Blue lives matter
The politicians must knock off making demons of the cops
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.