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Morning Briefing: A Taser? U.S. Pauses the J&J Vaccine, the ArcLight, and Andrew Yang

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | April 13, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | April 13, 2021 |


Really? She confused her pistol for a Taser? That’s the defense we’re going with? These images from the NYTimes, alone, should put that defense to rest.

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The officer who “mistook” her pistol for a Taser and fatally shot Daunte Wright is Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, and the president of the local police union. She was involved adjacently with another fatal shooting of a Black man two years ago when she arrived first to the scene and “told two officers involved in the shooting to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body cameras and not talk to each other.” For the record, this actually isn’t the first time a shooting was blamed on a Taser/pistol mix-up: It’s happened 11 times since 1999. Most of those cases, however, did not involve fatalities.

Meanwhile, there was a second night of unrest in Minneapolis, where tensions are already running high as the Derek Chauvin trial nears completion (closing arguments are expected next week). If Chauvin is acquitted or even convicted of a lesser charge, I can’t even imagine the hell that will break loose in the Twin Cities and across the country. The fatal shooting of Daunte Wright is just another redwood tree dropped in a city of embers.

— Elsewhere, the United States has paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six people (among 6.8 million) developed blood clots. The pause is out of “an abundance of caution,” but it is worth noting — as I saw somewhere yesterday — that the risk of developing blood clots from the birth control pill is much higher. This is also going to hurt the reputation of that vaccine, and though it is still safe (6 out of 6.8 million), there are a lot of people who will refuse to take it now.

— Speaking of COVID, it’s taken one more casualty. ArcLight Cinemas, a beloved chain of movie theaters in Los Angeles, will permanently close all its locations. Crestfallen film Twitter spent last night trying to persuade wealthy celebrities or even Netflix/Disney/Amazon to save it. We lost our major theater chain a few months ago here in Maine, and it hurt like hell, even though there was virtually no chance we’d ever encounter a celebrity in our theaters. I’m sorry for your loss, Los Angeles. I went to the ArcLight once. My recollection was that it was insanely overpriced and not as nice as I thought it would be, but I dug the mystique.

Yesterday, Texas Senator John Cornyn laughably suggested that Joe Biden was some sort of Manchurian Candidate.

I mention this only because of Press Secretary Jenn Psaki’s phenomenal response (I know it was in last night’s Pajiba Love, but ICYMI):

Finally, Andrew Yang — the current frontrunner for the Democratic primary for mayor of NYC — tweeted this yesterday. It did not go over well. I mean, of all the things going on in NYC and the world, this is where Yang wants to center his attention? What do you think, John Cornyn? Do bad tweets make Yang more qualified to be mayor?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: Getty Images