POLICE: From Essential to Non-Essential Overnight

After months of police dealing with the Corona Virus and hearing from various state and local government leaders that police officers were considered essential, the necessity for police in many of these same states and locales are now suddenly in question.

That the pandemic seems to be over and we have segued into a series of racially charged protests, riots and lootings, liberal leaders and leftist mobs across the land are screaming that the police are not essential and, in fact, want them defunded.

“The President wants to send in the Army, and the Psychotic Left doesn’t want the police at all,” said Gene O’Donnell, a decorated ex-cop and former prosecutor in New York City who is now a Professor of Law and Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The lack of leadership by Mayors and Governors in some of the hardest-hit cities had let the debate be controlled by those at the extreme ends of the spectrum, Prof. O’Donnell said, in an interview with The Chief-Leader, the New York City civil service newspaper.

O’Donnell was scathing about the reported decision of police to arrest George Floyd in response to a report that someone had attempted to buy groceries with counterfeit money, saying, “In the middle of the pandemic, I can’t say how ridiculous it was that the cops got involved over a $20 bill.”

But when George Floyd was killed by officer Derek Chauvin on video in a clear case of homicide, it ignited heated demonstrations that featured confrontations between cops and protesters, rioting and looting, some of it started by black people, some of it by white people and some by cops.

Prof. O’Donnell questioned why the elected officials who had been so quick to point fingers at police for rough tactics during some of the protests kept their hands in their pockets once it became clear that the “outside instigators” New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and other Mayors had blamed for inciting violence were not the people behind the looting.

In New York City’s case, both the high-end SoHo shopping district and Fifth Avenue were ransacked on subsequent nights, with packed cars from out-of-state fleeing the scene, while the National Guard was ready in the wings but Governor Cuomo refused to call them in.

The criticism of police conduct by both elected officials and some liberal voices in the media became so one-sided, Professor O’Donnell said, that it was likely to make cops unwilling to physically intervene in “ambiguous situations [because] you’re going to be criminalized, demonized for using force.”

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio couldn’t keep his foot out of his mouth when he said an officer who pulled his gun and pointed it at a protester should have lost both the weapon and his badge.

When a TV reporter said that video footage showed that the officer brandished his weapon after his commanding officer, a Lieutenant, had “just been attacked with a brick,” the Mayor ducked his question about whether he should apologize for the earlier remark, claiming he hadn’t seen that footage.

Some 292 members of the NYPD suffered injuries in the first nights of violence.

The reality is If there were no police in the community, the rioting and looting, the violence would be much more frequent. The scene would be similar to the movie Escape From New York. Everyone would have guns, knives, clubs or any sort of weapon. Lawlessness would be the norm. Children would never be safe.

Andrea “ AJ Cats” Catsimatidis, Manhattan Republican Party Chair and Vice Chair of the New York State Republican Party, and heir to the New York City supermarket chain Gristedes, owned by here dad “John Cats”, who is contemplating another run for Mayor when de Blasio has to step down in 2021, published the real stats.

While of course it is true, there are bad police officers who wear that good uniform, the vast majority do wear the badge with honor and swear to protect and serve the public. And it’s a hard job on those city streets.

They, too, are human, with good days and bad days. Most of them never cross the line and commit murder but when they do abuse the badge, of course, they must be held accountable.

Currently, within police culture exists a thin blue line that represents a camaraderie that is well known where if a cop commits an offense, it is taboo for another cop not to defend him or her no matter what.

That is the culture and always has been. Cops protect their own.

But that culture runs contrary to the oath they take as officers and public servants to protect and serve the public, as directed under the Constitution of the particular state in which they serve.

That is where the reforms must begin. Culture must change from the top, a unit is only as good as it’s leadership.

Rather than answer to a liberal mob asking to defund the city’s cop en masse, the right answer for any Mayor to support, would be to push the Commissioner and Police Chief and powerful Patrolman’s union to improve the culture to weed out the bad officers.

Leadership must support good policing with emphasis on community outreach and efforts to mend the relationship, without going to the extreme demands in Minneapolis — with social workers and religious leaders patrolling the streets — policing can still be essential and will maintain its necessity.

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