Most of us are hyper-aware of police. If we're in a hurry and driving over the speed limit, we're trying to avoid them. We look in the rearview mirror or ahead of us and cringe if we see one, slowing down immediately. Cops know this. If we're victims of a crime, however, they can't appear fast enough. Cops know this, too.
Years ago, a cop knocked on my door, and when I invited him in, he handed me a summons. He wore a bullet-proof vest under his shirt, and I asked him why he had to wear that just going around delivering paperwork. He said cops don't know what type of reception they're going to get and have to prepare for the worst. It's the same reason they don't stand right outside of your driver's side window after stopping you. They're trained to stand to the rear, and you have to turn your head way around if you want to make eye contact.
Regardless of what you may have heard, cops don't like writing speeding tickets, but they do like helping people. That's why they became cops. They also know more about the public than the public knows about them because they see us at our worst. Years of dealing with people who are stealing, molesting, assaulting, killing or just going crazy is debilitating. A retired detective recently told me he's writing about cops partly to help civilians understand why so many become alcoholics and/or suicidal. It's a tough job.
I had dinner with another cop soon after the Michael Brown shooting two years ago. The media was full of stories of how racist cop Darren Wilson shot "gentle giant" Michael Brown in the back while he had his hands up pleading, "Don't shoot!" After a few weeks, some of us learned that none of that was true — it was all made up by Brown's friends and completely swallowed by liberal media. He wasn't a gentle giant. He was a thug, and he wasn't running away. He was assaulting Officer Wilson and trying to grab his gun. After the media had so saturated the public with the "Hands up! Don't shoot!" lie, however, facts didn't matter. Most Americans still believe Brown was shot by a racist cop.
The officer with whom I had dinner was very dismayed. He said cops everywhere were affected, even in rural Maine. The atmosphere had changed. Cops were second-guessing themselves — thinking about how public encounters might be spun by media instead of reacting instinctively to potentially dangerous situations — and that hesitation put them in still more danger. Cops know they're the good guys and don't like being portrayed by media as the bad guys.
It didn't help when the day after the Michael Brown shooting, President Barack Obama's Justice Department sent teams of people to Ferguson to instruct local officials and the general public about "White Privilege" and racism. It got worse when Democrat billionaire George Soros sent $33 million to organize Black Lives Matter. My cop friend believed things were going to get worse and he was right. Black Lives Matter and other groups held demonstrations all over the country chanting: "Pigs in a blanket (body bag)! Fry 'em like bacon!" and "What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want 'em? Now!" Hillary invited BLM leaders to meet with her. President Obama invited them to the White House. Then five cops were murdered in Dallas by an angry black man. Three more were murdered in Baton Rouge by another angry black man — all just because they were cops. Individual police officers all over the country were shot as well.
According to Heather MacDonald's new book "War on Cops," a cop is 19 times more likely to be killed by a black man than a black man to be killed by a cop. That's a fact, but media portray it otherwise. Their narrative is that racist white cops like to shoot young black men and media controls public perception. In politics, perception is reality. It's no coincidence that Michael Brown's parents spoke at the UN. The Democratic Party hopes to benefit from public misperception so they invited Brown's mother to speak at their national convention in Philadelphia this week.
CBS reported that: "(Philadelphia Police) Union president John McNesby says Hillary Clinton should be ashamed for allowing relatives of people killed by police to speak, but not give equal time to families of fallen officers."
Many declare that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party itself have created the war on cops. Repeatedly embracing the allegedly Reverend Al Sharpton and other race-baiters as well as granting legitimacy to wild accusations about "racist" cops has created a dangerous climate.
None of this is good, and cops know it. As they back off confronting black criminals, murder rates climb. Should Democrats win in November, we can expect that trend to continue.
- Category: Columns