• De-policing Does Not Equal Cops Shirking their Duties

    Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest recently referred to so-called “de-policing” as a result of the “Ferguson effect,” as suggested by F.B.I. Director William Comey, in a subjectively negative manner. Earnest said, “The evidence we’ve seen so far doesn’t support the contention that law enforcement officials are somehow shirking their responsibility, and in fact you’ve seen law enforcement leaders across the country indicating that’s not what’s taking place.”

    Well, there’s your first problem, Josh. Your asking law enforcement leaders and not real cops.

    De-policing is taking place. I’ve seen it first hand. I was a victim of it. However, Earnest said he doesn’t believe officers are engaged in some sort of “de-policing” with officers “shirking their responsibility.” This shows that not only is Josh wrong about the phenomenon occurring in law enforcement today, he’s wrong about what de-policing is. Still, the White House has to hold to this position, because to concede it would make it much more difficult to continue to support cop-hating organizations such as Black Lives Matter.

    De-policing is not about police officers shirking their responsibilities; de-policing is about communities shirking their responsibilities to their police officers.

    Just like any other occupation, in law enforcement there are ways to get by and ways to excel. Each employee chooses one of these paths, or some combination, or they lose their jobs—or they should. Employers prefer employees who pursue excellence but they can appreciate a worker who does what the job asks, neither excelling nor falling below the minimum required.

    Most police officers want to excel. Law enforcement is that kind of profession. The vast majority of people enter the profession more as a calling than as merely a job. When political environments make it so an officer is not allowed to excel (such as the current atmosphere Director Comey describes) many officers must devolve from excellent to adequate as a means of self-preservation.

    Officers affected by de-policing will prudently limit their self-initiated police tasks such as traffic stops, other infractions (such as jaywalking, littering, etc.) and stopping suspicious persons. But this does not mean the officer does not respond to 911 calls for service. They also don’t ignore people flagging them down for emergency situations. In the vast majority of incidents, if you call 911, a cop will come to help you.

    Cops are out there performing heroically every day. Traditionally, many have called American law enforcement a thankless profession. In my experience, most times it is and sometimes it isn’t. Today, officers would be happy if law enforcement rose back to the level of thankless. Cops can learn to do their jobs without the thanks but just let them do their jobs.

  • F.B.I Director Comey Knows What Cops are Dealing with and Isn ‘t Afraid to Say So.

    This week, according to the New York Times, during a speech at the University of Chicago Law School, F.B.I. Director James B. Comey told the audience, “the additional scrutiny and criticism of police officers in the wake of highly publicized episodes of police brutality may have led to an increase in violent crime in some cities as officers have become less aggressive.” This is not a direct quote from Director Comey. This is how the Times chose to paraphrase his comments, which is deserving of its own a side-comment.

    First, I should point out that the Times’ declarative statement, when paraphrasing Comey, “…episodes of police brutality…” is not accurate. Many of the cases used by radical police critics to incite ill will toward the police have turned out not to be police brutality but proper police use of force. This was true in Ferguson, Missouri, where Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed robbery suspect Michael Brown after he attacked Wilson and attempted to take the officer’s gun. At the very least, the Times should have employed the objective “uses of force” rather than the conclusive “brutality.” Even adding “alleged” would have been more objective. Now, on to the story.

    Director Comey’s assertion is spot on. While he admits there is not much hard data yet correlating the “chilling affect” on police officers with a rise in crime, anecdotally, his point is well validated by cops working the streets. I know from when I was still an active cop just a short time ago, as well as from my fellow officers who are still on the job, that Comey’s observations are correct. How can this current unwarranted attack on America’s cops’ integrity, including from some of the nation’s top officials, not affect the cop on the beat?

    Think about this: A white officer sees a black person jaywalking across a busy intersection causing cars to have to brake and honk their horns. In the past, an officer, without a much thought, would simply contact the offender and issue a warning or citation. Today, the officer has to consider what if the jaywalker decides to be uncooperative. What if he or she refuses to show identification? What if the situation deteriorates and the jaywalker becomes physical prompting an arrest and the jaywalker resists, and the officer must use force?

