More than two hours into a Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) became the latest conservative upset about the torn-down-and-removed Columbus statue.
Ingebrigtsen said "at the very least we should demand" that the genocidal colonist's statue be erected again. And you would think that'd be bad enough.
But then Ingebrigtsen, former sheriff of Douglas County, addressed Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, as a fellow lawman. In theory, Ingebrigtsen wanted to ask questions of Langer, whose troopers stood down and watched as the statue was torn from its perch.
First, the senator volunteered a few general observations.
"I'm really saddened about the whole family of law enforcement that I grew up in, and was raised in, is unfortunately on trial, wherever you go now," Ingebrigtsen began.
Observing, a little casually, that the murder of George Floyd was a "horrible incident," Ingebrigtsen said "law enforcement is kind of the front lines of government." (With thinking like that, it's a shame Bill has to be a senator here, in Minnesota, and not, say, East Germany.) He continued:
"Unfortunately, things have gotten carried away, and anarchy and craziness has taken over. And, it's happening all over. I mean, total lawlessness. We got city councils now that are saying to disband police. We're now finding out what that result is turning into -- little kids being shot."
Ingebrigtsen was interrupted by Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), who'd earlier been scolded for accusing Republicans of "politicizing" the hearing.
"Little kids being shot?" Dibble asked. "Who's interjecting politics here? There are police in Minneapolis. No police have been disbanded."
"Mr. Floyd was mentioned here earlier," Ingebrigtsen responded, strangely. "I think it was quite fair to give my comments, and give everybody a little idea as to what's going on here, and who is really on the hot seat here, and why."
According to Ingebrigtsen, city council votes have more of a direct, short-term impact on crime -- specifically, the shooting of children -- than any other factor, including, for example... the actual police. If he actually believes that, it's "quite fair" to offer the comment that before he was a bad senator, Bill Ingebrigtsen may well have been a bad sheriff.
Watch Ingebrigtsen's comments below.