Friday, June 1, 2018

Police Are Standing Down In America

Somehow or other, for reasons that defy reason, the presidency of an African-American man did nothing to reduce the incidence of crimes committed by people of color. No one is really willing to face the fact of so calamitous a failure, so our intelligentsia is looking for other ways to deal with the problem.

Political leaders are refusing to hold criminals to account. Thus, pretend that criminal acts are not criminal acts. After all, the Obama justice department, civil libertarians, media pundits and black lives matter activists have focused like a laser beam on faulting white police officers. They exonerated criminals and cannot understand why this produced more crime. Who could have imagined such a thing?

The media is colluding with the police in covering up the problem by ignoring it. They understand that crime statistics will drop if fewer crimes are reported. In those great bastions of Western liberal order, Sweden and Germany, political leaders cover up their embarrassment over the crime that so-called refugees brought with them by not reporting the crimes or by not reporting the ethnicity of criminals. At least, it makes the statistics look better... and we all care mostly about appearances, don't we.

This sends the message that law and order is a white concept. Thus, it does not apply to minority citizens. Having been mistreated by the white power elites in the past people of color should get a pass on crime. They are exempted from following the rules. Thus, the culture can focus on punishing or guilt tripping the true perpetrators, the white police.

The attack against the police is producing another predictable consequence. The men and women who keep us safe have decided that it is too risky to do their jobs. Thus, they turn a blind eye on crime. Professor Eugene O’Donnell has explained (via Maggie’s Farm) that the police have in many cases “gone to ground.”

American policing today is in a state of slow-motion collapse, struggling mightily to attract new officers — no matter how low standards are dropped.

Under sustained assault by the City Council, pundits and self-styled civil-liberties advocates, a new generation of New York City cops is being conditioned to avoid showdowns with civilians, especially where coercion or force is called for. We could have saved the costly investment in body cameras by explicitly telling the cops two words: “Do nothing.”

Officers who do more engagement than what is absolutely required have been threatened by HQ that they’ll find themselves on a list of “troublemakers.” Thousands have, or will soon, head for the exits, telling all within earshot to avoid police work as a career.

In many parts of the country, the police have gone to ground.

More and more police have decided that it simply is not worth the trouble to engage or to confront potential malefactors:

The truth, however, is that the proliferation of video recording of cops’ every interaction only will increase officers’ timidity. That will look like self-restraint in some cases, but overall it’ll put law enforcement on the defensive and dull cops’ instincts.

String together a series of adversarial videos, and almost every officer can find him or herself fast-tracked to trouble.

The new-era calculation for the police is: Conflict is the quickest path to extinction.

Why risk your career and your livelihood to protect people who do not appreciate you. The Giuliani era policy of policing the most minor infractions has been discarded:

Scratch the surface in trendy, uber-safe New York neighborhoods and you will hear public safety and disorder concerns from more than a few. Aggressive panhandling, unreported petty and retail thefts, noise and disorder complaints and a feeling of insecurity on mass transit accompany complaints by those in public housing and poorer communities that violence is never too far away.

If we want to call this by its name, this is the Obama legacy on minority crime. Apparently, the Obama presidency, led by a man of impeccable decorum, did not produce more of the same in minority communities. It was seen as permission to defy the law. Of course, we are not allowed to hold our great former leader responsible, so why not scapegoat the police?


Ares Olympus said...
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Sam L. said...

I'm not so certain that Obama is responsible for this. Some, maybe. Seems to me it's more due to Democrat mayors.

Sam L. said...

And quite possibly governors, too.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

This is the natural consequence of the cowardly, mindless statistical scientism of “disparate impact.” The cops on the beat have choices in the face of risk. Those police officers are now negatively exercising those choices to minimize/eliminate their risk, as the article shows. Why? Show a rational reason they should do their job! It’s entirely rational to avoid risk, and no law, nor policy, can stop non-action... the accused will ALWAYS be able to fall back on the hazy interpretation of “discretion.” Again, it reinforces the most potent antidote to American liberal fantasies around compulsion: despite all imagined evidence to the contrary, you cannot actually make someone do something. You just can’t. Every human being has REFUSAL as an available option.

James, what do you think?

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: The men and women who keep us safe have decided that it is too risky to do their jobs. Thus, they turn a blind eye on crime.

Sure, police won't do their job if cameras risk showing when they're being abusive or plant evidence afterwards. It must be frustrating. I certainly wouldn't want cameras following me all the time second guessing my boring or life-and-death decisions.