    Generally, officers today play these types of scenarios out in their heads before taking action. They know that the media headlines will read: “Man Beaten and Arrested by Police for Jaywalking.” The fact, that the jaywalker had turned into a felon the moment he physically resisted the officer does not matter. Even some city and department leaders will likely also follow this tack. These days, police critics, including some of the cops’ own leaders, believe that any situation that deteriorates into a use-of-force is automatically the officer’s fault.

    The Times article points to some “sharp disagreement” among American law enforcement officials over the credence of the “Ferguson effect” [Officer Darren Wilson lost his job despite having done his job properly—even admirably]. Any law enforcement official that denies this current anti-police environment is having an effect on cops has not been on the streets for a very long time. He or she has not been talking to the rank and file in their departments—or, their cops are afraid to tell them the truth when asked out of fear of retribution for speaking honestly about the damage being done to the cops by the anti-police social justices.

    According to the article, the “top levels” of the Justice Department disagree with Comey’s views. Well, what a surprise—not! The “top levels” of Obama’s Department of Justice are among those most responsible for exacerbating the assault on America’s cops that we’re experiencing today. Comey should be commended for defying the anti-cop juggernaut and lending credibility to an important issue. People need to be reminded that there is almost always a delay between cause and affect in law enforcement trends. However, anyone who puts themselves, honestly, in a cop’s shoes will see that logic dictates that today’s officers have no choice but to consider the ramifications of even the simplest self-initiated enforcement actions.

  • Liberals Give Their Own–IRS–a Pass

    I’ve been thinking about Watergate. Why? Because Democrats give their own a pass no matter how egregious the offense. I wonder what today’s Dems would have thought if Nixon and company had gotten a pass on their corruption and crimes. Or, is it always worse if a Republican does it? What would the Dems have said about and thought of a government that would ignore wrongdoing and protect a high official simply because he or she was on “their” side?

    I think we all know what that would have looked like. They would have been incensed and outraged by such a travesty that would let someone get away with such offenses because of who they are or who they know. Isn’t that a significant part of what is supposed to make our country different from others. Are we a nation of laws or not? Shouldn’t Democrats be concerned about such corruption?

    Of course, they should, but they’re not–unless a Republican does it. It seems liberals are willing to overlook all sorts of corruption as long as their ideology advances. The ends justify the means. We have two preeminent cases (out of many other examples of corruption that have been overlooked—can you say fast and furious?), Benghazi and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Anyone have any doubt whatsoever that had the secretary of state or head of the IRS been Republican in these cases that the media and Department of Justice would have been all over them like stink on… well, you know.

    What are those of us who hold justice in high esteem supposed to do with a government where, if you’re a high official and your timing is right, you can avoid liability and sanctions for policy and law violations just as long as those responsible for investigating you are also Democrats? And these Democrats constantly scream that the police do not enforce the law equitably.

    When this involves non-violent “white collar” violations, that’s bad enough. But the Benghazi catastrophe involved the horrible deaths of four human beings.

    Lois Lerner spat in Americans’ faces and has gotten away with her corruption. However, as repugnant as her violations were, they didn’t involve anyone’s death. Now we have to ask, will Hillary Clinton also get a similar pass on Benghazi and the email scandal?

    The scary thing is we know four Americans died. We know there were some six hundred requests for increased security at the embassy. We know the video cited by Clinton and others in the Obama administration well after they had known the truth did not cause the attack on Benghazi. How do we know? Secretary Clinton’s congressional hearing testimony confirmed it.

    We know the above items occurred for certain. To continue to support Clinton, you have to “accept” that these things happened and decide that it is somehow okay that she did them. Would these Democrats be okay with the government had it given Nixon a pass? Is it okay with them that Nixon’s supporters chose to overlook his corruption–his crimes? Again, I think we know the answer.   

  • Hillary Clinton, Benghazi and The Grinder TV show

    I’m going to insert a bit of pop culture into the Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearings. The other night, I was watching this new show called The Grinder (FOX), starring Rob Lowe, Fred Savage and William Devane.

    Allow me to set the scene a bit, so you’ll understand my allusion. In a nutshell, Rob Lowe is the TV star of a legal drama: The Grinder—sort of a show within a show. Once the show ends, Lowe’s character returns to his hometown of Boise, Idaho where he joins his father and brother’s family law firm. He convinces his brother to allow him to work there even though Lowe is not a lawyer, but just played one on TV.

