“You let that scum in [this restaurant],but my being a cop is just too much.Let me tell you something … All these people in here,with their [jewelry] and furs– they get robbed or raped, I’m suddenly their daddy.”
Police Officer Frank Keller (Al Pacino) to a restaurant owner who asked him to leave because he is a police officer, Sea of Love (1989 film)
Since the May 25, 2020 killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, many “Democrats”, including Mayor London Breed of San Francisco and “The Squad” (AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Cori Bush) have pushed to “defund the police.” Their “reasoning,” so to speak, is, apparently, that since a few police officers now and then kill an unarmed black man, the entire institution is “systemically racist” (the current expression of choice by the “Democrat” Party and most of their spokespeople in the media), and, therefore, it is necessary to defund the police.
Inferring from a few cases to a conclusion about an entire institution used to be called “the fallacy of hasty generalization” in university critical reasoning courses but a surfeit of carefully manufactured emotion, the “news” media’s desire for sensationalism to get their rating up, and an inability to count in many of our “elite” betters have encouraged the use of this argument in recent years, especially in the run-up to elections.
In fact, many of the stories of police killing unarmed black men, like the killing of the “gentle giant” Michael Brown in Ferguson, turn out to be false (Bill Maher: Michael Brown “Was Not A Gentle Giant,” “He Was Acting Like A Thug”, Ian Schwartz, RealClear Politics, October 24, 2014). Many leftist activists still use the Michael Brown slogan “Hands up don’t shoot!” even though it has been definitively proven that the 300-pound Michael Brown, who is on videotape robbing and roughing up a diminutive South Asian shop owner earlier that evening (so much for the “person of color” solidarity), did not have his hands up but rather had attacked the police officer Darren Wilson and tried to take his gun (“’Hands up, don’t shoot” one of biggest ‘Pinocchios’ of 2015,” Nick Gass 12/14/2015, Politico).
Multiple black witnesses told this to the police because, in what is apparently news to the Left, most black people do not wish to live in neighborhoods in which 300-pound thugs terrorize ordinary law-abiding people (“Feds: Evidence backs Ferguson officer’s account in shooting,” Associated Press, March 4, 2015). Naturally, given the inverted nature of our current “justice” system, Officer Wilson, who correctly acted in self-defense and in defense of the community, lost his job over the affair.
More generally, Roland Fryer, black Harvard University economist and rising star (until he started doing careful empirical studies on police shootings), did a detailed study of police shooting statistics and concluded that “On the most extreme use of force—officer-involved shootings—we find no racial differences either in the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account” (“An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 127, No. 3). There goes the Democrat narrative. Unfortunately, actual facts do not seem to penetrate the “woke” brain that has been mesmerized by Marxist scripture, according to which the police are an armed force employed to repress the “proletariat” and protect the evil rich people (“Friend or Foe? Marxism and the Police,” Leftcom.org) – which makes it hard to understand why a substantial majority of black people want the same or an even greater police presence in their communities (Lydia Saad, “Black Americans Want Police to Retain Local Presence,” Aug. 5, 2020).
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Of course, our all-knowing “woke” Democrat elites, are happy to spend campaign money to fund their own police protection, their own lives being much more important than yours (“’Squad’ members spend close to $100,000 of campaign donations to fund private police forces,” Luke Gentile, October 20, 2021). Naturally, given their greatness, they have assumed the right to speak for all black people. It may, therefore, in such circumstances, be useful to discuss a particular case of police action in order to “humanize” the police and remind oneself what they really have to face in their jobs, should this still be permissible in “woke” America.
During the period from 1992-to 1993 a serial rapist and killer was stalking Allentown, Pa. Several women, including a young girl, were murdered, but one victim, Denise Sam-Cali, attacked in her own home, managed to get away from the killer and stagger onto her front lawn with the killer in close pursuit. A neighbor heard the commotion and came outside to see what was going on, causing the killer to flee. Since she had been the only victim to see the killer and survive, the police thought he might return to eliminate her as a witness, so they stationed a police officer in her home. Two weeks went by as the young Officer Brian Lewis, who, newly married for only about 3 months, would surely have preferred to be home with his wife, sat quietly and patiently in the dark in Denise’s home as she slept upstairs, doing his tedious patient duty. However, on the last night of the stake-out, the killer returned, climbing through a window.
