Here we go again. In a speech given at Princeton University, Seattle’s police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, called on police departments to “embrace reform.” She elaborated: “Everybody wants to talk about guns and drugs, and, yes, we need to talk about crime and crime rates, but my most complicated issue right now is first of all equity and social justice in our policing, in our community. And also it’s the intersection of public safety and public health.” At the risk of appearing puerile, gag me!
Anyone espousing “social justice” in law enforcement exposes themselves as a left wing ideologue and displays contempt for constitutional equal justice. Social justice, as defined by liberal government, cannot coexist with equal justice because it treats people not as individuals but according to which “victim” group(s) they belong.
Take Seattle’s race-based enforcement of Driving While License Suspended 3rd degree. For years, unlike other citations issued directly to offenders, officers must forward these tickets to the city attorney’s office so they can determine who “merits punishment,” according to social justice criteria, including race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. (Yes, no kidding) Check it out for yourself.
In her speech at the Woodrow Wilson (well, there’s one problem, right there) School of Public and International Affairs, Chief O’Toole cites a focus on the relationship of trust between the police and children. She said, “Without that trust we as police fail.” Answer this: How does perpetuating lies about cops and what cops do engender trust?
To give you an idea of the false premises under which Chief O’Toole and other leftist leaders view police officers, the article’s writer used this springboard: “More than two years after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, law enforcement and government officials, scholars, student leaders and community members gathered to address the issue of “Racial Justice and Policing in America.” Ferguson? Michael Brown? In the article, the writer cites the Ferguson incident twice as if it’s an important anchor in this discussion of a false police excessive force epidemic—talk about fake news.
Did I miss something? Wasn’t it Eric Holder’s U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that established Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson acted properly after robbery suspect Michael Brown assaulted him and attempted to take his gun? The writer is highlighting Ferguson as an apparent precipitating incident regarding the police “problems” discussed by Chief O’Toole. The writer is emphasizing a lie. The Ferguson “hands up, don’t shoot” never happened.
According to the article, “She [O’Toole] described the past two years in Seattle as a very difficult period, with the department under a federal consent decree, required to curb excessive force and biased policing.”
Well, the left fabricated this “difficult period” over the past several years through an alliance between Seattle’s liberal government, anti-police community activists, and President Obama’s DOJ. The consent decree never should have occurred. What happens when you try to fix something that isn’t broken? It breaks. I point you to Seattle University Professor Matthew J. Hickman’s Seattle Time’s article and his study debunking the DOJ’s “conclusions” and advising Seattle to, “Call the DOJ’s bluff and demand an apology.”
Following a bogus study by the DOJ and its resultant sham conclusions, the feds enacted a consent decree against a police department that didn’t deserve it. Has anyone asked how the Seattle Police Department went from being considered a model American law enforcement agency one day, sought after by other departments for examples of “best practices” in policing, and the next day deemed a veritable American law enforcement disaster? I remember training with German police officers who traveled across an ocean and continent just to benefit from SPD’s superb knowledge base and training. But to leftists the ends justify the means, right? So sacrificing an excellent police department on the alter of liberal, political correctness was just business as usual. To hell with all of the good police officers negatively affected by their anti-police, political agendas.
The DOJ’s result was no surprise. The DOJ hasn’t met a police department it didn’t find to be racist and abusive. Former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy laid out the DOJ consent decree formula: From a Newsmax.com article, “McCarthy cited a string of federal civil-rights investigations into some 20 police departments, including Ferguson, Missouri’s, which he said the Justice Department has approached with a presumption of racial guilt.” Precisely what happened in Seattle.
Could the SPD be improved? What organization couldn’t? Just because an organization must keep abreast of developing policies, strategies, techniques, and technologies doesn’t mean that organization is broken. Just because an individual officer violates policy or law, doesn’t mean all officers need “new” training. Especially when the liberal’s “training” is more about leftist, political indoctrination disguised as law enforcement training than it is true police instruction.
None of that matters to Chief O’Toole. She said, “Not only did the department [SPD] deserve that consent decree, it is a much better place as a result of that decree. We need to embrace reform as a good thing. Change is not bad.” Well, change is bad if it’s based on lies.
SPD is “better” now? Oh, I want to say bad words!
How does O’Toole know? She came to Seattle after the phony decree was implemented. She’s had to rely on the left wing ideologues permeating Seattle’s halls of “social” justice for her information. I retired from the SPD a month or so before she was sworn in to office. I was optimistic. On paper, she seemed a stellar selection. Also, we’re from the same state, Massachusetts, so I felt a kinship. No longer. While she is a nice person—in person, as with all of Seattle’s police chiefs, regrettably, she is a marionette whose strings are manipulated by Seattle’s leftist government. Drink the Kool-Aid or you’re out.
O’Toole boasted, “We’ve reduced our use of force by 55 percent just in the last year and a half.” Well, duh. Proactive policing is virtually nonexistent. Out of career preservation, officers can’t do nearly as much as they used to or want to—can you say, de-policing? How can they when their leaders will not back them if things go wrong, even when they act in good faith?
Here’s a question: How can you do the job when even if you do it correctly, even if the department’s lead defensive tactics instructor says your use of force was “perfect,” the chief still fires you? I suppose it could be worse. An officer could be tried, convicted, and sent to prison for doing his or her job. Just ask Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes who’s tried and failed several times to prosecute Seattle police officers.
The Princeton article noted that, “Ms. O’Toole also commented on the importance of hiring officers who reflect the communities they serve, and ‘not people who think that policing is all about the gun fighting and car chases they see on television, but people who understand that policing is a vocation.’” Oh, help me… I really, really, want to say bad words!
Just look at what Chief O’Toole thinks about the type of people, prior to her administration, who’d become police officers and their motivations for serving. What a profound insult to police officers. This is the person responsible for leading Seattle’s Thin (and getting thinner by the day) Blue Line? Officers are persecuted (not to mention executed) enough these days without having a chief who seems to hold her veteran officers in such low esteem.
“‘We’ve hired young responsible, articulate, idealistic people from very different backgrounds with very different professional and personal experiences,’ she continued. ‘It’s very exciting to see. They’ll make our department so much more effective.’” Gee, thanks, Chief. And good luck with that Utopian social experiment.
Hey, all you old, stammering, realistic people [cops] from homogeneous backgrounds with very similar professional and personal experiences. You SPD dinosaurs who’ve dedicated your lives to making Seattle a safer place, just step aside. Salvation has arrived. No, really. The liberals have come to save the day. I mean, the left is well known for its commitment to “law and order,” right?
Does it sound like Chief O’Toole has a legitimate, objective view of her veteran Seattle police officers? No, Chief O’Toole describes the ideal police officer as, apparently, different from current officers who’ve served Seattle for many years and decades. Her perspective comes from a left wing, social justice ideological one—and that’s putting it politely.
“‘Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter [appointed by liberals], who applauded the ‘excellent forum,’ echoed Ms. O’Toole’s message, observing that her proposals have been implemented in Princeton and are consistent with best practices as outlined in President Obama’s report on 21st Century Policing. Mr. Sutter summed up the comments made by Chief O’Toole… that ‘the police are the public and the public are the police. Without collaboration and trust, neither can be successful.’” This is so profound, I think my head might just implode from the dazzling brilliance of these people.
Sounds like Chief O’Toole’s Princeton speech was another successful liberal echo [literally: see above paragraph] chamber. Leftists back-slapping each other, congratulating themselves on yet another brilliant forum about how to fix problems that don’t exist (or that they created or imagined), exacerbated by lies that won’t die, and delivered by ideologues who won’t quit.