to be converted into stories, complete with validators on offer — therapists, lawyers, friends, anyone willing to label a young woman confronting a powerful man as crazy, coached, vindictive. At first, they linked to blogs, then to high-profile outlets repeating the talking points — a self-perpetuating spin machine.

The open CC list on those emails revealed reporters at every major outlet with whom that publicist shared relationships — and mutual benefit, given her firm's starry client list, from Will Smith to Meryl Streep. Reporters on the receiving end of this kind of PR blitz have to wonder if deviating from the talking points might jeopardize their access to all the other A-list clients.

In fact, when my sister first decided to speak out, she had gone to multiple newspapers — most wouldn't touch her story. An editor at the Los Angeles Times sought to publish her letter with an accompanying, deeply fact-checked timeline of events, but his bosses killed it before it ran. The editor called me, distraught, since I'd written for them in the past. There were too many relationships at stake. It was too hot for them. He fought hard for it. (Reached by The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Times said the decision not to publish was made by the Opinion editors.)

When The New York Times ultimately ran my sister's story in 2014, it gave her 936 words online, embedded in an article with careful caveats. Nicholas Kristof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and advocate for victims of sexual abuse, put it on his blog .

Soon afterward, the Times gave her alleged attacker twice the space — and prime position in the print edition, with no caveats or surrounding context. It was a stark reminder of how differently our press treats vulnerable accusers and powerful men who stand accused.

Perhaps I succumbed to that pressure myself. I had worked hard to distance myself from my painfully public family history and wanted my work to stand on its own. So I had avoided commenting on my sister's allegations for years and, when cornered, cultivated distance, limiting my response to the occasional line on Twitter. My sister's decision to step forward came shortly after I began work on a book and a television series. It was the last association I wanted. Initially, I begged my sister not to go public again and to avoid speaking to reporters about it. I'm ashamed of that, too. With sexual assault, anything's easier than facing it in full, saying all of it, facing all of the consequences. Even now, I hesitated before agreeing to The Hollywood Reporter 's invitation to write this piece, knowing it could trigger another round of character assassination against my sister, my mother or me.

But when Dylan explained her agony in the wake of powerful voices sweeping aside her allegations, the press often willing to be taken along for the ride, and the fears she held for young girls potentially being exposed to a predator — I ultimately knew she was right. I began to speak about her more openly, particularly on social media. And I began to look carefully at my own decisions in covering sexual assault stories.

I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her, and, even at 5 years old, was troubled by our father's strange behavior around her: climbing into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to suck his thumb — behavior that had prompted him to enter into therapy focused on his inappropriate conduct with children prior to the allegations.

Allen with Farrow (then known as Satchel) in 1994, after the director lost his custody battle with ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow.

But more importantly, I've approached the case as an attorney and a reporter, and found her allegations to be credible. The facts are persuasive and well documented. I won't list them again here, but most have been meticulously reported by journalist Maureen Orth in Vanity Fair . The only final legal disposition is a custody ruling that found Woody Allen's behavior "grossly inappropriate" and stressed that "measures must be taken to protect [Dylan]."

On May 4, The Hollywood Reporter published a cover interview with Woody Allen. quirky auteur. To me it is a sterling example of how not to talk about sexual assault. Dylan's allegations are never raised in the interview and receive only a parenthetical mention — an inaccurate reference to charges being "dropped." THR later issued a correction: "not pursued."

The correction points to what makes Allen, Cosby and other powerful men so difficult to cover. The allegations were never backed by a criminal conviction. This is important. It should always be noted. But it is not an excuse for the press to silence victims, to never interrogate allegations. Indeed, it makes our role more important when the legal system so often fails the vulnerable as they face off against the powerful.

Here is exactly what charges not being pursued looked like in my sister's case in 1993: The prosecutor met with my mother and sister. Dylan already was deeply traumatized — by the assault and the subsequent legal battle that forced her to repeat the story over and over again. (And she did tell her story repeatedly, without inconsistency, despite the emotional toll it took on her.) The longer that battle, the more grotesque the media circus surrounding my family grew. My mother and the prosecutor decided not to subject my sister to more years of mayhem. In a rare step, the prosecutor announced publicly that he had "probable cause" to prosecute Allen, and attributed the decision not to do so to "the fragility of the child victim."

My mother still feels it was the only choice she could make to protect her daughter. But it is ironic: My mother's decision to place Dylan's well-being above all else became a means for Woody Allen to smear them both.

