(Fred Weinberg) – I’m not a fan of police overreach. Anybody who reads this space regularly knows that.
That said, I think the so-called “black lives matter” movement is pure and unadulterated bullshit.
No other word will suffice.
Let’s be clear. Not every time a white cop shoots a black person is murder. In fact, the statistics will show that most of the time, the decedent is just that—not a victim. He or she brought it on themselves.
I’m not talking about ticky tacky traffic stops or police misbehavior. I’m talking about exactly what got Michael Brown killed a year ago in Ferguson, Missouri. It has become pretty clear that was NOT a case of police overreach but a situation where an officer felt in genuine fear of his life and responded in kind.
There is no excuse, however, for what the Department of Justice found in their review of exactly why there was so little trust in the Ferguson Police Department which was that there was a clear pattern of stacking traffic tickets on black citizens like payday loans to raise money.
As we have said before, the way you solve that sort of problem is not by letting the Al Sharptons of the world incite violence. You organize, go to the polls and use your majority to throw the bums out.
That is eventually what happened in Ferguson and, just recently, the NEW municipal judge threw out every traffic warrant that was issued before 2015.
None of that excused Michael Brown’s actions nor the actions of the thugs who came in after he was killed—and returned on the first anniversary.
o we have bad cops in the United States? You bet we do. There are around 900,000 sworn officers in the United States. If only 1 per cent of them are bad that’s 9,000. It’s an astounding number of potential life and death incidents.
But open warfare against police under the rubric that “black lives matter” as if no others matter as much is exactly the kind of thing which will be very destructive and the wise among us (whoever that may turn out to be) need to reject that sort of nonsense as soon as someone starts spewing it.
The killing of a Harris County deputy last week, the gunning down of the two New York officers last year—in fact any such act—is wholly unacceptable. Every bit as unacceptable as the police involved shooting in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Here’s the problem:
Law enforcement has to make the first move. They didn’t lose their standing in the community overnight and it will take a concerted effort for them to become the good guys in everyone’s view again.
Over the years, many members of the law enforcement community have developed an “us vs. them” mentality which goes a long way towards alienating communities of every color. We need to get cops out of the collection agency business. And the use of fines and fees to finance the system has to stop.
Nothing loses a police force credibility as fast as the feeling amongst the community that there are ticket quotas and a different attitude towards minorities.
The most recent example came from Dayton, Ohio where an officer on video told a driver he pulled over that he stopped him because he made “direct eye contact” with the officer. The video made CNN and CBS and the city of Dayton said that was NOT a legitimate reason for stopping someone. But it happened, nonetheless.
The fact is that law enforcement is a tough job. It’s made tougher by legislatures and prosecutors who campaign on “law and order” but leave justice out of the equation. And it’s turned into a powder keg by both bad attitudes and a small minority of bad cops which is big enough to give rise to enough incidents that there is almost always something to cover for the media.
On the other hand, it’s going to take an effort from the law enforcement community if the credibility the police had when my generation was growing up is ever going to return.
It may be easy for them to say it’s not their fault, but they are the only ones who can fix things and that fix doesn’t necessarily have to include going soft on crime.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.