Impartial Law Enforcement?

What should have been a week of protest in our nation has been hijacked into riots, vandalism, burglary, looting, assault and murder. What was seeking justice for the life of one individual is now the platform for the extreme socialist fringe agenda. Demands to dramatically rethink, redefine, reshape, defund and even eliminate police departments are all the political rage. With it, local chiefs and sheriffs – politicians with badges – are running scared.  To try to insulate themselves from the criticism and show their “solidarity” with the cause, they are participating in acts of degradation to themselves and their departments before protestors and rioters. This isn’t policing. This is pure virtue signaling by administrators who are willing to throw the men and women of their own departments under the bus to please their political controllers.  It’s pathetic and it will never be enough. 

Most likely you’ve seen images of law enforcement agency heads kneeling, and ordering their officers to kneel, before crowds of protestors. Add to this lying face down for a symbolic eight minutes and 46 seconds and washing the feet of protestors. This they say is meant to show unity for their cause and “ask for forgiveness for their white ancestors enslaving, mistreating and oppressing African Americans”.

What’s the problem with this? Aside from the fact that kneeling is generally perceived as a sign of submission not solidarity, we’ve already heard the cries “IT’S NOT ENOUGH”. No matter what these politicians with badges try to do now, it will never be enough. 

Look at the escalation of demands since the initial protests for justice in the death of Mr. Floyd. Since the arrests of the four officers, the demands now include use of force reform for police departments nationwide, the immediate termination and charging of officers without due process, defunding and eliminating entire police departments, eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement, the end of all “systemic racism” in the nation, removal of all historical symbols of anything or anyone who had anything to do with slavery, as well as affirmative action and slavery reparations. 

As local police chiefs and sheriffs dust off their copies of the previous administration’s President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and try to prove they are as woke as the protestors, local politicians are cutting police budgets promising to redirect the money into social programs or, as in the case of Minneapolis, disband the police department and invest in as of yet defined “community-based public safety programs”. 

Anyone who has studied law enforcement history knows what happens when a police department closes down. The only modern-day example of this is the Montreal (Quebec, Canada) police strike October 7, 1969 in what is known as the Murray-Hill Riot or Montreal’s Night of Terror. In just 16 hours after all police officers in the city walked off the job, six banks were robbed, a hundred stores looted, 12 fires set, at least two people killed and over a million dollars of property damaged. It took the Army and Canadian Mounties being called in to restore order. Keep in mind this is in 1969, long before every thug, terrorist, criminal and rioter carried a way to coordinate with other thugs in their pocket. 

The utopian vision planned to replace modern police departments is a “community-led” public safety program where “an unarmed urgent responder trained in behavioral and mental health comes within 5 minutes” or in response to incidents of rising gun violence “a trauma informed crisis intervention team works with community activists to disarm and deescalate conflicts”.  

What’s really going to happen? It’s already happening in cities ravaged by riots.  Those who can afford private security will be protected by well-armed companies. Gangs will control their own streets and neighborhoods. Businesses will be looted and destroyed. Business owners who own firearms and are willing to stand up to the looters stand a better chance of being able to protect their property but will be seen as provocateurs by the community. Fires will burn out of control as the fire department refuses to act without protection. 

Large and small businesses alike have already announced they will close and leave Minneapolis permanently as they have no confidence in the City to be able to protect them, their business or their employees. As more businesses leave, residents of the city will be unable to get the basic necessities of life like food, medicine or fuel, further depressing the area and thrusting it into more lawlessness. 

With the City of Minneapolis unable to protect them, the residents will appeal to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Police and the National Guard for basic protection. If this is unsuccessful, the federal government will step in with a federal police force, a long-time goal of big government politicians. 

So what should law enforcement agencies do when they are called out to support any group?  That’s the easiest question of all, BE IMPARTIAL!! 

There’s a reason why the symbol of Justice in the country is blindfolded. The blindfold represents impartiality, the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, or other status. In order for law enforcement to be effective, to be seen as fair by all, to be seen as applying the law to everyone in an equal manner, it absolutely must be impartial. 

There should NEVER be a case where you need to pledge support for any group. For true law enforcement professionals, it is ALL LIVES MATTER, period. 

