POLICE ABUSE AND RACE-BAITING: THE PERFECT STORM
October 6, 2016
Faithful readers of this column know that I am not timid about reporting on the exponential increase of police abuse currently taking place in our country. This tragic phenomenon is a clear and present danger to the overall health and wellbeing of our society. And it is not a fabrication of “leftists.” The abuse of power by many police officers is very real. And as I have attempted to point out previously, the reason for this sad state of affairs is largely due to the recruitment and training of police officers today.
More and more frequently, the ranks of civilian law enforcement are being filled with former military personnel. This is not necessarily wrong in and of itself, but the purpose of law enforcement is entirely different from that of the military. Policemen are not soldiers. And American citizens are not enemy combatants.
For example, back in 2012, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), an office of the Department of Justice, offered 220 U.S. cities $114.6 million in incentive grants to hire post-9/11 veterans to fill 800 law enforcement positions.
But soldiers cannot bring their military training into police work without inflicting horrific consequences upon society. And this does not even take into account how many veterans who suffer from PTSD will be filling the ranks of law enforcement. Add the stress of police work to the trauma of war and the results could be devastating on America’s streets where the line between American citizens and enemy soldiers could easily be blurred in the minds of these warriors-turned-cops.
Plus, more and more often, police officers are being trained by military personnel (including foreign military personnel), and the equipment provided to law enforcement is increasingly military in nature. Look at the average police officer today: his equipment, dress, and mannerisms more resemble a special ops military soldier than a peace officer. And it is the military training of police officers that is precipitating the avalanche of unnecessary and unjust police shootings of American citizens.
Previously, I reported on the police shooting and killing of an unarmed man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fortunately, the district attorney in Tulsa rightfully charged the officer with manslaughter in the first degree. Within days, police released video footage of a similar incident that happened in Marksville, Louisiana. This time, the victim included a little boy.
Six-year-old Jeremy Mardis (an autistic child) was shot and killed with five bullets to his head and chest by two police officers in Marksville, and his father was seriously wounded. The father was unarmed, yet the two officers fired a total of 18 rounds into his vehicle. The little boy was killed instantly, and the father was seriously wounded. There were no warrants out for the father.
A third police officer who recorded the incident on his body cam said that the father was not acting aggressively toward the officers, and Colonel Mike Edmonson, head of the Louisiana State Police, who saw the videotape, said, “That video was incredible. I mean, as a father, much less head of the state police, I looked at that tape, I said this is incredibly disturbing.”
The two police officers have been rightly charged with second degree murder in the death of the little boy and attempted second degree murder in the shooting of the boy’s father.
See the report here: Community To Say Goodbye To 6-Year-Old Killed By Police
And here is the video tape of the shooting that was recently released by police:
In this case, the police officers were black and the shooting victims were white. That’s probably why you haven’t heard about it. If the police officers had been white and the shooting victims were black, the mainstream media and “Black Lives Matter” would have made it national Page One news. Which leads me to the second part of the problem.
President Barack Obama’s White House, the national news media, and the leaders of “Black Lives Matter” have made these police shootings a racial issue. Along with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al., they are experts at race-baiting.
BUT THIS IS NOT A RACIAL ISSUE.
If the poor, suffering souls within America’s inner cities who have too long endured the injustices of police abuse (and many of them have--people of every color) would stay focused on their legitimate complaints and stop letting the Al Sharptons of the world turn it into a racial issue, they would be much further ahead in gaining the sympathy of the general public to their plight. But by letting the race-baiters turn it into a racial issue, too many white people mistakenly see this as a “good cop versus black thug” issue.
Are there black thugs? Yes! Are there white thugs? Yes! Are there Hispanic thugs? Yes! Are there Asian thugs? Yes! Crime is crime no matter what the race of the person is who commits it. Law and order is NOT a racial issue. But the media has allowed the race-baiters, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, to turn it into a racial issue.
I say again: the problem is NOT race; the problem is the increasing militarization of police.
The other problem in America’s inner cities is that most of these cities are managed by rabid anti-Second Amendment liberals. Cities such as Chicago, Boston, Newark, N.J., Washington, D.C., etc., are heavily gun-controlled: meaning, the only people who have guns are the bad guys--and the bad guys know it.
For example, last month (September 2016) alone, there were 358 shootings in the heavily gun-controlled city of Chicago, Illinois. There have been over 3,200 shootings so far this year in The Windy City.
