Days of Change

Pragmatic Policing | May 28, 2015

Sean Hannity has spent this week talking about the increase in civilian deaths in cities like Baltimore and New York where the police have been judged as dangerous to Black people. Community policing becomes difficult because stopping suspicious people can easily be labeled harassment. Baltimore also shows us that even Black police officers can be indicted as racially biased. We’re headed back to the past, where the police only respond to crimes instead of making neighborhoods safe. The loudest protesters have let it be known they are not welcome.

I’m sure the reality-based community thinks there is a formula where no innocent people die and the police make everyone happy. That formula has never been found. Every criminal thinks they are singled out by cops. Every criminal’s family thinks they’re special snowflake is innocent. Modern law enforcement is based on pragmatism. A generation ago, most large cities thought that putting all their efforts into murders and letting other crimes slide was the best way to reduce future murders. Now we know that holding criminals accountable for even small crimes increases the quality of life for everyone. That higher quality of life gives the worst criminals fewer places to hide.

It strains credibility to call a city or a police force racist. By and large, individual people are racist. Individual policemen (and any other professional) can be bad at their job. The way to stop that is the same way we root out crime in cities. We find the incidents where rights are violated on a regular basis. We don’t throw a riot when one person is killed due to a mistake. Or we can disband the police and let the cities fend for themselves. That will solve crime, too, because everyone will move or die.


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  1. Or we can disband the police….

    That’s their goal. Let them live–or, more likely, die–with it.

    Comment by Mary — May 29, 2015 @ 2:27 am

  2. I’ve always thought, since the days I was one, communities pretty much get the kinds of cops they deserve. My community was Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Salton Sea, Eagle Mountain, etc. We had lots of vacationing cops. Various area’s cops were quite distinctive in their interactions with their on duty CA “cousins”. When asked for license and registration a Chicago area cop would pass over his shield and a folded $5 bill. A Detroit cop folded a $10. The astonished looks on their faces when these were handed back was precious. But it told me all I needed to know about ” justice” in their cities.

    Comment by 49erDweet — May 29, 2015 @ 11:28 am

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