HEY BLM: Baltimore And Treyvon’s Mom Agree, We Need MORE Cops, Not Fewer
The calls going out around the nation right now are clear: 'defund the police'. But does that help who it's supposed to help?
The supposed rationale for defunding the police is to help certain demographic groups who have been unduly harmed by police action. But has anyone bothered to ask if demonizing them and getting rid of them actually made anything better?
For example in the litany of names proffered as the rationale behind this particular eruption of demonstrations which either bubbled up into violence and mayhem, or was used by others as a cover for it included Trayvon Martin. 'Say their names' they tell us. Would those same people listen to what his mother would have to say about the issue?
While protesters spraypaint All Cops Are Bastards ('ACAB') on almost every bare patch of public or private property they can manage, Trayvon's mom has a very different message.
About 2 and a half years ago, here is what people in Baltimore were saying about the diminished police presence that was the predictable consequence of the riots there.
This was written by NPR, who would never worry about being accused of right-wing sentiments.
For the third year in a row, Baltimore, Md., has had more than 300 murders, reaching a new record of murders per number of residents in 2017.
Some residents attribute the high murder rate to relaxed police patrols in the city following high-profile cases of police brutality. Officers have backed off in neighborhoods, like the one where Freddie Gray was arrested.
The Rev. Kinji Scott, a pastor in Baltimore who's held positions in local city government, says the opposite needs to happen.
"We wanted the police there," Scott says. "We wanted them engaged in the community. We didn't want them beating the hell out of us, we didn't want that."
..."We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion," he says. "And that's when we're going to see a decrease in crime."
[Interview Highlights, excerpts from the interview]:
On whether the community wanted police to back off after the death of Freddie Gray
No. That represented our progressives, our activists, our liberal journalists, our politicians, but it did not represent the overall community. Because we know for a fact that around the time Freddie Gray was killed, we start to see homicides increase. We had five homicides in that neighborhood while we were protesting.
What I wanted to see happen was that people would be able to trust the relationship with our police department so that they would feel more comfortable. We'd have conversations with the police about crime in their neighborhood because they would feel safer. So we wanted the police there. We wanted them engaged in the community. We didn't want them beating the hell out of us, we didn't want that. --NPR
The sad story there is that one of the reasons Baltimore police are understaffed, is because jobs are going unfilled.
One of the unintended outcomes of the endless anti-police hostility is that the very communities they claim to care about won't have the full complement of officers needed to keep them safe.
That in turn only strengthens the hand of any lawless opportunists that would prey upon the weak who live there and have nobody else to turn to.
Maybe we should pump the brakes and give this anti-police free-for-all a rethink.