Huffpo, not surprisingly, is amplifying an anti-police activist grievance against Barr’s latest speech. But is it really as ‘bad’ as his critics say?
First, here are the circumstances of Barr’s Address:
Attorney General William P. Barr and Justice Department leadership today announced the recipients of the Third Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing, recognizing the exceptional work of 19 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country.
“Honoring and supporting the work of law enforcement officers and deputies is a top priority for the Trump Administration, and today is an opportunity for me to personally express my gratitude and commitment to those who risk their lives daily to protect our communities,” said Attorney General Barr. “The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing honors exceptional police officers and the vital public service they provide. The brave men and women in law enforcement are engaged in an unrelenting and often unacknowledged fight to keep our communities safe each and every day. It is an honor to thank them for their service.” — Source: Justice
He proceeded to offer glowing praise of the sacrifices and heroics of specific law enforcement officials, and the force in general. Those of us who appreciate our law enforcement loved it. But he said something the Left found objectionable.
Here is the complaint against Barr’s statement:
Huffpo keyed in on one particular phrase that was found to be ‘objectionable’, and the objections are after the ellipsis. (Video included)
(By contrast, here’s the ENTIRE video. The section above is lifted starting at the 16:13 mark, with critical points made immediately before it.)
But I think today, American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers,” Barr said. “And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves ― and if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
…But American Bridge, a liberal super PAC that first flagged the comments, said the attorney general was referring to communities of color that have historically had a contentious relationship with law enforcement due to police brutality, mass incarceration and racial profiling.
“The Attorney General isn’t being subtle and that shouldn’t surprise us considering this administration’s record,” American Bridge spokesperson Jeb Fain told HuffPost in a statement. “When it comes to communities of color, he sees justice and equal protection under the law as subject to conditions.
“Barr’s words are as revealing as they are disturbing ― flagrantly dismissive of the rights of Americans of color, disrespectful to countless law enforcement officers who work hard to serve their communities, and full of a continuing disregard for the rule of law.”
The attorney general has proved before that he does not support the more humane criminal justice reform that’s coming to states, counties and local jurisdictions across the country. Since taking over as attorney general in February, Barr has maintained the “tough on crime” approach that President Donald Trump has adopted. Source: Huffpo
This was, as we have already pointed out, spoken in the context of an award for exceptional policing.
It takes a spectacular cynicism to say that Barr was making a threat to withhold police services from certain communities. If anything, he is pleading for them to repair their relationship with local police so that people will actually want to APPLY for that job, and stay in it once they’ve been hired.
In the lines just before the cited quote, Barr was listing the sacrifices of our military, and how our citizens have shown outpourings of respect and gratitude for that service. He encouraged the public to extend that same gratitude toward our police services whose personal sacrifices and hard work he had already praised.
We need not look any farther than Baltimore to see why he would make such an appeal.
In Baltimore, policing was fundamentally changed after the Freddie Gray situation, with disastrous results: BLOODY BALTIMORE: Baltimore Sees Deadliest Month In 15 YEARS Thanks To The Race-Baiters
When crime predictably spiked, locals cried out for increased police protection: ‘I’M AFRAID’: Baltimore Residents Want COPS To KICK ASS AGAIN as Violence Spikes
What is the net result of hostility against a police force?
In a message to rank-and-file officers obtained by The Baltimore Sun, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 President Sgt. Mike Mancuso suggested the officers had to look out for themselves because the department wasn’t doing it — instead failing to recruit enough officers to outpace attrition and forcing existing officers in the department to work overtime shifts. — Source: Baltimore Sun
If they could pull their head out of their bias they might be able to see that Barr isn’t pushing for LESS protection in these regions, he is giving a template for MORE protection by repairing the reputation of local policing and restoring functionality to what is sometimes a deeply broken relationship.