The War on the Cops


The War on the Cops

In all the “wars” that have recently been declared or undeclared, the real ones and the fake ones [on women, for example], it’s the war on police that is the most worrying.
Again, a New York City policeman was fired on at point blank range by an assailant intent on killing cops. Twenty-five year old Brian Moore is the fifth such attack since Dec.1st on what Mayor Fiorello Henry La Guardia first labeled “New York finest” when he cleaned up the organization in the 1930s. Since then, by and large, the New York City police force has managed to avoid the scandals that from time to time have rocked other urban forces.
These outright attacks to kill officers are only part of what is turning into a war on cops. A propaganda campaign in the media has exaggerated every encounter of the police with violent offenders. [Moore’s killer bragged that “{T}hey also call me ‘Hell-Raiser’ on the street.”],. Slogans from the left and mangled statistics are being used to indict the whole of our law and order keeping institutions. And apologists in and out of the black community are ready to offer rationalizations for arson and looting by young offenders.
No one, of course, would maintain that there are no mistakes, even deliberate prejudicial actions on occasion, by the more than 12,500 local police departments in the country with 600,000 uniformed and civilian members.
But the many factors that go into apprehension and arrest of suspects is remarkably absent from much that is written and spoken in this growing criticism of the police. A basic truth that neither the black leadership nor many of the police’s critics want to pass on is the disproportionate level of crime in the African-American population, more often the victims being black themselves. To acknowledge that is neither racist nor illogical. But avoiding a discussion of the continuing deterioration of life in the ghetto is the real subject that should be out in the open and discussed with new proposals for solution.
That is going to take at least three things:
One is not blaming all the recent lamentable killings of young blacks by policemen on the law officers without real and sufficient evidence, arrived at through impartial study. [Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement of an indictment of the Baltimore policemen was an outrageous political statement; in the past, prosecuting attorneys have sought public office on their record, not their rhetoric.]
A second is that we give up the liberal mantra that the problem is inadequate government funding to the blighted areas of the large urban centers. [President Barack Obama’s stimulus law assigned over $1.8 billion to the City of Baltimore with its 622,000 people, and including $26.5 million for crime prevention.]
A third is to assume that staffing local police forces is an automatic solution to problems. [Minorities already account for one in four policemen, far larger than their percentages in the total population.]
One of the solutions being proposed for current problems if the federalization of police activities. No proposal is more bereft common sense. It is the relationship of the police to their local environment which is the most important part of their efficient functioning – and the key to their avoiding an alienation from the public which could produce misunderstanding and police transgressions.
If this war on cops is not met head-on by the forces of reason and authority, an erosion of the whole peacekeeping apparatus and the justice system will spell disaster for this society.
sws-05-04-15

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