Thinking he saw a knife in the intruder’s hand, Officer Lewis identified himself as a police officer and told him to drop the weapon. The killer produced a gun and the two began firing at each other at point-blank range in the tiny enclosed space. One can imagine the horrific scene as the officer and the killer could see each other only in the gun flashes that briefly illumined the darkness. As Officer Lewis reloads his weapon the intruder frantically rips out a kitchen window and dives through it to run away.
It appeared that he had escaped but a man with a gunshot wound to the stomach turned himself in at a local hospital later that night and was arrested. Harvey Miguel Robinson was eventually sentenced to death and both Denise and numerous other women and girls were no doubt saved by the astonishing selfless courage of Officer Lewis. It is typical that most accounts of this story in the “news” media do not bother to mention Officer Lewis’s name, who they only refer to as “a police officer”, these, apparently, being easily replaceable like toasters, and not nearly so important as, for example, the professors who regularly churn out reams of anti-police propaganda from the safety of their university offices.
The fact is that we give the police an impossible job (repeat: impossible) and then we put their every split-second decision under a microscope searching for some mistake (or something like Officer Wilson’s actions that can be represented as a mistake by unscrupulous partisan activists) – a standard the elites would never apply to themselves. Needless to say, Officer Lewis, being a police officer, not a professor, never sought out the camera or complained about being ignored. He just did his job.
Unfortunately, the results of the all-knowing Left’s latest social experiment with people’s lives in the service of their political careers was all too predictable – although none of them predicted it. Crime and homicide rates soared around the country. Minnesota recorded “185 murders … a dramatic increase of 58 percent” from the previous year (“Violent Crime Surges Across Minnesota with Record Murder,” Associated Press, July 27, 2021). Further, FBI director Wray testified to the House Oversight Committee that 37 police officers were murdered in the first 5 months of 2021, compared with 46 in the whole previous year (“37 Officers Murdered in First Five Months of 2021, FBI Director Says,” Policemag.com, June 17, 2021). That is almost double the previous year and, the same article explains, that does not count the police officers who were killed in other ways, like drowning during attempted rescues, being hit by cars, or “because … law enforcement,” unlike our children’s “teachers” (“Teachers unions are harming our children,” By Kelly Sadler. The Washington Times – January 5, 2022), “kept coming to work every day despite the pandemic”.
The carnage got too high even for the ever self-congratulatory Left and Mayor London Breed dramatically had to reverse herself and call for refunding the police (“SF Democrat Mayor London Breed, After Backing Defunding Police, Reverses: Need ‘Aggressive’ Policing.” By Ryan Saavedra, Dailywire.com. Dec 15, 2021). Indeed, the “Defund” movement became so unpopular that the Democrats tried to claim that it was actually the Republicans that had actually called to defund the police but this was too comical even for the Left and the “news” media and the ruse had to be abandoned (“Democrats Blame GOP for Democrat-Invented ‘Defund the Police’ Efforts,” Deroy Murdock, July 02, 2021).
Typically, our privileged elites, ever searching for the camera or a paycheck, miss no opportunity, in stirring words about “social justice” delivered from their pulpit, to inform the “deplorables” how much they care about “marginalized” people. It is very touching. However, it might be a useful, although humbling, lesson in what real courage in the real world is, as opposed to the fake virtue-signaling posturing produced so effortlessly in the idle talk of the classroom or “news” room, if our vain elites were to volunteer to accompany a police officer armed with a pop gun down a dark alley to face a psychotic killer who might be armed with an AK-47. That would be a real education. One is not advised to hold one’s breath.
“He is a hero only of words and avoids any occasion to proceed from words to action”
Friedrich Nietzsche, from “David Strauss, The Confessor and the Writer”
By Richard McDonough
Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi. Richard is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
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