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Stop Kneeling. Start Policing

(Image via Santa Cruz Police)

After a week of bloody, destructive riots with cities duly torched and looted, ABC News has offered up a misty-eyed story about how police around the country are kneeling – Colin Kaepernick style – alongside protesters. In some cases, they’ve actually joined protests in uniform.

Protests were prompted by the outrageous killing of Floyd George, while in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd’s killing was captured on video. The killing set off protests. But those protests appear to have turned into something much more organized and sinister.

This week’s riots have demonstrated that some protesters and all rioters aren’t on our side. And now the cops are kneeling with them. To them. 

Kaepernick kneeled because he hated cops and held the United States in contempt. He was a first-rate blame-America-firster.

But there is something deeply wrong with cops kneeling to the rage mob in this obsequious manner. They shouldn’t bend to emotion, they should do their jobs.

Wittingly or unwittingly, police, wanting to appear sincerely aggrieved by the death of Floyd – and they should – have knelt with people who could have been responsible for burning churches, kicking citizens in the head, and boosting AR-15s from cop cars. The ABC piece included the image of Camden, N.J., cops marching with the protesters. Among them was police chief Joseph Wysocki.

The piece included photos of officers kneeling with protesters around the country.

Police knelt with protesters during an observance in Miami.

And in Santa Cruz. Big surprise.

Chief Wysocki told ABC News why he was walking in lockstep with protesters.

[W]e’re part of the community. It’s not us policing the city; it’s us, together.

There’s no alternative. We can’t impose our will on a community.

Look, with all due respect to Chief Wysocki and all police officers around the country who comprise the thin blue line: we’ve never asked you to impose your will. 

We need you to enforce the rule of law. That’s your job.

You say, “It’s not us policing the city; it’s us, together” with the citizens.

At this moment we need you to police the cities, and the “citizens” you credit with “policing our cit[ies]” are ruining our cities. You appear to have chosen a group of people to advantage over the safety of others. That’s not “us, together.” You’ve actually chosen a side. You’ve ceded our rights to theirs. You’ve decided that our safety is not as important as their riots.

At this moment in time, as antifa, anarchists, radical black lives matter activists and their organized kindred smash into Louis Vuitton in LA or loot the Apple store in Portland, or destroy a Vietnamese immigrant’s nail salon in LA because they don’t want “to let a crisis go to waste,” we need you to be law enforcement officers.

We need you to stop riots. In a time of emergency you must limit the protests, that, as predictably as night follows day, transmogrify into riots.

As my PJMedia colleague, Stacey Lennox pointed out, Attorney General Bill Barr has sent direct messages to law enforcement to get off their asses and enforce the law.

Barr’s statement included this, “It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it.”

With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.

It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it. The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens.

It also undercuts the urgent work that needs to be done – through constructive engagement between affected communities and law enforcement leaders – to address legitimate grievances. Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot let them succeed.

It is the responsibility of state and local leaders to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order. We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked.

There are plenty of people, like the private security pro in Seattle, who know what they’re doing in the event of an armed conflict, or the guys who run the Italian bakery with antifa beating on their door and respond with double-barreled shotguns, but many more people expect police to do that.

The situation – all of it – is rage-inducing.

In 1957, when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower oversaw the desegregation of the Little Rock public schools, a mob of people who didn’t want to integrate the schools held sway by intimidation and violence. Eisenhower told the nation that unless he forced the issue, anarchy would result.

There would be no security for any except that which each one of us could provide for himself. The interest of the nation in the proper fulfillment of the law’s requirements cannot yield to opposition and demonstrations by some few persons. Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts.

One year later, Eisenhower dedicated the nation’s first “Law Day,” which highlighted the role of the rule of law in this nation’s founding.

“In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.”

Chief, we need you and every other police commander, sheriff, and mall cop to enforce the law. In fact, we need you to enforce the law now more than ever. Remember, it’s because a cop did not observe the rule of law that we’ve arrived at this place. To repeat: George Floyd is dead because the rule book was thrown out.

You honor Floyd by honoring the rule of law.

Grieve with your people if you’ve got no riots going on in your cities and towns.

But if you do …

Stop kneeling. Start policing.

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