Thanks to the gun-control laws of the city of Chicago, citizens there are little more than fodder for the violent criminal element of that town. Instead of promoting “stop and frisk” laws, Donald Trump should be promoting the fact that the law-abiding residents in Chicago (and everywhere else) should be allowed to lawfully arm and defend themselves against the violent criminals of their communities.
What race-baiters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson fail to acknowledge is that most of the violent crimes committed against black people are perpetrated by black people--just as most of the violent crimes committed against white people are perpetrated by white people. Again, law and order is NOT a racial issue.
And police abuse is not a racial issue; as I’ve said, it is a training issue. Ever since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was invented by President G.W. Bush, our local and State police departments and sheriff’s offices have been increasingly militarized.
Police officers are not attorneys. They are not trained in constitutional law. Not only do most police officers demonstrate a serious lack of constitutional acumen, some police officers even demonstrate a serious animus AGAINST the Constitution. These same officers consider people who believe in the Constitution to be “anti-police.” Such an attitude does nothing but insure increasing abusive behavior against the very people police officers are sworn to protect: the American citizenry.
One won’t read this in a DHS police training manual, but for all intents and purposes, police training procedures teach officers to shoot first and let the courts work out the details. Police officers know that seldom will they be held accountable for a bad shooting (thankfully, that is currently not the case in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Marksville, Louisiana). They often carry “throw down” guns to use after a bad shooting in case the victim was unarmed, to make it appear as though the victim was armed; they know that most of their fellow officers will not “rat” on them even when they are clearly guilty of police abuse; and they know that the local prosecutors and judges are on “their” side. It is mostly a one-sided judicial system for sure, and police officers know it. And the fact that more and more policemen are ex-military means that their military training runs much deeper than their law enforcement training. In fact, many times they are hired as police officers BECAUSE they are former military, as noted above.
Since I have been writing on this subject, many retired and active duty police officers have written me to confirm what I’m saying and to thank me for saying it. I’m sure the percentages are with the “good” cops, but as the DHS-sponsored militarization of local and State police agencies continues to intensify--and as the “good” cops continue to retire--the “bad” cop problem is only going to get worse.
Here are the facts: police abuse is very real, and race-baiting is, likewise, very real. It is the perfect storm. In the political arena, conservatives blame “Black Lives Matter” and liberals blame “white cops.” In truth, constitutionally illiterate, “us-versus-them,” trigger-happy policemen AND race-baiting, opportunistic charlatans like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are equally to blame.
This problem will not be resolved until the American people begin looking at and dealing with this issue without the obfuscation of race or political partisanship. Little Jeremy Mardis was not a Democrat or a Republican; he was not a liberal or a conservative; he was a little, six-year-old, innocent, autistic boy who was brutally murdered and violently taken from the home of a loving father by poorly trained police officers.
Black folks in America’s inner cities need to stop shouting at white folks and instead start demanding that their crooked, self-absorbed politicians (both black and white) start honoring their oaths of office to the Constitution and eviscerate the gun-control laws that make residents easy prey for the criminal element within their own neighborhoods so that people can start lawfully defending themselves. And “conservative” white folks need to get their heads out of the sand and realize that there is a REAL problem with police abuse in this country and start demanding that their local judges and prosecutors start holding these lawless lawmen accountable to the same laws that the rest of us are held to.
Again, the issue is not black or white--or even black or blue. The issue is justice and constitutional government. Lady Justice is supposed to be color blind. She should also be blind to whatever uniform a person is or isn’t wearing and whatever political label one has or doesn’t have. As I have said repeatedly, we either have justice for all or we have justice for none. You will remember that when you are on the receiving end of police injustice.
P.S. I again strongly urge readers to order the expert presentation that my constitutional attorney son delivered, entitled “Police Contact: How To Respond.”
In this DVD, attorney Tim Baldwin focuses directly on the "Dos and Don'ts" of dealing with police contacts. Tim discusses how to--and how not to--react to police traffic stops and other contacts. He clearly and simply shows citizens their rights and duties under the Constitution and why it is so important that citizens understand these rights. This material will help citizens preserve liberty in their communities, and it will help policemen be better peace officers. This is an excellent presentation. And what you do NOT know about this presentation can, and very likely will, hurt you. I urge readers to order one for themselves and one for a loved one.
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© 2016 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated
columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving
the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008
Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife,
Connie, have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Chuck and his family reside
in the Flathead Valley of Montana. See Chuck's complete bio here.