What good are police?

When we break down the police response to the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Florida, we see first-hand the fallacies of both the Left’s and the Right’s arguments in support of police power.

The anti-gun Left would have all of America disarmed and under police protection. Or, as New York Congressweasel Jerrold Nadler once stated, “One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence. And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.” The “state” means local, state and federal police agencies.

Yet the anti-gun Left has, for the last several years, protested police abuses — against blacks especially — and called for police to stand down during periods of anti-police rioting and basic unrest over “social justice” causes like opposing “white supremacy” (real and imagined) or over statues of currently out-of-favor persons.

The pro-police Right (what I call the “law and order” crowd) considers police all but infallible and believes everyone should submit to police authority — even when police are acting outside the law. Whenever citizens are beaten, tazed or shot, the “law and order” crowd will say that if the citizen had just complied with police, the outcome would have been peaceful.

For them, justification can be found for almost any abusive, right-infringing action by law enforcement officers (LEOs, or as I call them, legally entitled to oppress), especially when it’s exercised against minorities or those they consider society’s dregs.

Members of the “law and order” crowd devalue life based on prejudices and propaganda. They complain and clamor for protection from government abuses against themselves, but endorse (or at least abide) government abuses on people who are “different.”

This attitude stems from the faux “war on drugs” and class warfare propaganda. “Class warfare” is a code word for “race warfare,” and it promotes racism and bigotry. It’s a tool employed by the elites to create a chasm between the people, and it’s been very successful.

The pro-police Right has venerated police based on the false notion that they are “risking their lives” to “protect us” (being a cop is not even in the top 10 of dangerous professions) and that their training to lie to us and treat us like serfs is necessary to “enforce law and order.”

Police have morphed from the quaint notion that they were once “peace officers” into the reality that they are “law enforcers.” But as the late columnist William Norman Grigg pointed out, policing was militarized from the start. LEOs see it as their job to “enforce” the law no matter what it takes, no matter how ridiculous the law may be or even regardless of whether the law actually exists. Most of the laws they enforce are victimless crimes (traffic laws, pedestrian laws, gun possession, prostitution, drug use, etc.) with laws forbidding those acts created to serve as revenue streams for local government and/or to steal the people’s liberties.

If there’s no actual law to enforce, police often make one or more up out of thin air, claiming that innocuous activities like watching or videotaping police activities — including arrests on public streets, walking in certain neighborhoods, parking on certain streets and putting trash in trash cans — are crimes.

LEOs have come to think of themselves as gods above the law whose commands are to be obeyed immediately and without question. Any hesitation often leads to the “suspect” being left bleeding and broken, quivering from electricity introduced by a stun gun or even dead from a gunshot, choking or severed spinal cord.

While the gunman or gunmen were shooting school children inside the Douglas school, at least four Broward (rhymes with coward) County deputies stayed outside — three of them hiding behind a patrol car with guns drawn. The fourth, school safety officer Scot Peterson, stood outside the building for four of the six minutes that the massacre was in progress.

None of the armed and trained agents of the state who were on site during the shooting went inside the school to protect the unarmed and defenseless students and faculty. One of the deputies claims that he was ordered not to go in, as have several other first responders. That’s quite likely, as Chuck Baldwin writes, because it’s standard police protocol for patrol officers to wait for militarized SWAT teams to be deployed to confront active shooters. In fact, according to an FBI report titled “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013,” police engage an active shooter only 28 percent of the time.

The Douglas school shooter was not unknown to police. Media reports indicate that police responded to calls of domestic violence, bizarre behavior, threats and other violent episodes involving the shooter some 26-43 times in recent years. The FBI was repeatedly tipped off that he posed a threat to the school and to others.

Yet the state — which the left believes should have a monopoly on violence and its agents should be the only ones with guns — did nothing.

Nor are police required to act. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that police don’t have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm.

While the shooter’s threats and violent actions and warnings about his behavior from people who know him was not enough to spur Broward County police and the FBI to action, there can be little doubt that had one of those agencies suspected the shooter might have had an unapproved plant or medication in his possession, the full weight of police power would have been brought down on his head.

The raid to take him out would have been conducted with surplus military gear like armored personnel carriers, grenades and rocket launchers acquired from the Pentagon and with officers dressed in full body armor wielding M-16s and using night vision.

Few things bring out the long knives more than when I write about police abuse. Yet American police kill almost 1,000 people every year, most of them unarmed and many of them either complying or attempting to comply with multiple commands being barked at them from many different angles while multiple guns are being pointed in their direction.

Police solve less than two-thirds of all murders committed, and in some cities (New Orleans, for instance) the murder clearance rate is only 30 percent. There is only a 1 in 5 chance that property stolen from you will be recovered.

So what good are police? Police power props up the state and provides cover for all its nefarious activities. For police, the motto “To protect and serve,” is really all about protecting government and their own gang and serving the state as revenue collectors and enforcers, not protecting the people.

They cannot and do not protect us, but they are all too willing to abuse us. When the left and right embrace and submit to them in their current form, they are advocating for their own slavery.

Editor’s note: Having written on this subject many times, I know the questions that will arise, so I will answer some of them in advance (as I have done before). One is, “Livingston, what’s your answer?” Knowing it will be mostly be dismissed out of hand because of normalcy bias, one answer is private security. See here, here and here. Here is another possible solution, though I disagree with the idea of federal involvement. Another is, “So Livingston, who are you gonna call when you get robbed?” Because I have no other options, if I call anyone it will likely be police. But hopefully it is to report there is a subdued robber in my home who needs to be picked up. I would not expect them to arrive in time to thwart the robber, nor would I expect them to find the stolen goods if the robber escapes. Another will certainly be, “So Livingston, you advocate shooting cops?” That question is stupid on its face. I do not advocate or endorse offensive violence in any form. Nor do I think all cops are bad people. There are certainly many police officers with good and honest hearts who become police officers with noble reasons. But when LEOs enforce tyrannical laws just because they are laws, or if they “look away” when their fellow officers cross the line, they no longer have good and honest hearts but become part of the system. And liberty-stealing laws passed by the political class are nothing more than “sound and bluster” and ink on paper without the LEO class to enforce them.  Take for instance the unconstitutional gun laws in place and being passed and enforced in various states like California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, etc. LEOs who enforce such laws do not have “good and honest” hearts or noble motives. BL

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