Farrow with his mother, Mia Farrow, at the Time 100 Gala in April 2015.

Very often, women with allegations do not or cannot bring charges. Very often, those who do come forward pay dearly, facing off against a justice system and a culture designed to take them to pieces. A reporter's role isn't to carry water for those women. But it is our obligation to include the facts, and to take them seriously. Sometimes, we're the only ones who can play that role.

Confronting a subject with allegations from women or children, not backed by a simple, dispositive legal ruling is hard. It means having those tough newsroom conversations, making the case for burning bridges with powerful public figures. It means going up against angry fans and angry publicists.

There are more reporters than ever showing that courage, and more outlets supporting them. Many are of a new generation, freed from the years of access journalism that can accrete around older publications. BuzzFeed has done pioneering reporting on recent Hollywood sexual assault stories. It was Gawker that asked why allegations against Bill Cosby weren't taken more seriously. And it is heartening that The Hollywood Reporter asked me to write this response. Things are changing.

But the old-school media's slow evolution has helped to create a culture of impunity and silence. Amazon paid millions to work with Woody Allen, bankrolling a new series and film. Actors, including some I admire greatly, continue to line up to star in his movies. "It's not personal," one once told me. But it hurts my sister every time one of her heroes like Louis C.K. or a star her age, like Miley Cyrus, works with Woody Allen. Personal is exactly what it is — for my sister, and for women everywhere with allegations of sexual assault that have never been vindicated by a conviction.

Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red-carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister). He'll have his stars at his side — Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won't ask them the tough questions. It's not the time, it's not the place, it's just not done.

That kind of silence isn't just wrong. It's dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it's not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we'll overlook, who we'll ignore, who matters and who doesn't.

We are witnessing a sea change in how we talk about sexual assault and abuse. But there is more work to do to build a culture where women like my sister are no longer treated as if they are invisible. It's time to ask some hard questions.

Farrow's investigative reporting series, "Undercovered With Ronan Farrow," airs on NBC's 'Today.'

A version of this story first appeared in the May 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe .

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The Atlantic

In this photo from 1997, people identified as «Supermodels Vendela (L), Antonio Sabato, and Kathy Ireland» at a Superbowl promo. Reuters

Today in Vanity Fair. its editor Graydon Carter, who in his Spy days with Kurt Andersen originated the idea of Donald Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian,” has a stinging essay about Trump as the modern incarnation of The Ugly American.

A central episode in this story involves the White House Correspondents Association dinner in 1993. Carter says that to its table Vanity Fair had invited, among others, Donald Trump as “novelty guest” and Vendela Kirsebom, a Swedish woman then generally known as “Supermodel Vendela.” Over to Carter:

I sat Trump beside Vendela, thinking that she would get a kick out of him. This was not the case. After 45 minutes she came over to my table, almost in tears, and pleaded with me to move her. It seems that Trump had spent his entire time with her assaying the “tits” and legs of the other female guests and asking how they measured up to those of other women, including his wife. “He is,” she told me, in words that seemed familiar, “the most vulgar man I have ever met.”

OK, that’s part of the story. Here’s the rest, which explains something I have wondered about lo these past 23 years:

Back in 1993, TheAtlantic had not really gotten into the “inviting celebrities and oddballs” practice that has become standard for the White House Correspondents dinner. Nor have we since then! Come to us for policy discussions with your standard assistant-secretary-for-planning. And at the time I was still just gathering bile for my version of correspondents dinner delenda est about the annual spectacles in my book Breaking the News , which came out three years later.

So I was there in 1993, talking policy with someone at our table, when I turned to my right and saw—Supermodel Vendela! I knew who she was because, among other things, she had been the actual cover model for the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue three months before. And now she had appeared out of nowhere to be sitting at The Atlantic ’s table!

At the time, I attributed this to the magazine’s trademark combination of serious “breaking ideas” coverage with pop-culture flair. Those Scandinavians! Even the supermodels were serious readers and couldn’t resist.

But now I learn that I have Donald Trump to thank from the start. In fleeing the table of “the most vulgar man I’ve ever met,” she had ended up with … me!

I don’t know whether this makes me feel better, or worse. Actually I do: worse. But until today I had thought that I had only one reason to feel grateful to Donald Trump: for his creation of The Apprentice, which allowed me to do an Atlantic piece about its Chinese knock-off version Win in China ! Now it turns out I have another. I’ll never forget that evening’s conversation about Scandinavia’s lessons on improving American health care. And it never would have happened without Donald Trump.

“Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in a famous dissent. Donald Trump begs to differ. (Wikimedia Commons)

After Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, he was asked on Fox News about his views on NATO and other American alliances. He gave his familiar “they’re freeloaders ” answer:

The fact is we are protecting so many countries that are not paying for the protection. When a country isn’t paying us and these are countries in some cases in most cases that have the ability to pay, and they are not paying because nobody is asking….

We’re protecting all of these countries. They have an agreement to reimburse us and pay us and they are not doing it and if they are not going to do that. We have to seriously rethink at least those countries. It’s very unfair.

This has of course been a repeated theme in his speeches and interviews. Another example: after the Democratic convention, Trump told John Dickerson on Face the Nation . “I want these countries to pay for protection”—“these countries” being the usual range of U.S. allies.

On Monday night, in his debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump essentially acknowledged that he might not be paying any federal tax himself. Here was the remarkable passage:

CLINTON: Maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

That makes me smart. Among the several hundred people watching the debate at the site where I saw it, there was an audible gasp at this line.

Everyone tries to minimize taxes. But not many “normal” people manage to avoid them altogether, or even contemplate doing so. Most Americans, regardless of politics, resent the rigged nature of our public systems and look for ways to corner-cut annoying obligations (“Yeah, yeah, juries are really important, but I’d just as soon not get picked”). But most still recognize some basic obligations we all bear—school taxes even if we don’t have children, paying for highways or emergency relief even in places where we don’t live—to keep the system going as a whole.

You might call this mutual burden-sharing part of Making America Great Again. You could call it “the price we pay for civilization,” if you were Oliver Wendell Holmes. Or “paying for protection,” if you were Donald Trump.

I’m not sure Trump would recognize any tension between his own outraged demand that allies start paying their way, and his reflexive response that “it makes me smart” for him to avoid paying his own way. And I realize that his committed supporters might embrace both sentiments at the same time: Those foreigners are screwing us! And, at least one shrewd guy figured out how to keep the IRS from screwing him!

But I can imagine this staying on as a reminder of the gap between Donald Trump’s economic/civic role in society, and that of most of his supporters. It was one of several related moments in the debate—significantly, all of them coming in unprompted responses rather than the usual lines from his speeches:

  • After Clinton pointed out Trump’s long record of lawsuits from contractors he had not paid, or had underpaid, he said: “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work.” That is, he viewed these transactions from the vantage point of the hard-to-please employer rather than the perhaps living paycheck-to-paycheck employee.
  • When asked by Clinton about his own start in life, he said, “My father gave me a very small loan in 1975.” No one can feel sorry for Hillary Clinton in her current economic circumstances. But she did put this “small” loan in perspective: “He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father, and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we’ll be and that everything will work out from there.”
  • When asked about his pre-financial crash comment that he “sort of hoped” for a collapse of housing values, so he could buy up distressed properties, he said “That’s called business, by the way .” That’s a kind of business, but not necessarily the way we like to think of businesses. It’s the business ethic of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life or Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. It’s not the way any of the country’s really richest people, from Warren Buffett to Bill and Melinda Gates to Michael Bloomberg, would talk—or, significantly, would want to be remembered.

Will any of this matter? Of course I don’t know. Objectively, any one of these comments seems as potentially powerful as Mitt Romney’s “47 percent.” (As Thomas Friedman put it today in the NYT. “How do we put in the Oval Office a man who boasts that he tries to pay zero federal taxes but then complains that our airports and roads are falling apart and there is not enough money for our veterans?”) This year, all bets are off.

But think of this political calculation: the people who like Trump’s style and approach are already with him. But so far there don’t seem to be enough of them to produce 270 electoral votes. To win the election, Trump needs to attract new support from groups where he currently trails—notably women, Latinos, African Americans, young voters, and highly educated voters. Will these comments and this tone broaden Trump’s appeal among these groups? That’s the question for Trump and the country, with 40 days and a few hours to go.

Related bonus reading:

Michael Gerson, former GW Bush speechwriter, in the WaPo :

Trump’s defenders will charge his critics with elitism. The great public, it is argued, gets Trump in a way that the commenting class does not. But this claim is now fully exposed. The expectation of rationality is not elitism. Coherence is not elitism. Knowledge is not elitism. Honoring character is not elitism. And those who claim this are debasing themselves, their party and their country.

