[Originally published at Blue Magazine, and reprinted with permission]
February 15, 2021
As you know I have written extensively in columns on this site referencing the need for somebody in the law enforcement community, namely an executive, to speak out and push back against this nonstop onslaught against law enforcement officers and their agencies. I have also pointed out that prosecutors, mainly in large urban centers, have been behaving more like political activists and defense attorneys instead of representing the interests of law and order and the rule of law.
In the absence of any courage by law enforcement executives, I have suggested that police unions and fraternal organizations were positioned to speak out on behalf of front-line officers who have no voice as they are maliciously prosecuted or terminated from their employment involving incidents where they were later exonerated. I have said that police union leaders can speak out without being retaliated against because it is their obligation to represent law enforcement officers. Such was the case in Baltimore where six officers were charged in the Freddie Gray death and later had the charges dropped or the countless others who were targeted for prosecution by politically motivated prosecutors but not indicted like former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, and Wauwatosa, Wisconsin officer Joseph Mensah, who was fired by a civilian review board after it was ruled that he was justified in the shooting deaths of three violent and armed criminals in three separate actions.
There is, however, good news to report as a grand jury in Buffalo just refused to indict 2 Buffalo police officers after a liberal activist prosecutor sought felony charges of aggravated assault. You may recall the incident after video cam footage of it went viral. Everybody focused on the fact that the goof, who was advancing toward a police line that was clearing the area, was 75 years old. I didn’t when asked about this in TV interviews. People were told to disperse. Everybody did except this lone idiot. He wasn’t pushed, he lost his balance. His head hit the pavement. That was his fault. After being taken to the hospital he should have been arrested and charged for not complying with a curfew order in place at the time and obstructing police operations. This is how policing used to happen in America, but I digress. The prosecutor.,digging in his heels claiming that he believes this deserved felony criminal prosecution of the officers. Here is what this simpleton said the officers should have done, “They should have grabbed him, gently turned him around and walked him peacefully … off the steps,” Flynn said. I am not making this up. That is a direct quote.
There are several other situations occurring that give me hope that the tide is turning in the war on cops as violent crime surges in just about every large city in America. There are a number of reasons why violent crime is surging. One reason is that police are not being as aggressive as they need to be for fear of something going horribly wrong and ending up being prosecuted by some George Soros-funded activist prosecutor or being unjustly fired by a feckless police chief to appease an angry mob of cop haters. Next is that time spent doing discretionary policing like field interview stops and preventive patrols in high-crime areas is simply not occurring at rates it needs to be. Criminals have free reign right now and they know it. I don’t blame officers for not taking risks when they don’t have the full-throated backing of their agencies or the prosecutor’s office. And, finally, the reason is that failed liberal urban policies like defunding police budgets, agencies disbanding violent crime units, catch and release policies by not holding dangerous repeat offenders on bail or failing to even issue criminal charges stemming from some inane idea and false narrative that the criminal justice system is inherently racist are keeping criminals in circulation. There are signs now that lead me to believe people are starting to get it.
A Washington Times newspaper story points out that activist prosecutors in cities with soaring rates of violence are now being hit with lawsuits from police agencies and others.
In Los Angeles, a court will hear a lawsuit files by a group of deputy district attorneys against LA District Attorney George Gascon accusing him of prohibiting prosecutors from pursuing sentencing enhancements that lengthen the time served in jail or prison for certain major crimes.
In Philadelphia, current and former police officers started a Political Action Committee (PAC) named Protect Our Police that is looking into funding a primary candidate to run against current DA Larry Krasner. The claim being made is that Krasner’s liberal soft-on-crime politics are contributing to increases in violent crime. Among his policies are an end to prosecuting for acts of disorder that lead to a decline in the quality of life in a neighborhood. He believes that a, “lighter prosecutorial touch and less incarceration” would be better for Philadelphia. Better for whom, I would ask? Better for criminals for sure, not for law-abiding citizens.
Of course, these starry-eyed liberals have their talking points down. They claim, without data or research I might add, that crime policies reversing what had led to record reductions in violence for nearly 20 years makes cities safer. They say this even in the face of rising and record violent crime and property crime rates. They’re also buying into the mass incarceration lie.
People locked up in prison deserve to be there. Any officer can attest to how hard it is to get a crook charged, convicted and sent to prison. Most get a lenient sentence with the criminal justice system’s least restrictive means philosophy for punishment. Yes that usually means probation. Most of these miscreants have long criminal histories with very little time being locked away. When they are finally sent to prison, it is because finally the criminal justice system has had enough of their criminal behavior. Contrary to what criminal apologists try to get you to believe, these are not political prisoners. They got their due process and left a trail of victims in their wake. Where is the justice for crime victims? Reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that read, it’s not justice until the victim’s needs are met.
Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is former Sheriff of Milwaukee Co, Wisconsin, President of AmericasSheriff LLC, Board member of the Crime Research Center, author of the book Cop Under Fire: Beyond Hashtags of Race Crime and Politics for a Better America. To learn more visit www.americassheriff.com