There was this pic on the Book of Faces. I originally thought to write just a short bit of snark on it but instead it turned into a rant.
The snark: Then they won’t be providing cover for the bad ones.
The problem is that police departments are bureaucratic organizations. And like all bureaucratic organizations the “Iron Law” applies. In this case, it’s fully developed. Those “dedicated to the organization itself” (as opposed to those “dedicated to the goals of the organization”) are fully in charge.
I’m not even saying it’s a majority of law enforcement officers, just “the ones driving the bus.”
A serious housecleaning is necessary. I would prefer it happen from within. It’s better for them, better for us, and likely to have a whole lot less collateral damage. But years of promises and no actual cleaning makes me skeptical of “this time for sure.” So at this point I have grave doubts that it can come from within. And, indeed, the Iron Law would seem to imply that the change cannot come from within.
That leaves political fixes “from above”. But political requires that it become an issue for the politicians. And for it to become an issue for the politicians, it has to be something that’s politically profitable for them. And for that to happen there has to be a climate of opinion making this issue important enough that it will affect who people vote for.
And that means people need to be both aware of and outraged over police abuses, real police abuses not the drummed up stuff we sometimes see.
You see, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with the big protests, fomented by BLM and like groups: they only seem to raise a ruckus when the supposed “abuse” (shooting of Michael Brown as one example) is entirely justified (assault a police officer, attempt to steal his weapon, and charge at him once he has weapon drawn and you’re only a victim of your own stupidity), or where the system was working (the officer who killed George Floyd was immediately fired and, after a brief period for investigation arrested).
When the cases are actual abuse? Crickets. At best they’ll be mentioned as an aside in the midst of people protesting legitimate exercise of law enforcement authority.
This portrayal of legitimate law enforcement authority does nothing to help curb abuses of police power. If anything it undercuts attempts by making all objections seem every bit as misapplied.
And this happens again and again and again. There’s a saying “once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.” Well we’re well into “enemy action” on this. And one has to wonder why, what’s the gain.
I could speculate, get well into “conspiracy theory” territory. The same folk who are behind these protests are also among those who, as just one example, want to ban private firearm ownership. And enforcing a general ban on firearms, particularly in the wake of the massive non-compliance for things like magazine size restrictions and bump stock bans, would require severe police abuse. Undermine the credibility of accusations of abuse and it becomes much easier to carry it out.
Mind you, I don’t believe it’s anything as straightforward as that. Indeed, I’m not sure that the folk organizing this have anything as specific as a plan. It could also simply be a matter of undermining police authority in general, or hamstringing the police, so as to give certain groups a much freer hand in ignoring/violating the law as they pursue their various ends.
In any case, buckle up. It’s going to get bumpy.