Michiko Kakutani, in a remarkable and pointed NYT review of a new Hitler biography by Volker Ullrich. Illustrative sample:

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

No, Not Gary Johnson

The Libertarian candidate puts a likable face on a deeply troubling economic policy.

On September 30, the Chicago Tribune awarded its presidential endorsement to the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a political cypher who is polling around 8 percent in national polls, which would translate to about 10 million votes in November. Johnson’s support is particularly high among young people. According to a recent George Washington University Battleground poll. Johnson draws 18 percent of Millennials, nearly as much as Donald Trump (26 percent) and more than a third of Hillary Clinton’s support (46 percent).

Johnson’s chief advantage in this election is the possession of a surname that isn’t Trump or Clinton. The two major parties are now led by the two most unpopular major-party candidates in modern history. The cases against Clinton and Trump are well known, but the case for Johnson requires, well, a case for Johnson. And on this score, the third-party candidate has done little to distinguish himself—and quite enough to establish that, at least in this contest, America’s third-party lockout doesn’t deserve its historic breakthrough in five weeks.

  • Chris Keane / Randall Hill / Reuters / Scott Olson / Getty / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

    Which Republicans Oppose Donald Trump? A Cheat Sheet

    Old Clinton adversary Michael Chertoff has decided to support her, while Michael Reagan is having third thoughts about Trump.

    If you’d said in May 2015 that both Michael Chertoff and Michael Reagan would come out strong against the Republican nominee in October 2016, you’d have been laughed out of the room.

    But you also would have gotten the last laugh. On Monday, Chertoff, a veteran Republican who served as secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, announced he is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

    “Trump’s sense of loyalties are misplaced,” he told Eli Lake. “Some of our NATO allies sent troops overseas, at the same time he is defending Russia and trying to dismiss what is widely acknowledged to be Russian intrusions into the databases of our political parties and political figures.”

    Clinton has been courting Republican national-security figures like Chertoff, but his defection is notable not only because of his long history in the GOP. Back in the 1990s, Chertoff was the lead Republican counsel who led the Whitewater investigation, the first of (now) many inquiries into Hillary Clinton over the decades. She didn’t forget: While in the Senate, she voted against his appointment to lead a division of the Department of Justice, and again against his nomination as a federal judge—the only nay. Now, bygones are bygones.

    The New Culture War in Israel

    How politics infects the country’s art scene

    TEL AVIV—By August it had become a familiar scene: A woman standing on a Mediterranean beach is stopped by authorities, who proceed to ask her to change her clothes lest she offend her fellow beachgoers. Except this wasn’t France, where several municipalities recently tried to ban the burkini, a full-body swimsuit worn by some conservative Muslim women, but Israel. And the woman, singer and former reality-show star Hanna Goor, who was in town for a music festival in nearby Ashdod, wasn’t being asked by authorities to remove a burkini. Quite the opposite.

    The festival organizers wanted Goor, who was wearing a bikini, to cover her upper torso to avoid offending religious visitors at the event. Days later, the incident prompted the Israeli culture ministry to begin drafting “modesty guidelines” for performers. These guidelines would bar similarly revealing dress at future events. While they have yet to be issued, they’re already making an impact: On September 10, a Tel Aviv dance troupe decided to remove a topless scene from their latest act, a “modern folk dance” performance, just one day before its premiere. Brief nudity would have been uncontroversial in liberal Tel Aviv, but the theater feared running afoul of the culture ministry, which provides it with funding.

    Neither Trump nor Clinton Is the End of the Republic

    Diagnosing the republic as dead, a writer at the Claremont Institute takes another step toward giving up on its core project.

    Abraham Lincoln concluded his first inaugural address with a hopeful message. “We are not enemies, but friends,” he declared. “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

    Weeks later the Civil War began. Roughly 620,000 Americans died in that conflict. New York City burned for four days of draft riots and looting. General Sherman burned his way through Georgia to the sea. African Americans won emancipation, only to be terrorized, assaulted, and subjugated for another century. In spite of it all, the Union survived, the better angels of human nature reasserted themselves here and there, and bonds of civic friendship were repaired.

    How to Email

    An etiquette update: Brevity is the highest virtue.

