Anti-Police Rhetoric Leads to Rise in Violent Crime
Obama fans the flames with his irresponsible rhetoric.
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” —Newton’s Third Law of Motion
It may not be equal, but America is seeing there is certainly an opposite reaction to the demonization of law enforcement by the Obama administration and leaders of the major American cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades. And that reaction is a deadly one.
The problem is frequently referred to as the “Ferguson effect,” in reference to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of a black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer after Brown’s strong-arm robbery and assault on that officer. Police are increasingly hesitant to contend with those possibly engaged in criminal activity, lest they’re blamed for any resulting violence and face the end of their career, or even prosecution. Police officers report being surrounded by black youths and being recorded even as they’re taunted.
While correlation is not causation, it’s hard to ignore the fact that, following the sensationalized media coverage of the deaths of several black men while in police custody (Brown, Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Eric Garner of New York, all of whom had criminal records), and the subsequent drop-off in police engagement in high-crime neighborhoods, there has been a drastic spike in violent crime across the nation. In Chicago, homicides are up 19% for the year. In Washington, DC, homicides are up 44%. They’re up 62% in Milwaukee and 73% in Nashville, and other major cities have seen similar spikes.
According to FBI Director James Comey, recently addressing a group of police chiefs, “Some part of what is going on is likely a chill wind that has blown through law enforcement over the last year. That wind is made up of a whole series of viral videos and the public outcry that followed them.” He then asked rhetorically, “In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that reduces violent crime?”
These statements earned him a rebuke from the Obama White House, which adamantly disagreed with Comey’s conclusions — after all, Obama is freeing thousands of felons and pushing for an end to mandatory sentencing laws. Obama’s reaction is not unexpected, considering an acknowledgment of this reality would lay a measure of responsibility at the feet of the administration, and Obama himself. Both have played a role in stoking the anti-police sentiment that has deepened mistrust among many in urban, minority communities.
Indeed, he was at it again Tuesday, telling the International Association of Chiefs of Police, “[T]here were times when I was younger … where I was pulled over… and I did not know [why].” He then concluded that anecdotes like his equal data: “[Y]ou have to say there is some racial bias in the system.” He conceded, “By the way, bias and stereotypes often go both ways,” but his message was clear: Cops are racist.
The language used by Obama and the Leftmedia (i.e., referring to Brown as an “unarmed black man” while minimizing the brutality of his attack on the police officer) in discussing the issue establishes a presumption of guilt for law enforcement from the outset. The Obama administration sent three White House representatives each to the funerals of Brown and Gray. The latter was a career criminal with dozens of arrests. By contrast, Obama has not sent a single White House representative to attend the funerals of any of the police officers assassinated in cold blood while in the line of duty in recent months, giving the clear impression that he sides with the criminal element of society rather than with law enforcement.
Now, that is not to say the police are always in the right. They are not. They are human and make mistakes, and sometimes go beyond the boundaries of reasonable force while in the course of their duties. Other times their actions are criminal, as in the case of North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, charged with murdering Walter Scott, a black man he pulled over for a traffic violation and then shot in the back as Scott fled.
But Obama has repeatedly sympathized with and validated those who distrust law enforcement. He has rhetorically and philosophically aligned himself with the anti-law enforcement Black Lives Matter movement, and exploited that association for political gain, even as leaders of that movement openly call for the deaths of as many cops as possible. Obama, having expressed sympathy with the movement, was utterly silent when Black Lives Matter activists in St. Paul, Minnesota, marched behind a group of police officers at the Minnesota State Fair, chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” a reference to killing cops.
As anti-police sentiment and hostility continues to rise in these communities, the FBI issued a warning of an anarchist plot to kill police officers on Halloween. The purpose of the “Halloween Revolt” is to create a public disturbance in order to attract police, and then attack them with bricks, bottles and guns. This is premeditated murder.
When they exceed the bounds of their authority, officers should be held accountable. Yet each and every day thousands of men and women across this nation put on their uniforms, their utility belts, and their shields, and police our neighborhoods. In doing so they put their lives on the line in order to protect us from petty criminals, from thieves, robbers, rapists and murderers. And they do it for an annual salary roughly one-tenth of what Obama is paid to sit in the gated, guarded White House and spew his self-righteous, anti-cop venom. They deserve our respect, not our contempt.