Now we have another conference of geniuses to discuss the problem of law enforcement. Selected parts with commentary.
‘YouTube effect’ has left police officers under siege, law enforcement leaders say
Chiefs of some of the nation’s biggest police departments say officers in American cities have pulled back and have stopped policing as aggressively as they used to, fearing that they could be the next person in a uniform featured on a career-ending viral video.
That was the unifying — and controversial — theory reached Wednesday at a private meeting of more than 100 of the nation’s top law enforcement officers and politicians.
With homicide rates soaring inexplicably this year in dozens of U.S. cities, the group convened by new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch concluded with a brief news conference promising a robust response to the reversal of decades of falling violent crime rates.
But for hours preceding that, mayors, police chiefs, U.S. attorneys and even FBI Director James Comey privately vented in a Washington ballroom that they don’t really understand the alarming spike in murders and applause filled the room when mayors said police officers’ sinking morale could be a factor...
You think. Back in my Army days we were discussing what morale means to a soldier and a unit and a classmate behind me knocked it out of the park. "Sir, a man's morale determines if he stands and fights or if he runs." Same with police on the street. If we have one politician after another basically accusing police of assault, murder and malfeasance in officer do you think the cop will stick his neck out? He's got a career, family, pension and future to protect. The politicians can always get another appointment somewhere.
"...Could the root cause be drugs? Guns? Gangs? Perhaps a little of each, said Chuck Wexler, a former top officer in Boston and head of the Police Executive Research Forum.
Wexler tried to sum up the day-long discussion for Lynch, who arrived near the end. But there was another problem, he told her, one that hits closer to home for the nation’s top cop.
“Perhaps the most difficult to calibrate, but the most significant,” he said, “is this notion of a reduction in proactive policing.”
Police chiefs and elected leaders from Baltimore, Chicago, New York and St. Louis were more blunt:
“We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Lynch. “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
You don't say Rahm. You're an absolute genius.
There is no evidence of a broad retraction of police engagement with the public in major cities, and no participant in Wednesday’s summit presented a single example of lackluster policing that somehow contributed to a violent crime.
Rather, chiefs and elected officials spoke broadly of a changed atmosphere in major city police departments over the past year amid high-profile police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths that led to riots in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore.
Chiefs said patrol officers still do their jobs, clocking in and policing their beats. But fewer take extra steps such as confronting a group loitering on a sidewalk late at night that might glean intelligence or lead to arrests, for fear that any altercations that ensued would be uploaded to the Internet.
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton called it the “YouTube effect” that has emerged for officers post-Ferguson and, in New York, after the death of Eric Garner last year after he was put in a chokehold by an officer making an arrest.
I notice two things here. One, the cities where the issue is really coming up are all in the North. All run by big city Democratic machines. And all run by politicians who look, to a large degree, as the cops as the enemy. And two, tying into this, I didn't see one quote from the country's biggest mayor, Bill de Blasio. You know, the man who implied his black son has more to fear from the cops than the crooks. And who has openly courted New York's greatest race baiting poverty pimp, Al Sharpton. Maybe he was there and the paper didn't write anything on HIZONORDAMAER, but I doubt it.
If cops believe they are the targets of federal law enforcement for doing their jobs (See Ferguson, Baltimore and New York) they will recede and just do the minimum needed to preform their duties. Effective law enforcement requires cops on the street taking initiative. You punish initiative like many departments are doing now, the criminals will fill the void.