Normally, speaking about police brings up one of two emotions: 1) hatred, or 2) pride. Now, it is true there are some in the middle such as myself. I believe in our nation’s police force, and I have also given several donations to the Fraternal Order of Police.
However, I also recognize that though most police officers are good people and worthy of respect, there is a small minority of police officers that are corrupt and malicious. The problems arise when this small minority becomes the de-facto face for all of the nation’s police.
We saw in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other heavy minority cities, how the police officers are being shamed as racists, bigots, and minority killers. The media and people on the left stop just shy of stating they believe cops are gunning down minorities because they are racist, but they imply it all the time. It’s disgusting. Statistical data shows us this is not true. In fact, shootings of African-Americans by police, or any other ethnicity has drastically decreased over the last decade. Unfortunately, due to the capabilities of modern technology, we are led to believe that there is an epidemic of African-Americans being killed by police in this country. You may not like my argument or even agree with me and that’s fine. In fact, I encourage it. I just implore you to do your own research and read the shooting data compiled by the FBI.
What are some of the consequences of blaming the police and making them the scapegoat to a far deeper problem? An increase in violence. We are seeing this right now in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the people affected the most by the violence are the same people in impoverished and violence-infested neighborhoods. No one is saying that police shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions, especially if they abuse their power. If these six officers killed Freddie Grey, then they should be charged and given the appropriate punishment.
On the other hand, there is a difference between justice and a witch-hunt. Justice is not only awarding the appropriate consequence or punishment for an action, but also allowing the accused proper and objective due process, regardless of what the mob wants. This situation, with all due respect to the prosecutor, seems like a witch-hunt. Now, it may indeed come-out that there is enough evidence to prove the six police officers killed Freddie Grey, but acquiescing to mob rule is never an appropriate response.
How did the prosecutor acquiesce to mob rule? Just listen to her statements when she was reading the charges. She did not act like an impartial government official carrying out justice. She sounded akin to someone who was part of the mob and felt their pain. That is not the response a neutral officer of the court should have with anyone. Many of the riot attendee’s also stated that they would not accept a “not guilty” verdict and that justice could only be attained through “guilty” verdict. Does that sound objective? Is that justice? I think not.
Similarly, the Mayor of Baltimore, told the police to stand down during the riots, resulting in the destruction of millions of dollars in property, and over one-hundred police officers were injured. This severely impacts morale for police and in turn impacts the communities. In what way? Police become wary of doing their jobs and how they are perceived. Many will hesitate to take aggressive action, others will take their time arriving to a crime scene, and some, albeit a few, will possibly not even show.
When the police are afraid of retaliation, not only by the community, but by their elected officials, they play it safe and everybody loses, especially the poor. Violence is greater in poor neighborhoods and therefore in greater need of protection by the police.
Whatever your stance on the police, having them around is more preferable than not having them there. They are a deterrent. We are already seeing crime and murder increase in New York city. Mayor Deblasio removed New York’s stop & frisk policy started by Mayor Giuliani (a Republican) and which was continued by Mayor Bloomberg (a Democrat). Why? It worked.
Finally, dozens of shootings and murders are occurring in the city of Baltimore after the riots. There have been 96 homicides just this year alone. Violence has increased 1/3 from this time last year and it doesn’t seem like it will be down any time soon. The police are late in responding or staying away altogether. Is this the right thing to do? Not at all, but it’s reality and understandable.
Unfortunately, the good people living in those neighborhoods are paying the price for the nation-wide narrative against police. Violence against police, especially shootings, have increased 86% this year. Police are human like the rest of us and if they have to choose between survival or protecting others, many will choose survival, especially if the people they are trying to help are making them out to be villains.
All of this to say, police are not above the law and everyone should be held accountable for their actions. However, demonizing police and making them out to be racists and bigots against minorities when that is far from the truth creates a problem for the same minorities living in those violent neighborhoods.
Actions have consequences, America. “For every action, there is an equal (in size) and opposite (in direction) reaction.” -Newton’s Third Law of Motion.