    In the various legal discussions, Lowe is given leeway, even by lawyers and judges, because he is a good-looking, famous actor. The show is cleverly tongue-in-cheek, and this is where Hillary comes in.

    The scene goes something like this: A lawyer states an obvious fact that everyone in the conference room agrees to be true, such as: “So, we all know that she never did that.” And Lowe interjects, “But, what if she did?” The lawyer repeats, “But, we know she didn’t.” Lowe repeats, “But, what if she did?” The exasperated lawyer says, “What does that mean?”

     

    This scene, generally, put me in mind of Hillary Clinton and congressional hearings, or maybe it’s just me:

    Senator Jefferson Smith: “Secretary Clinton, we know the attack on the embassy had nothing to do with that video.”

    Secretary Clinton: “Yes, Senator Smith. But what if it did?”

    Senator Smith: “But it didn’t.”

    Secretary Clinton: “Yes, I know. But what if it did?”

    Senator Smith: “What does that mean? That doesn’t make any sense.”

    Secretary Clinton: “Or maybe it makes too much sense.”

     

    Or maybe it’s just me.

     

  • Come On, Seattle. Get Your Hawks (Gear) On!

    This blog a little off-topic for me (although there is a small cop connection mentioned below), but where the heck has all the Seahawks gear gone? My wife and I like to take walks in the morning, either at Green Lake or along the Edmonds waterfront. During our walks last Monday and Tuesday, following the Hawks loss to the Panthers (still hurts), I can count on one hand—total for both days—the number of people we saw wearing Seahawks gear.

    So the Hawks are having a bit of a glitch this season. They’re still Seattle’s team. They’re still a great team. Everyone knows of my affinity for Boston sports teams (okay, if you didn’t before, you do now), including the (Super Bowl Champion) New England Patriots (still too soon?). But I also support the Hawks—during the ups and downs. I know that people see the Pats, despite arguable (spite, hate, jealousy, venom…) blemishes, which all teams have, as a successful dynasty over the past fifteen seasons. Believe me, it wasn’t always this way.

    When I was growing up in New England, success and the Patriots were mutually exclusive. The Pats formed as the Boston Patriots the year I was born, 1960. I was twenty-five before they went to their first Super Bowl (and lost), thirty-five for their second Super Bowl (and lost), and forty for their third Super Bowl, which the Patriots finally won. Only after their first win did they go on to the success everyone knows about today.

    But, despite the success over those fifteen years, playing in six Super Bowls, there was a ten-year Super Bowl win drought with two Super Bowl losses. The year before they won their first Ring, 2000, the team went 5-11. The season following the first Super Bowl victory and prior to the second, 2002, the Pats finished the season 9-7, failing to make the playoffs.

    Why am I mucking in the New England sports weeds when discussing the waning of Seahawks support in Seattle? Because Hawks fans need to put their success in perspective like they do in Boston. Sure we can grouse and grumble—and even let loose an occasional: “I WILL NEVER WATCH THAT PIECE OF S#!+! TEAM EVER AGAIN—EVER!” But come on, people. The Seahawks have gone to the Super Bowl two years in a row, won one and very nearly won the other (Whew!). Do you know what a feat it is to repeat going to the NFL Championships? If you do, show it.

    I’m not impressed with fans that wear their teams’ gear only when their teams are winning. It’s those fans that show up at the airport, in a frigid drizzle, to greet a team after a heartbreaking playoff loss that impress me. Or, at least wear their gear the day after a regular season loss. Those are true fans.

    So, after two Super Bowls in a row, the Hawks are making some adjustments. All teams do this. If this weren’t the case, the Cowboys would still be “America’s Team” (No—They’re not!). Yes, it’s frustrating, but that’s a part of sports and what makes winning feel all the more exhilarating. Believe me, as a fan of Boston sports teams, I understand the pain of the losses between the wins. Anyone see the Sox record this season? It was nearly identical to the M’s. And Boston won the World Series just two seasons ago, after having finished in last place the prior season.

    When I was born, the Red Sox were already forty-two years into a World Series drought that would last another forty-four years. Today (well, not literally today) the Red Sox are seen as an elite team boasting a dynamic “Red Sox Nation” following. And this brings me back to my point.

    Having grown up in New England, I loved to go to Fenway Park. But even when I wasn’t there, the love and support for the Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots was pervasive in New England culture. It was hard to go anywhere without seeing someone with one of these team’s logo on an item of clothing, or stickers or pennants.

