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Oh, That War on Cops

Although Chief Cunningham made an effort to seem evenhanded by speaking of the thousands of police officers who over the years have sacrificed their lives while doing their duty, he neglected to mention the eight who had been murdered just in the previous two months. (Another was murdered on Wednesday, the fourth killed in California in the last two weeks.) And, since Cunningham is so concerned with policing and its effects on “communities of color,” he might have added some context to his apology by noting that of the 543 cop-killers identified since 2006, 222 of them, or 41 percent, have been black.

We of course will never know if any of the police officers murdered in the last two years died because they hesitated to defend themselves out of fear of controversy. But we now have the word of one Chicago cop who is candid enough to admit she did not shoot a man when she had every legal and moral right to do so. She speaks for lots of cops, not just in Chicago, but all across the country. Surely she will be more circumspect the next time she confronts some uncooperative suspect.

The war on cops is real, but the losers in this war are not the cops themselves, but rather the law-abiding citizens who must live in the areas most affected by crime and most in need of effective policing. When the police fear controversy, the criminals don’t fear the police.