Blue lives mat­ter

The politi­cians must knock off mak­ing de­mons of the cops

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Ash­er­iff’s deputy in Hous­ton is shot 15 times as he fu­els his squad car be­cause, as in­ves­ti­ga­tors learned later, he “was wear­ing a po­lice uni­form.” In Illi­nois, a pop­u­lar po­lice of­fi­cer, 30 years on the force, is slain in rage and anger. A po­lice­man in Madi­son, Wisc., tries to break up a fight and is sur­rounded and as­saulted by an an­gry mob, cry­ing “cops need to be killed.” A crowd in St. Paul, Minn., cel­e­brat­ing the shoot­ing in Hous­ton, chants “pigs in a blan­ket, fry ’em like ba­con.”

Po­lice of­fi­cers across the coun­try are taught that their job re­quires them to be vis­i­ble and to min­gle with the public, to build trust and co­op­er­a­tion with pa­tience and ap­pro­pri­ate for­bear­ance, but now the politi­cians com­plain that a po­lice­man’s mere pres­ence is a provo­ca­tion. In the big cities there’s a surge in crime and drug-re­lated mur­der. May­ors and gover­nors — and the pres­i­dent — seem puz­zled and con­fused. Ad­vo­cates for dis­arm­ing ev­ery­one blame it all on the avail­abil­ity of guns, though guns were read­ily avail­able in the weeks and months be­fore the blood-let­ting be­gan.

There’s an or­ga­nized cam­paign in the coun­try to de­mo­nize the po­lice. A Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date com­plains that cops pull in­no­cent blacks from their cars to ex­e­cute them. Pres­i­dent Obama is “ap­palled” by the mur­der of an in­no­cent black man in Mis­souri, and it turns out the story was made up. The pres­i­dent keeps his si­lence in the face of a whole­sale as­sault on law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

His si­lence now af­ter his pas­sion­ate con­dem­na­tion of po­lice abuse makes him not a cause of the mur­der of the in­no­cent — and the not so in­no­cent — but an en­abler of killers. Mr. Obama’s in­stincts are wrong; he doesn’t wait for ev­i­dence, but con­demn the po­lice as soon as op­por­tu­nity presents it­self.

If he had ac­tu­ally been there, see­ing with his own eyes, the pres­i­dent surely would have joined the black, white, His­panic, rich and poor who poured into the streets of Bal­ti­more in the wake of the Fred­die Gray ri­ots to put them­selves be­tween the po­lice and the ri­ot­ers, not to pro­tect the ri­ot­ers, but the po­lice. They rec­og­nized that the po­lice were there, and there in force, to pro­tect their neigh­bor­hood. With­out the po­lice they might as well live in Dante’s Inferno. Some­times the mean streets can look like a page from that clas­sic.

The may­ors, the gover­nors, the pres­i­dent and par­tic­u­larly the chat­ter­ing class, the colum­nists and the pur­vey­ors of calamity, must give un­flinch­ing sup­port for the men and women who risk ev­ery­thing ev­ery day to keep the streets safe and pre­serve the civil so­ci­ety.

There are bad cops, just as there are bad politi­cians, bad pro­fes­sors and even bad priests and bad pun­dits, and ex­pos­ing them for ap­pro­pri­ate pun­ish­ment is God’s work. But de­mo­niz­ing all cops to pun­ish the few is short­sighted and dumb. The politi­cians who ex­ploit tragedy for votes be­long in jail with other bad guys.

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