    In 2011, we went back to Boston for my daughter’s college graduation. As is our custom, since we normally travel there during baseball season, we took in a Sox game at Fenway. In this case, it was early May, and the playoffs were only a distant hope. Still, it was a Wednesday afternoon game, and the ballpark was jammed and electric with Bostonians, other New Englanders and tourists alike. The win was adorned with a Papi homer, a Sweet Caroline 8th inning break, and a classic Jonathan Papelbon close. If you pulled a Rip Van Winkle and woke up at that moment, you’d have sworn this was the playoffs if not the World Series.

    As for the Seahawks, I like living in a Super Bowl town. I appreciate seeing Hawks gear everywhere I go and the excitement that goes with it. As a cop, the single best event I participated in during my career was working the Seahawks Super Bowl parade in Downtown Seattle. I will never forget it. Seattle also has an NBA World Championship under its belt, which makes having lost the Sonics all the more regrettable. And I also like that the Seattle Metropolitans was the first American hockey team to win the Stanley Cup. That makes the World Series trophy the only championship of the “Big Four” sports Seattle has yet to win. Now, it’s way past time for the Mariners to bring a World Series Championship to Seattle (if the Sox don’t win, that is). Although, Ms fans have only been waiting—to Red Sox fans—a mere thirty-eight years. But, the M’s did interview Red Sox great Jason Veritek for their new manager. Hiring Tek, with two Rings, would certainly pique my interest.

    Let’s emphasize my original point: Where has all the Seahawks gear gone? Last night on Facebook my wife saw a photo posted of a “Seahawks” ship sinking. The caption reads: “Meanwhile in Seattle—The S.S. Bandwagon is Being Abandoned.” Sadly, this appears to be true. And at www.bleacherreport.com , Nick Dimengo cites, with regret, he has added the Seattle Seahawks to the “10 Sports Teams Filled with Bandwagon Fans.”

    People have different perspectives when it comes to this topic, of course. I’m speaking generally and anecdotally. Though I don’t think my eyes are lying to me. Come on, Seattle. Get your Hawks (gear) on!!!

  • De-Policing: The Assault Against America’s Cops : Introduction

    De-policing, Political Indoctrination, Social Justice and Community Education

    Too many books written about what cops do—or should do—are written by academic non-cops or former cops for whom the streets have faded long ago. They tend to base their work on behind-a-desk, theoretical hypotheses. This is a book written by a cop who served Seattle for nearly twenty-two years, all of it on the streets. The public deserves to hear from cops who actually do the job. It’s important to note that this is the perspective of one cop. Each cop will have his or her own unique view of police work. However, having been in the profession for over two decades, and having met hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country, I am comfortable that the main emphasis of my points are supported by a majority of America’s patrol officers (street cops), the ones most affected by liberal policies. And for those of my brothers and sisters who hold divergent points of view to mine, I invite you to write your own book.

    There is no shortage of people telling cops how they should do their jobs. Even pro-police supporters often get it wrong. Law enforcement and their jurisdictions have a horrible record educating the public about what cops do and why. For example, recently a pro-cop TV pundit criticized the police for handcuffing Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples during her arrest. The pundit commented that the police didn’t have to handcuff Davis, as she posed no threat. Whether she specifically is or is not a threat is not the point. Police institute policies to protect both prisoners and officers.

    Think about it, what would the media say about cops who handcuff young black males but not middle-aged white females? I think we all know the answer. People, even good, cop-supporting folks, need to understand what cops do and why. In this age, when even the leaders of a supposedly mainstream political party endorse avowed cop-haters, cops don’t need their own supporters’ lack of knowledge to hinder a broader understanding of just what cops face today. Most recently, many cops are encountering a phenomenon called, de-policing.

    So-called de-policing happens when cops cease self-initiated patrol activities, such as investigating suspicious acting individuals, enforcing minor infractions and making traffic stops. Police officers don’t wake up in the morning and decide to “de-police.” Instead, officers restrict themselves to answering 911 dispatched calls out of an instinct for self-preservation. In fact, de-policing isn’t something cops do to their communities. De-policing is something communities do to their cops. De-policing is not about police apathy toward the community. De-policing is about liberal antipathy toward police. Take what former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman says about the issue, “You can’t make cops see what you want them to see.” In other words, enforcement is the cop’s choice.