    I recently cut the amount of time I spent on email by almost half, and I think a lot of people could do the same.

    I’m sure my approach has made some people hate me, because I come off curt. But if everyone thought about email in the same way, what I’m suggesting wouldn’t be rude. Here are the basic guidelines that are working for me and, so, I propose for all of the world to adopt immediately:

    Best? Cheers? Thanks?

    None of the above. You can write your name if it feels too naked or abrupt not to have something down there. But it shouldn’t, and it wouldn’t if it were the norm.

    Don’t waste time considering if “Dear,” or “Hey” or “[name]!” is appropriate. Just get right into it. Write the recipient’s name if you must. But most people already know their names. Like they already know your name.

    The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet

    New York’s attorney general has ordered the Trump Foundation to quit raising money, saying it is violating state law by doing so.

    The problem with telling people to follow the money is they just might take you up on it. Donald Trump’s campaign has adopted that mantra in reference to the Clinton Foundation, but it applies to him in uncomfortable ways, too.

    On Friday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. instructing it that its fundraising was in violation of the law and that it must stop immediately. Last week, The Washington Post reported that the foundation did not have the requisite permission and oversight to raise more than $25,000. Despite lacking the legal right to do so, the charity has brought in millions of dollars in donations over the years.

    In a statement. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks questioned the motives of Schneiderman, a Democrat, but said the foundation would cease fundraising.

    What Bill Clinton Meant When He Called Obamacare ‘Crazy’

    Explaining the “explainer-in-chief”: The former president offers a diagnosis and a prescription for the Affordable Care Act that is in line with the White House.

    Bill Clinton on Monday referred to Obamacare as “a crazy system” and “the craziest thing in the world” for people who earn too much money to receive federal insurance subsidies but not enough to afford rising premiums.

    Republicans gleefully accepted the comments as a political gift. “See, everyone? Bill Clinton thinks it’s crazy too!” It was, in their view, a Kinsley gaffe from President Obama’s “explainer-in-chief” validating criticisms they’ve been leveling at the law since its inception.

    Yet when read in full, Clinton’s comments are not that far off the message that Obama and Hillary Clinton have been sending about the law for several months. No, Obama surely wouldn’t want anyone, let alone a former president, to call his signature domestic policy achievement “crazy.” But in an interview with New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, the president said that while he believed the law had been “a huge success,” it also had “real problems.”

    2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    National Geographic Magazine has opened its annual photo contest. with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 4.

    National Geographic Magazine has opened its annual photo contest. with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 4. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galapagos Islands. The kind folks at National Geographic were once more kind enough to let me choose among the contest entries so far for display here. The captions below were written by the individual photographers.

    Alcohol as Escape From Perfectionism

    Perfect has been the way to be for several generations of women. I don’t remember my grandmothers suffering from this syndrome: women who raised families during the Depression, who baked and gardened and read well; who were fundamentally happy, and felt no pressure to look like stick figures. But those Mad Men years took their toll.

    Racing in from a long day at the office, an evening of cooking and homework ahead, my first instinct is to go to the fridge or the cupboard and pop a cork. It soothes the transition from day to night. Chopping, dicing, sipping wine: It’s a common modern ritual.

    For years it was me at the cutting board, a glass of chilled white at my side. And for years this habit was harmless—or it seemed that way. My house wine was Santa Margherita, a pale straw-blond Italian pinot grigio. There was always a bottle in my fridge, and I’d often pour a second glass before dinner, with seeming impunity.

    The Cops Who Discussed Whether to Hit a Black Man With Their Car

    “I’m going to hit him,” one Sacramento officer says as the car approaches Joseph Mann. “Go for it,” the other officer says.

    NEWS BRIEF Sacramento police have released the audio from dashboard-camera footage showing officers chasing a black man with their car, then discussing whether they should swerve to hit him.

    The video captured the death of Joseph Mann, who officers shot 14 times in July after they received a 911 call that he was acting erratically. The video was released in September 20, but a version with enhanced audio published by The Sacramento Bee over the weekend has upset activists, city council members, and others. In the latest version, officers can be heard discussing whether they should use their car to hit the man as they arrive on scene.

    A 911 caller had reported Mann had a gun or a knife and was walking down a busy street on July 11. Police responded and tailed Mann for several blocks as he ignored their repeated orders to stop. “Fuck this guy,” one officer says. When Mann then comes into view an officer says, “I’m going to hit him.”


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