The analogy you need to give credit to here is this…
Here’s how that goes in real life…
Welcome to Gotham.
An interesting fact pattern could be emerging. First is the coming announcement by U.S. Attorney Walt Green, to whom the job of investigating the Alton Sterling shooting fell, that no charges are justified for either of the Baton Rouge Police officers involved in the shooting. That announcement won’t be a surprise, but it will be a touchstone for Broome’s favored constituency to begin making demands now that they’ve won the most recent election.
Broome has promised them in advance a police chief more “sensitive” to the “needs of the community” or some other such nonsense, which amounts to a promise that Baton Rouge’s next police chief will be black. But not just that, because Baton Rouge had a black police chief in Jeff LeDuff, who was outstanding in his commitment to law and order; this will be a police chief who won’t have officers shooting black men on the city’s streets for any reason.
Which is what that constituency loudly declared a preference for amid the Alton Sterling aftermath.
As the WAFB report noted, though, Dabadie has Broome over a barrel. He doesn’t have to resign. He can force her to reassign him, which then could make him something of a shadow police chief and without question a thorn in her side. Or she can try to fire him for cause, which would result in the bulk of her first term as mayor being spent amid a lawsuit, and he’d be an even larger thorn in her side.
Knowing this, she’s going to pay a heavy price either way. That meeting is likely going to consist of Broome asking Dabadie what he wants in return for voluntarily giving up his job, and pressuring him with threats of rioting and discord which will be his fault if he doesn’t quit. Dabadie might, out of a sense of selflessness, agree to fall on the sword in return for a settlement that includes a nice severance and thus bail Broome out.
Or he might not, and then Broome will have a big problem on her hands. She’ll either be going back on a major campaign promise to the people who comprised her support base, and she’ll spend her term attempting to buy them with other goodies that won’t look good to the rest of the electorate, or else she’ll prove to the 24 percent of the white voters in East Baton Rouge who think she’s Kip Holden in a skirt that she’s more like Sharon Rawlings-Blake with a southern accent – and that’s going to be an ugly revelation for a lot of them.
Even if Dabadie does agree to quit, the effect on the BRPD isn’t going to be a good one. Lots of the rank-and-file officers on that force already see Broome as the instrument of the department’s demise and are looking for the exits. BRPD is already understaffed; if Dabadie is asked or made to resign, the attrition in BRPD will accelerate and it will become a much less functional police department. As one public official we talked to yesterday told us, police union muckety-mucks from New Orleans told him that they’re looking at Baton Rouge and predicting BRPD will become indistinguishable from NOPD in terms of its effectiveness and the issues restricting same in short order.
Which means an already-sizable crime problem will get worse, and therefore the need for tough policing in gang-ridden, violent neighborhoods will be larger – without the manpower of departmental will to practice it.
And that’s how you lose a city. That’s how you become Baltimore or Detroit. It’s happening to Baton Rouge right now, almost as though Bane is giving speeches at the city jail announcing the new criminal regime. Not in so dramatic a fashion, mind you, but this isn’t a movie. It’s real life.