An Eloquent Defense of the Courage of Police Officers

City Journal

The Left has been struggling to disassociate the anti-cop hatred spewed by the Black Lives Matter movement from the assassination of New York police officer Miosotis Familia during the Fourth of July holiday. Police Commissioner James O’Neill demolished those efforts in his blazing funeral oration for Officer Familia on Tuesday. Assassin Alexander Bonds “hated the police,” O’Neill said, because he had heard and read “countless times” in conversation, on television, and in the newspapers that the cops were the “‘bad guys.’” That hate “has consequences,” O’Neill warned. “When we demonize a whole group of people—whether that group is defined by race, by religion, or by occupation—this is the result.” Bonds had mental problems, but it’s no coincidence that they culminated in the deliberate slaying of a cop.

The Left denies that the Black Lives Movement is anything other than a reasonable movement for justice and insists that it has no connection with anti-cop violence. Never mind the “Fuck the Police” signs, the “Police = KKK” chants, the “Racist, Killer Cops” tee-shirts. Never mind the exclusive attention to a handful of officer-involved shootings and the refusal to acknowledge why officers focus on minority neighborhoods in the first place, or why they are more likely to encounter armed and resisting suspects there. Never mind the media stampede to justify riots as an understandable reaction to supposed police racism. While any given Black Lives Matter protest, however virulent its rhetoric, enjoys First Amendment protection, it is disingenuous to pretend that the all-consuming anti-police narrative is not making officers’ work more difficult and more dangerous. The anti-cop Left has no explanation for the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers last year. It turns its eyes away from the growing animosity and resistance that officers now encounter when they try to investigate suspicious behavior on the street. And most important, the anti-cop Left ignores the truth: we are not living through an epidemic of racially biased police killings of black males. In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings, it favors blacks against whites, as four studies found last year. The widely held impression that blacks make up the majority of people killed by the police is entirely a media creation.

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