The President is Responsible for the Assassination of Heroes
President Barack Obama is responsible for the assassination of the heroic police officers in Dallas, and he doesn’t hold that responsibility alone. Celebrities, politicians, and the news media all share that burden. When these people openly spread the false narrative that police officers are making decisions based on race, they are legitimizing the lies of Black Lives Matter and other agitators. This is a concept that should be viewed in the same light as nutjob conspiracy theories, and instead it is being acknowledged as accurate by the media and the people who control it.
On July 7th, the President made a speech, which included the following:
But what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by the shootings.
These are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. And I just want to give people a few statistics to try to put in context why emotions are so raw around these issues.
According to various studies, not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years, African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over.
After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched.
Last year African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites.
African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites; African Americans defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost ten percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.
So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.
When I heard this, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. This wasn’t the first time that the President had made a speech accusing law enforcement of racism. The last time he had made such a speech was days before the assassination of New York PD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on December 20, 2014. These heroes were killed at the hands of a zealot named Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, who believed the lies being spread about law enforcement by the President and the media. Brinsley assassinated Officers Ramos and Liu as retribution for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
When I heard the President’s latest speech, I knew that he was only empowering the extremists. If the most powerful man in the world said it, then it must be true; police officers are targeting black men. The President’s reckless and misleading statements are responsible for propagating the war on law enforcement
Allow me to address the President’s quoted studies. All of that cherry picked information looks pretty damning. Black men shot at twice the rate of white men, black and hispanic men three times more likely to be searched, and black men arrested at twice the rate of white men. People who know nothing about law enforcement are left to assume that there’s no logical explanation except that law enforcement is inherently racist.
The fact is that these studies are quoting data as if each of these stats should be distributed proportionally among all races. This completely ignores the fact that police officers have specific reasons for their actions; reasons which are more obvious than race. Before I explain further, I want to share a story from my law enforcement experience:
A while back, my department asked the psychology department of the local university to put together a training for officers about dealing with the mentally ill. I attended the training and I was shocked at how clueless the trainers were. The psychology department studied that law enforcement officers are many times more likely to use force when contacting people who are mentally ill, opposed to people without mental illness. Only a very small percentage of people with mental illness are violent, so it stood to reason that police officers were disproportionately and unnecessarily using force against the mentally ill. I had to sit through a “training” which basically just told me that I should never need to use any force against a crazy person, because they are almost all harmless.
What the psychology department completely ignored is the reason why law enforcement contacts people who are mentally ill. Nobody calls the police when Crazy Joe is sitting in his house talking to himself; they call the police when he is standing in the highway, swinging a baseball bat at cars. Police officers generally don’t deal with persons with mental illness unless those people have escalated to the point where it is unsafe for people around them. When the cops are called to people who are acting erratically and violently, they frequently need to use force to get the person under control so that they can get that person to treatment.
Law enforcement officers have to make the appropriate decision about using force based on the circumstance that they are facing in that moment. If that decision involves using force, then race or mental illness is not a factor.
This same concept is driving the misleading statistics about racial disparities. You want to know why black men are getting shot more than white men? It’s because black men are threatening the lives of law enforcement more often than white men. You may ask, “Why is this happening?” Heck if I know, I’m just a cop. Maybe it’s an economic issue with more black men growing up in poverty. Maybe it’s a cultural issue where they are in an environment that promotes violence. How about these scientific studies stop looking at unrelated factors when deadly force is used, and they start studying the reason why the force is used, and why the suspect forced the officer to defend themselves.
You may be thinking that using deadly force doesn’t explain the arrest stats. The actual reason why black men are getting disproportionately stopped, arrested, and searched by law enforcement is because police officers go where the crime is, especially violent crime. If an area has a higher than average amount of crime, there will be additional officers working in that area to proactively prevent and respond to that crime. That means additional stops, arrests, and searches. Guess what racial group lives in the areas with the highest crime? If I need to tell you the answer to that, then you aren’t following along.
The racial divide between law enforcement and the black community cannot be fixed by changing law enforcement, because law enforcement is not the cause. Black Lives Matter can block all of the roads and destroy all of the property in the world, and it won’t change the fact that the problem originates with the behavior of the people in the communities where we work, not with law enforcement.
It’s time for the news media, celebrities, and politicians to stop pushing the false narrative of Black Lives Matter, and instead advocate personal responsibility. Maybe then we can prevent more tragedies like the ones in New York and Dallas.
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