    You’ve heard the saying, “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” When I first became a cop people asked me how I liked it. I told them being a cop was better than working for a living. Five years later, after I became a field training officer, my student officers would ask me what I thought about police work. “It’s better than working for a living,” I’d still tell them. Going to work was fun, challenging and truly felt like a privilege. There were plenty of cop-haters around but not like today.

    In 1999, following the World Trade Organization (WTO) riots, Seattle’s social justices began their leftist thrust in earnest. Policing began to feel more and more like working for a living. Then, except for a brief respite of broad community support after 9/11, coppin’ became something to endure—to survive—until retirement. Beyond 2004, the last decade of my career, policing was no longer better than working for a living. It became work just to avoid becoming the target of a department internal investigation.

    I retired from law enforcement probably ten years earlier than I otherwise would have, not only because community activists, city and department leaders no longer supported their police officers, but because they had become openly antagonistic toward them. Along with the antagonism came hazards I, as a police officer, never imagined I’d have to face. The blood, guts and violence I expected. Attempts by my city to politically indoctrinate me, I never expected.

    Astonishingly, for the past several years, the city of Seattle has been indoctrinating their cops in leftist political ideology. Today, it’s all about “white privilege” and “minority and gender victimhood.” City leaders demonize and castrate their officers making their jobs as difficult as possible. I don’t know of another profession where more people believe they know better how to do the job than the professionals trained to do it.

    There are always changes affecting police officers. As with other professions, law enforcement training, tactics, technologies and philosophies are always evolving. However, what happens when rather than teaching improved or even experimental law enforcement methods the instructors instead spout political propaganda? Many city governments, including Seattle’s, no longer attempt to cloak their leftist political bias, though they still disguise the training itself—at least a little. The social justices also don’t care that many employees receiving the training are diametrically opposed to the political philosophy being forced on them. If the situation were reversed, the left would never tolerate such an unethical abuse of authority from the right.

    The final impetus to write this book came when Seattle’s social justices savaged me in the media in early 2011, simply for expressing an opposing, widely held, political view. I wrote an article that appeared in the December 2010 issue of the Seattle Police Officers Guild’s newspaper The Guardian. Following its publication, Seattle’s progressive institutions, which included the Mayor, city council members, the city attorney, and the chief of police and liberal mainstream media vilified me.

    For writing an article critical of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), Seattle’s social justices called for my badge, impugned my character, inferred I was racist, intellectually lazy and was, according to my boss, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, “stupid” for writing such an article. I suppose that puts me in good company with my Obama-maligned, “stupidly-acting,” brothers and sisters in the Cambridge Police Department.

    The article, the last in a series of four, went on to garner local and national media attention and dragged me along for an incredible roller coaster ride during which I would learn that even the good guys won’t leap to help an individual in such a situation—if he’s a cop. After the initial onslaught from the left, I was deluged with well wishes from folks all across America who sympathized with my situation. These included luminaries such as, David Horowitz. Horowitz was very kind and publicized my situation in his Front Page magazine. I will be forever grateful for his support.

    To the contrary, the Seattle Police Department, many believe on orders from the Mayor, brought internal charges against me ostensibly for “violating” department policy. Anyone who takes the time to review the pertinent policies finds the accusation laughable. What was the real reason for the charges? You see, officers are not allowed to speak about on-going investigations. What an effective way to squelch any opposition—not to mention free speech. The City of Seattle demonstrated it will violate its officer’s free speech rights any time it feels it needs to. Why not? It worked! This caused what lawyers refer to as a “chilling effect” on officers’ free speech rights, which is still being felt to this day. I know an officer who decided not to write a planned article for The Guardian and a sergeant who actually withdrew an article he’d already submitted in fear of similar retaliation from the department.

    I’m constructing this book by blending common policing subjects with what Seattle’s social justices are doing to police officers in order to implement liberal government’s version of social justice and how it leads to de-policing, which is devastating American law enforcement.

    A few years back, as it has with so many other American police departments, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) came to Seattle and perpetrated a fraud against an excellent police department. They conducted a flimsy investigation, the methodology of which they refused to share with the city, as part of a campaign to federalize local police forces. This blueprint is being employed across the country. I don’t know if they have ever failed to find a “pattern and practice” of police misconduct after their “investigation.”

