Many in the media assume it is because of Ferguson that the police stopped policing, but the true reason started in the fall of 2008. And the roots of that started in 1991 with the Rodney King incident. What was a single incident involving local PD and a stoned violent felon- who refused to submit to arrest after a long high speed police chase turned into a national crisis. The resulting use of force by the police became a federal crime and a kangaroo court pushed by people who wanted to be President.
Many law enforcement officers watched the process and realized their lives had changed forever. Good or bad, legal or illegal, right or wrong, the police were now going to be scrutinized over their actions, and would be judged through the prism of political advantage. We had become the ball to be kicked.
People don’t remember the officers were charged in State court, they had a trial and they were found not guilty. Only when the riots occurred did George Bush green lighted the federal case. The President decided ahead of time that somebody had to be sacrificed.
When Stacey Koon was put on trial for not handling his men correctly during the King arrest, I remember standing on a porch with another officer talking about the incident. I was confident they would be found innocent of excessive force in court again. He was a little older than me, more experienced. He looked over at me with a sad face and said, “They are going to jail. The decision has already been made, they have no choice.” By “they” he meant the federal government under George Bush.
Several things need to be mentioned.
One- None of those officers woke up that day with the intention of beating a black man. It isn’t mentioned much, but if I remember correctly there were two other black men taken out of the car without incident. In fact, one was grateful because he thought King was going to get him killed during the chase.
Two- This was the first time amateur video was going to convict police officers of a crime, but not the last.
Three- Nothing the officers did hadn’t been done before to other suspects of other crimes who resisted arrest. The street world is a violent world. The tools used by the police back then were rudimentary. If a person refused to comply the police were limited in options. You had voice, hands on, taser, sticks, guns. That was it. If the bad guy refuses to follow orders you were trained to go up the use of force scale until he did comply and you can secure him. That’s the facts. A big, doped up, strong man can easily make four or five cops look like fumbling buffoons when they try to take him into custody. Nobody wants to get hurt, everybody trying to find a way to get the guy into custody without killing him. So they whack him with a stick that just doesn’t work. Then they whack him a bunch of times to knock the fight out of him. We don’t get paid to lose an eye or get hit with a lucky punch that crushes our windpipe during an arrest. So we try to be sure the guy have given up. I’ve hit people with sticks without any result, it’s frustrating. On video, it looks horrible. In reality, it is ineffective. And it is dangerous to the officer.
Fast forward through a generation of violent and recorded police confrontations to the day Barack Obama is elected. His rhetoric was clear, the police- the SYSTEM- was the enemy, not the thugs, dealers, gangbangers and monsters that inhabited our country which were controlled by the police. You have to remember, we are just guys and gals like you, just as clumsy and unprofessional or ineffective as you might be, trying to keep the lid on a society rife with violence. But we did manage to keep the lid on. And now it was all fixing to go belly up. The only question was how bad.
In post election 2008, my partner, a MENSA bright fellow, and I were standing in a park talking. We had just been given the opportunity to retire. I said I was glad I was getting out, because things were going to go badly. He didn’t understand, believing the Republicans could keep Obama under control. I told him they would not do a thing because Obama was a tranformative person, the first black President, and that would insulate him from anything he does. Barack Obama was the end result of Rodney King, and he knew it and was going to exploit it.
And I knew it too.
Hotair argues it had to do with Ferguson maybe.
There has been a significant decline in arrests in Los Angeles even as crime is rising in the city. Today the LA Times looks at what is behind the drop in arrests:
The arrest data include both felonies and misdemeanors — crimes ranging from homicide to disorderly conduct. From 2010 to 2015, felony arrests made by Los Angeles police officers were down 29% and misdemeanor arrests were down 32%.
The 2016 numbers aren’t available yet but an Assistant Chief with the LAPD tells the Times the number of arrests has continued to decline. Similar declines were seen in other big cities including San Diego. The result is that the overall number of arrests in California is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.
The LA Times doesn’t say the so-called Ferguson Effect, i.e. police pulling back to avoid becoming the next viral video, is responsible, but some of its reporting certainly fits with that explanation:
In a nationwide survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center, 72% of the law enforcement officers questioned said their colleagues were less likely to stop and question suspicious people “as a result of high-profile incidents involving blacks and the police.”
Police officers and sheriff’s deputies interviewed by The Times echoed that view.
“Everyone is against whatever law enforcement is doing, so that makes an officer kind of hesitant to initiate contact,” said one LAPD officer, who has worked in South L.A. for more than a decade and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “A lot of guys will shy away from it because we’ve got the dash cams, we’ve got the body cams.… We don’t want it to come back on us.”
A motorcycle deputy named George Hofstetter tells the Times, “Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fireman.’ I’m going to handle my calls for service and the things that I have to do.” He added, “But going out there and making traffic stops and contacting persons who may be up to something nefarious? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”
The picture of what is happening isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, though. For one thing, the decline in arrests began before the shooting of Mike Brown in 2014 made police shootings a national issue. That would seem to suggest that something else was motivating the decline or, at a minimum, that other factors were involved.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the acting police acting stupidly incident. Obama immediately assumed the cop was a racist, not that the professor was giving the police a hard time. My now ex-partner pointed out at the time the only reason the cop didn’t get jacked up was because he was the same officer who tried to save a dying black basketball player– on video.
It didn’t matter, because that incident was the prelude. It occurred in 2009, just before the 2010 elections. Zimmerman occurred in 2012, prior to the 2012 elections, Ferguson prior to the 2014 election, Baltimore in 2015- prior to the 2016 election, and on and on.
Ball, kick, politics.
No cop wants to be the next election changing incident. That’s why they aren’t going to get involved in anything they figure will make them the ball.
The real problem is the Obama administration created incidents where there were none, so when the police officer tried to figure out where the line was- one side good policing, the other he is a racist bully- Obama acolytes just changed the standards. Ferguson was a perfect example. What did the officer do wrong? Nothing, simply nothing other than maybe run away, which he can’t do, but the Left in America would love to see happen.
That’s what happened. Hotair, like most non-players in the police world, don’t get it because they aren’t in it. Hopefully, Trump will put an end to the harassment. If not, the country will burn.