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There are several YouTube channels that show police activity, and they’ve had a lot of content recently with the riots and such. I had often thought if I had not gone to law school that I might have enjoyed being a police officer, but I now know that would have been a terrible idea. I grew up in a military family and I served in the military. I have stark views of right and wrong; I believe, for example, that people who pull and point weapons at police officers earn every Darwin Award they get.
Sometimes, however, I just watch these interactions and I’m thinking “why aren’t you guys kicking the stuffing out of that creep” as they holler and scream for the camera while they are being detained. Watch the Portland riots or Baltimore, or really any of these BLM orchestrated fiascos; they’re out there. If you’ve never interacted with a police officer but feel privileged to criticize them, watch some video and learn the other side of the story.
I know that illustrates a basic flaw in my character. I understand that I should not be wishing that when the cameras are off that someone goes upside the perp’s head with the back of their hand and tunes him up; I understand that’s bad of me. As a lawyer, I am supposed to care about the Constitution, and I do… But sometimes the better angels of my nature are taking a power nap, and I channel my inner Inigo Montoya: “there will be blood tonight!”
I’m human, I admit it. The fact is that other than in combative training in the army and when I was taking Tae Kwon Do while serving in Korea, I’ve never hit anyone, and I’ve never hit anyone in anger, but obviously I have a low boiling point if the mere video makes me want to see violence visited upon people.
Which brings me to my point: Cops are human too and they make mistakes. Sometimes they respond to stimuli that most of us would never endure and have no capacity to imagine. Just as there are psychopaths in the medical profession (I’m thinking of Dr. Mike Swango here), there are psychopaths in policing (Derek Chauvin). The system works to get them out, but just like the rest of us, even bad cops have due process rights. In liberal cities, particularly those with liberal District Attorneys (I’m thinking of Klobuchar here) those due process rights can cause a cop to accumulate 18 complaints without ever having anything substantive done. The system, particularly the system run in Democrat-controlled cities, is poisonous to liberty in many ways, but this may be the worst of them.
Richard Pryor, when he was making movies years ago, made one about prison: Stir Crazy. It’s a great movie. What he said later about that movie is important. When asked what he learned from going inside the prison to talk to prisoners about their life there, he said “I learned I was glad there are prisons” (or words to that effect). When asked what he meant he related talking to one prisoner who when asked what he was in for, he said “murdering a family.” Pryor said he asked why the guy did it. “They was home.” Yikes!
No one, not a murder suspect, not a bank robber, and not even the lowest form of life, a pedophile, deserves to be executed by a police officer, but no police officer deserves to be killed because politicians have made him too scared to use his weapon to save his life. That is exactly where we’re going today. Cops are driving a lot more slowly to critical incidents (the Ferguson Effect) simply because they know politicians do not have their back.
I was arrested once. The police officers were nice, kind actually. I did what I was told and no one hurt me. The court system worked and I was let go. The reason there are erasers on pencils is because everyone makes mistakes. Let’s stop asking cops to be perfect. Let’s instead, ask how we can help.Published in