    Despite the fact that a criminal justice professor conducted his own study and found the DOJ report to be severely flawed, Seattle’s government and police command rolled over and surrendered their officers and citizens to an expensive and unnecessary federal consent decree. Thus, a once nationally respected police department, lauded for its professionalism, ethics and innovation, nearly overnight, degraded into a translucent figure of its former self.

    As a result, officer morale has fallen to nearly non-existent. My friends who are still active often tell me about some of the interesting consequences of the DOJ’s political extortion. These consequences are documented in this book. You’d be well advised to suspend any affinity you have for logic while reading the anecdotes.

    When I decided to retire it had gotten to the point that I was simply not allowed to do the job I’d been trained to do. Instead, it felt as if I were being trained for some liberal circus act having to jump through social justice hoops. Combine that with the social justice proselytization, and it was time for me to go.

    I did not write this book because I am retired. I would have gladly published it while I was active had time and opportunity been more fortuitous. However, I can’t ignore that exercising ones free speech rights can be tricky for law enforcement officers, as I learned the hard way back in 2011. Even before I left the department, I attempted to bring to light an officer’s perspective about what was happening in Seattle. I wanted to provide a voice from one of those directly affected by the changes. The final article I wrote for The Guardian was censored, which shocked me. I wasn’t allowed to publicize a lawsuit brought against the DOJ by over 125 officers.

    In another attempt to provide an officer’s perspective on the issues directly affecting them, I submitted a similar article to the Seattle Times. After thirty-eight days of jumping through the Times’ liberal hoops, cutting the word count, completing several back and forth suggested edits, and citing with footnotes every item they asked for, the Times declined to publish citing “inaccuracies.” I found this humorous coming from such a bastion of accuracy as the Seattle Times. Apparently, I’d placed quotation marks around a couple words meant as sarcasm and had mistakenly written “NPR” instead of “PBS.” Yes. Really. That was it. So, if anyone ever tries to tell you the Seattle Times is interested in presenting various perspectives of an issue, think of these initials: B.S.

    I encourage officers to speak their minds politically but also to keep in mind that police officers have certain special limitations, considerations and responsibilities due to their distinctive role in society. Though there can be ugly consequences to free speech: loss of promotion and special training or desired assignments among them, there come times when officers should and must speak out and if it comes to it say, “I will not comply.” If police officers, who are among America’s guardians of liberty, fail to speak out on behalf of Americans’ constitutional rights, who should?

    One of my missions is to educate the public on some of the basics regarding what cops do and why—and why they deserve the public’s benefit of the doubt. American police departments fail miserably in educating the public about a police officer’s complex job. People also need to know the damage their city’s social justices are doing to their police departments by indoctrinating cops with leftist political ideology disguised as law enforcement training.

    When a high-profile incident splashes into the media, rather than statements about how “uncomfortable” the officer’s use-of-force makes city officials feel, perhaps educating the public on what the officer faced and why he or she acted in such a manner would be more useful. Uses of force rarely look “good,” but sometimes they are unavoidable and need to be explained to the public so officers get the benefit of the doubt they deserve.

                Today, the self-appointed social justices in too many places have embarked upon a sacred mission to replace equal justice, which honors the Constitution, with government-sponsored social justice, which mocks it. Through what I call social justice reeducation day camps, Seattle’s social justices are attempting to indoctrinate police officers in leftist political ideology. They’re not training cops in objectively improved law enforcement techniques or ideas, but in subjective, partisan political nonsense.

    Federal, state, city, county, university and tribal agencies need to teach communities what their cops do and not teach the cops what the social justices feel cops should do. So, since they won’t teach you, I have picked up a few things during my many years on the streets. Perhaps, you’ll allow me to ramble a bit about being a right cop in a left city. I’ve got to know at least as much about law enforcement as some of the leftists who claim to know more about how cops should do their jobs than the cops who actually do it every day.

    As you can see, there are many tangential and intersecting issues that affect police work. You can also see that society, if it leans too far to one political side or another, can damage law enforcement in a community. Again, de-policing isn’t something cops do to their communities; de-policing is something communities do to their cops.

                Now, let’s move on to chapter one and learn a bit about what cops do—and why.  

