by C. Mitchell Shaw, The New American:
The past few months since the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police have seen increased anti-police sentiment across the United States. As of July 22, ABC reported, police killings were up 28 percent over last year. Hundreds of officers have been seriously injured by rioters attacking them with clubs, cars, frozen water bottles, fireworks, incendiary devices, bricks, sticks, and more. In Minneapolis, nearly 200 officers, out of 850 officers, have filed paperwork to leave the department, with many claiming post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of repeated 12-hour days of having thugs attack them, and not being able to properly respond because they had nearly no support from elected officials or high-ranking police commanders.
Anti-police sentiment has gone hand-in-hand with violent rioting, looting, destruction of property, a rising death toll including civilians, and calls for defunding, disarming, and disbanding police departments. And while the riots have been consistently described by liberal media and politicians as spontaneous, grassroots responses to systemic police violence and abuse, the reality is that they are part of a deliberate plan to reshape America by force and fear.
Law-enforcement officers have a tough job. On the best of days, the job can be draining and challenging. On the worst of days, it can seem overwhelming. The thin blue line is sometimes thin indeed. The portrayal — by the mainstream media and militant groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter — of law enforcement as an arm of an oppressive, evil, racist system only makes that tough job even tougher. And that is deliberate. (Read more about Black Lives Matter and Antifa, and their goals, in the articles on pages 35 and 40.) The war on local police is a war on America. And though it is now coming to a head, it has been being waged for decades.
But before addressing the anti-police players (and their plays), it seems worthwhile to examine the target of their ire: the men and women in blue who daily risk life and limb to serve and protect.
Vilifying and Dismantling Law Enforcement
This writer has personally known dozens of police officers and sheriff’s deputies throughout his lifetime. Like every other group, while it is true that some in law enforcement may be malicious jerks, the vast majority of them are good, decent men and women who discharge their duties with honor and integrity. I have never personally met a cop who abused his or her power. For the September 21, 2015, issue of The New American — a Special Report on police — this writer profiled five law-enforcement officers from across the country. The article comprising those profiles contains stories of bravery, honor, integrity, kindness, and courtesy.
In that article, I wrote of one officer and his perspective of being a police officer:
Officer Ben Sauriol, who has been at Winneconne [Wisconsin] for 12 of his 15 years in law enforcement, says officers in his area often know as friends and neighbors the people they interact with professionally. They see these people during work hours and during the rest of the week. They go to church with them. They see them at the grocery store. Their kids go to school together. It is important to maintain that “neighborliness” both for the job’s sake and for the community’s sake.
The claim that police as a group are racist is so patently untrue that it is astounding that anyone believes it, let alone condones rioting and violence based on the claim. Even as the anti-police protests and riots continue, we regularly find stories destroying the narrative: An officer in Los Angeles saved a black 11-month-old boy from choking to death at a Black Lives Matter protest; officers put out the flames on a rioter who was set on fire by another rioter’s misdirected Molotov cocktail; most minority citizens, including Hispanics and blacks, say they want more police in their neighborhoods, not less; a poor, out-of-work black woman donated prize money to an injured officer because in the past officers had been so kind to her; multiple Miami-Dade police officers risked their lives to save a dark-skinned teen from committing suicide by jumping from an overpass into oncoming traffic; and many more.
Possibly more revealing as evidence that cops are, by and large, not racist are the facts showing the absurdity of the claim that the greatest danger to a young black man is a police officer. As I indicated in a September 2016 article entitled “Making Black Lives Matter,” crime statistics by University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson showed that as of 2012 (the last year for which those statistics were then available), black men killed other black men at a rate 40 times greater than police officers killed black men. Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012, an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men every year. (Using the Left’s logic, this means blacks hate other blacks and are racist against them.) In that same time frame, an average of 112 black men were killed by police officers — the vast majority of whom were shot while perpetrating violence against an officer or someone else.
And those numbers have not changed for the better in the ensuing years. In June of this year, Heather Mac Donald — author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe — addressed up-to-date crime statistics in an interview with Tucker Carlson of FOX News. She said that “a police officer is 18 and a half times more likely to be murdered by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be murdered by a cop.” In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, Mac Donald wrote that the Washington Post’s database on police shootings shows that “police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019.” And those numbers are “down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015.” In total, as Mac Donald points out in the brief PragerU video entitled “Police Go Where the Crime Is,” in 2019, police killed 235 blacks, out of a total 1,004 police shootings — an astoundingly low total, considering there are 27 deadly-weapons attacks on police per day, nearly 10,000 per year.
And, if anything, the facts show that police are more likely to shoot whites than blacks, though blacks commit more than half the murders in the country and most of the robberies, despite making up only about 13 percent of the population. And since the number of police shootings directly correlates with how often police interact with violent suspects, police do shoot more blacks per capita.
In contrast to left-wing anti-cop pronouncements, the data actually show that cops are a black man’s best friend if he doesn’t want to die. Consider the “Ferguson Effect,” named after the place where young black man Michael Brown was shot and killed while attacking a police officer, leading to riots. Mac Donald pointed out that in the wake of the onset of this effect — when police are hesitant to engage in proactive policing because they are afraid they will be scapegoated for some supposed injustice — “2,000 additional black males [have been since Ferguson] killed because cops backed off of policing.” The single greatest threat to the life of a healthy black man is another healthy black man. And police have been the ones to keep those black-on-black deaths from rising — until now.
As Mac Donald points out in the PragerU video, the main reason that it seems as if police inordinately target minorities for questioning and harassment is because police go where the crime is. For many years, New York City increased welfare spending in that city — as liberals are calling for now to deter black criminals, while also calling for police defunding — but crime rates did not go down. Only when police there began using data-driven policing, going where criminals were most often criminalizing innocent victims — which happened to be in mainly black neighborhoods (where there are mainly black crime victims) — did crime levels in New York drop.
Yet police are commonly vilified, especially in Democrat-controlled cities where mayors and police commissioners have for decades claimed that one of their main law-enforcement functions is focusing on social justice for minorities — ironic. The bad actions of a few rogue police officers have been dubbed typical of behavior of police as a group. Since many officers are minorities and women, such stereotyping cannot be labeled either racist or sexist, but it is definitely hateful, inaccurate, and intentionally negative — the same types of injustice the rioters claim to be against. An example of the blanket labeling is the trending graffiti and social-media hashtag “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bast*rds).
The anti-police accusations continue despite the tallies of police activities that call out the anti-police lies.
Most cops are definitely not racist. The reality is that the only thing all cops have in common is that they are all someone’s father or mother or brother or sister or uncle or aunt, someone’s neighbor, friend, husband, or wife — in short, they are human beings. And wearing a badge does nothing to change that.