The Police Problem

Over at National Review Online, A J Delgado points out that it is time that conservatives stop reflexively defending the police when they make errors:

…it’s time for conservatives’ unconditional love affair with the police to end.

Let’s get the obligatory disclaimer out of the way: Yes, many police officers do heroic works and, yes, many are upstanding individuals who serve the community bravely and capably.

But respecting good police work means being willing to speak out against civil-liberties-breaking thugs who shrug their shoulders after brutalizing citizens.

On Thursday in Staten Island, an asthmatic 43-year-old father of six, Eric Garner, died after a group of policemen descended on him, placing him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes. A bystander managed to capture video in which Garner clearly cries out, “I can’t breathe!” Even after releasing the chokehold (chokeholds, incidentally, are prohibited by NYPD protocol), the same officer then proceeds to shove and hold Garner’s face against the ground, applying his body weight and pressure on Garner, ignoring Garner’s pleas that he cannot breathe. Worse yet, new video shows at least eight officers standing around Garner’s lifeless, unconscious body.

Who can defend this?…

No one can, of course.  On the other side of it, Jack Dunphy – the nom de post of a police officer – points out, correctly (though involving a different case), that the police are often put in a very difficult position by the forces of the left: if they do something, they can be blamed and if they fail to do something, they could just as well be blamed. Pointing out that videos of alleged police misconduct are often either edited for dramatic (and political) impact or simply incomplete, Dunphy shows that the police do have a hard time of it in our modern, lawyer-ridden, political correct era.

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