  • Reasons for Poor Police-Community Relations

    As I see it, there are three primary reasons for the current anti-police sentiment felt across America. (Officers who actually commit crimes also contribute to this, but I feel that is another discussion–not to mention, obvious). Lately, this acrimony has been expressed by some restaurant employees refusing to serve police officers or writing disparaging messages on their coffee cups such as, “FTP” (F**k the Police).

    The first reason is simple: a combination of ignorance and antipathy. There are people who simply do not want to know the truth about police cases where officers are cleared of wrongdoing. They prefer to remain ignorant and angry. They do not like the police, they do not want to like the police, and they do not want anyone else to like the police.

    They buy into myths such as, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” which, according to former Attorney General Eric Holder, who had contributed to trying to paint the officer guilty, never happened. While some police critics may come around as they mature and gain life experience, as a group these people are simply cop-haters—enemies of the police.

    The second reason is when governments pass unnecessary and redundant laws, which are often politically motivated. Most of these types of laws do not address legitimate public safety issues. Whenever government passes a law that doesn’t protect Peter from Paul but protects Peter from his own decisions, a collision course between cops and ordinary citizens has been assured.

    The third reason is caused by police officers themselves. Many, perhaps even most, people can recall a negative contact with a police officer at some time in their lives. Just like most folks can cite a negative experience with an employee at the post office, a restaurant or movie theater. However, negative experiences with police officers tend to remain long after the contact than with other “service providers.” The petty tyrants among police officers can cause a lot of problems for people but also for their fellow cops.

    When dealing with people, I always tried to keep in mind that our interaction set them up for their next meeting with a police officer. If I were rude or unprofessional, people might expect that behavior from the next officer as well.

    I’m not saying that professionally acting officers ignore when people disrespect them. People should be treated in a manner befitting what their behavior has earned them. This third reason results from when officers are rude or unprofessional with people who are being cooperative. Think about it. Do you have a negative story about interacting with the police? I do—a couple of them.

    Of course, having been a cop for so long, I have many more positive contacts that mitigate the few petty tyrants. Unfortunately, the average citizen does not have this advantage. They might have one, two or a handful, at most, contacts with the police, and probably for something relatively minor. This can affect how they think about cops, generally.

    In these instances, the contact can have a significant impact on people’s views on law enforcement. Cops should not join the cop-haters and politicians by helping to create this negative environment. The first two groups do it out of ignorance, hate or for political gain. Let’s not add insult to injury by aiding our own destruction.

  • “FTP” on Cop’s Coffee Cups and the Belligerent Ignorance of the Left

    The assault on the American police officer by the left continues, and the ignorance is appalling. While cops will always concede that there are anomalies among them who do violate policy and law, and who hopefully get caught, as with any industry the vast majority of cops do their jobs very well. And when you consider the rigorous hiring and training process cops go through, it’s probably an even greater percentage of good vs. bad employees than most professions.

    This is why the incidents of poor treatment of officers at the hands of certain anti-police employees in the service industry rankles me so much. This treatment includes servers declining to serve cops at some fast-food restaurants and coffee shops (treatment like this at a cop’s coffee shop, like Dunkin’ Donuts? Say it ain’t so…), and employees at MoKoBe’s Coffeehouse, in St. Louis, writing anti-police messages  “FTP” on coffee cups. The last two letters stand for: …the police. I’ll let you figure out what the “F” stands for. In follow-up response to customer complaints, the owners of the company tweeted that “it takes cup graffiti ‘as seriously as the police take murder.’”

    One appalled customer of one of the coffee shops said this was especially offensive because she’s seen employees of this shop call the police when they needed help such as in removing aggressive panhandlers and dealing with hostile customers. One customer suggested the coffeehouse may want to “opt-out” of police protection and take care of crime on their own.

    I came up with a term many years ago I use to describe this type of ignorance. It is an ignorance not borne out of a simple lack of knowledge, as we all experience, but out of not acknowledging, or wanting to know, the truth.

    Take for example: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which comes to us from a false scenario perpetrated by Michael Brown’s partner in crime, Dorian Johnson, when he lied to investigators when describing the incident during which Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson shot robbery and felony assault suspect Brown, killing him.

    Attorney General Eric Holder made this case a national priority throwing tremendous FBI and DOJ resources at the investigation. Despite that Holder, and the Obama administration, obviously wished for “justice,” but only for Michael and the Brown family, not for the police officer, Holder’s DOJ exonerated Officer Wilson.