As a former law enforcement officer, I am unapologetically a law enforcement supporter. And I can say without reservation that nobody in the world hates bad cops more than cops themselves. They are a stain on their departments and on society. The vast, Vast, VAST majority of law enforcement perform their sworn duties every day, under the worst conditions possible, admirably and respectfully, and will continue to do so, despite the verbal, physical and political attacks against them.  

In 2016, then Dallas Police Chief David Brown responded to protesters by saying this: “Join us. Become a part of the solution. We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. And we’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we’ll help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.” 

Bob

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Mostly A Protest

One of the most patriotic elements of the American way of life is the ability to protest your own government. So important, the Founding Fathers enshrined the right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with the right to peaceably assemble in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights along with freedom of speech and religion. It is just as critical today to support and defend those who choose to exercise these rights, even if we disagree with their message as the right applies to everyone or it applies to no one.  Yet what we are seeing in the streets of our major cities has nothing to do with protest, with redress of grievances or peaceable assembly.  What we are witnessing is pure agenda driven greed and violence. It does nothing but further drive a wedge into our communities and keep them from working together. But then, isn’t that the point? 

From what I’ve seen, there was an actual peaceful protest in Minneapolis following the release of the video. But that’s where the protests ended, and riots began. The “cause” was taken up by others who have been waiting for the right timing and event to push their agenda. Knowing the emotions of the community were raw, it took very little to spur them into violence.  The rage quickly engulfing and destroying their very own communities, neighbors, friends and families. 

How exactly does looting and burning your neighborhood businesses, the same ones that are owned by and / or employ the people around you help the cause of social justice?  How does  looting a stack of big screen TVs, appliances, cars, clothing, food or cash promote change in the criminal justice system?  How does burning cars and buildings help the community come together for solutions?  How does savagely beating shop owners trying to protect their property or innocent motorists trapped in traffic while rioters swarm the streets help heal your community? How does killing other people help the cause of justice for the person whose name you are rioting in? 

Naturally, there can’t be a national crisis without a political blame game. Big city mayors and governors have been quick to point to out-of-town/out-of-state agitators as being the ones responsible, even as they have been encouraging their own citizens to act out. Blame has been placed on white supremacists, criminal gangs and even drug cartels “trying to take advantage of the chaos”, all without proof on the ground. 

Of course, nobody wants to blame Antifa, even as they claim to be involved and in control. The irony of Antifa is the very same progressive, far left politicians who have supported and protected them, now realize they can’t control them or the violence they bring as they destroy their own cities.

Thank goodness for the media who have been on scene with critical, non-biased reporting. As an example, one on camera report said, “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally unruly” as he stands in the middle of a riot with a building burning behind him. The press has also been quick to condemn any use of force by law enforcement even as they demand more be done to quell the violence and officers are assaulted and literally dragged through the streets. Politicians have also blamed people who have been forced to defend themselves, since law enforcement is unable or unwilling to help them right now, for instigating more violence.  

Personally, I am disgusted at the actions of people who choose to riot in the name of justice. But I’m more disappointed the people are so easily lead into senseless, random violence believing that this is the way to achieve peace in their community. You can blame outside agitators all you want, but it takes a voluntary conscious decision on the part of those in the community to attack and kill innocent, non-involved bystanders, loot their businesses and burn their buildings to the ground. 

What isn’t being commonly reported are those who have chosen to protect their lives, the lives of their families, and their properties with firearms. As with every day, non-riot life, very few will every have to discharge their firearms, but they are nonetheless effective.  About the last thing in the world any law-abiding firearm owner wants to do is use it against another person. But they all know this is just one step below allowing someone to harm them or their families. 

As for why this has erupted so quickly across the country, sadly I fear it has nothing to do with justice for Mr. Floyd, it has everything to do with politics and power.  Just as the country was beginning to turn the corner from the COVID-19 economic shutdown, this incident – not other earlier ones with equal or greater social and radical injustice – was chosen to ignite the next fire. I’d like to say we as a nation are better than this, but it really appears we are not. Those who wish to fan the fire for their own purposes are still given far too much attention.  

In the meantime, we all need to stay safe. Your safety really is up to you. Nobody is every going to be there to protect you and your family, in times of riot or otherwise. All lives are important, but you are the only one who can, and will, take care of you. 

Bob

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