    Get it? The federal agency in charge of the investigation into the possible violation of civil rights charges against Wilson didn’t find him “Not Guilty,” as in a court of law. Instead, they found the officer acted entirely properly, and that Brown had assaulted Wilson and attempted to take his gun, and that no charges existed that could be filed. Remarkably, to the belligerently ignorant, none of these facts matter.

    For the Black Lives Matter crowd (or, Black Lies Matter, as Milwaukee County [WI] Sheriff David Clarke calls the movement), white Officer Darren Wilson shot down in the streets like a dog, an innocent, black man, Michael Brown, who was surrendering with his hands up.  They don’t believe this because this is what happened but because this is what the belligerently ignorant want so desperately to have happened—the truth be damned.

    The belligerently ignorant will continue to maintain their ignorance and continue to insult those who protect them, as they—in the recesses of their private thoughts—hope to God the truth does not seep in.

  • BLM Workers Refuse to Serve Cops

    So, in the news lately, I’m hearing reports that some employees from some well-known fast food restaurants in several states, including Rhode Island and Texas, have been harassing cops, and in some cases refusing to serve them inspired by the ascendance of cop-haters in our country. One employee wrote, “Black Lives Matter,” on a cop’s coffee cup.

    This is a disgraceful, and ignorant insult against a group of people who put their lives on the line for their communities daily. It’s especially insulting because the impetus for the derision felt—and acted on—by some Americans derives from lies perpetrated by anti-police factions, including some high-ranking people in government and perpetuated by the media. Remember, “Hands up, don’t shoot?” It never happened. Just ask former Attorney General Eric Holder.

    A cop friend of mine told me a barista at a well known Seattle coffee house loudly berated him as he responded to another barista who asked him to point out the pros and cons of cops wearing body cameras. When the officer mentioned the public’s valid privacy issues, she angrily told him she’d rather be videotaped naked then let “cops get away with what they do.”

    What I’m left thinking, though, isn’t about the cops that are being harassed or aren’t being served. I’m wondering about what’s happening to the food these anti-police folks are serving to cops?

  • The Left Thinks the Right is Evil; The Right Just Thinks the Left is Stupid.

    If you’re still wondering what makes the political far left so dangerous, it can be summed up in one word: Intolerance. This may seem ironic to you because the left touts itself as the ostensible champion of the downtrodden. However, aside from the left espousing “diversity” of race, ethnicity and gender or sexual orientation, etc, you’re going to find that a diversity of political ideas or social opinions are not allowed.

    This little quip captures the essence of the dichotomy between the political left and right: “Liberals see the right as evil while conservatives see the left as simply stupid.” This is oversimplified, but you get the point.

    Gordon Crovitz provides an example of this today in his Wall Street Journal article “Don’t Cross Elizabeth Warren” (WSJ, 10/05/15). Crovitz brings to light this leftist intolerance for the right’s free speech. In a nutshell, Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution (which Crovitz describes as “soft left”), a Democrat, who served in the Clinton administration, dared to stray off the reservation. This prompted a complaint letter from Massachusetts Senator Warren to Brookings. What was Litan’s “crime?” It appears he had the audacity to tell the truth about a “Warren-backed Labor Department plan to regulate financial advisers. Litan argued that his cost-benefit analysis showed the regulations would devastate middle-class investors and be cost prohibitive.

    Within minutes of Brookings’ receiving the Warren-inspired, left-wing hailstorm against Litan’s published findings, including from writers such as David Cay Johnson, who called for Litan’s firing, after forty years, Litan was gone. As Crovitz puts it, “Instead of rebutting his [Litan’s] argument, Ms. Warren decided to punish it.”

    In another example from today, as if the above weren’t enough, as reported by Awr Hawkins of Breitbart.com, the struggling New York Daily News has called for the listing of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a terrorist organization (full disclosure: I am an NRA member).

    Regardless of what opinion you may hold about the NRA, they are in fact an organization established to support and defend the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—the supreme law of the land. You may not support this amendment, but it is absurd to argue it isn’t the law and that an organization that supports it should be labeled a terrorist group. It is yet another example of the left painting the right as “evil.”

    Isn’t that stupid?