Let’s say you are driving up to an intersection and you have a green light. However, there is a police officer standing in the middle of the intersection telling you to stop. What do you do? Do you defy the officer and just proceed along your merry way, or do you obey the command to stop? If you are smart, you stop. You stop because that is what the law requires. Even if you are late for an appointment, you stop. Even if you are a minority, you stop.
The reason the police officer is there is not important. You don’t get to debate the issue. The same is true if you are driving along and an officer comes up from behind and turns on his lights and siren. You pull over to the right and you stop. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are headed or if you’re late, you stop. That is the law.
For some strange reason it has become fashionable to defy police officers. That seems especially true among young people.
You have all heard about the out-of-control pool party in McKinney, Texas where police were called because some 150 kids were involved in a fight. The police were there to quell the violence and bring these idiots back under control. It should have been a simple task. But no. Some of these morons decided they were not going to allow the police to do their jobs. They decided to defy police and resist arrest. A pretty bad decision, wouldn’t you say?
Of course I wasn’t there and neither were you, but it would appear by the cell-phone video that an officer pulled his service weapon when he was approached from behind by an apparent friend of the individual the officer was trying to control. Based on the very limited information we have, it would seem the officer over-reacted in pulling out his weapon. But, as I said, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the individuals behind the officer were saying. Hindsight is often 20/20. At any rate the highly decorated officer of 10 years has resigned from his department.
We are witnessing what is being called the “Ferguson Effect.” It is happening all over the country. Police officers are being attacked and their authority is being defied. People, especially young people, are resisting the authority of the police. Politicians are siding with the bad guys and crime is increasing. In May, Baltimore experienced 42 homicides, its highest in years. Coincidentally, arrests are down as police officers are evidently looking the other way. Ghetto communities are going to be the victims of lax policing.
Police officers are facing uncertain situations. Hesitation is the enemy of good police work and it can get the officer killed. If an officer is reluctant to make a stop for fear of political retaliation, then the result is obvious. Crime will become rampant.
Put yourself in the shoes of these police officers. While most departments offer reasonable pay and benefits, no one pays enough for an officer to be abused, defied and, in worst cases, killed by the very offenders he is trying to arrest.
One thing is clear. The “Ferguson Effect” is going to cause a lot of police officers to seek new careers. In many cases they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. So, rather than exposing themselves and their families to public abuse at the hands of politicians, many perfectly good policemen and women are choosing a different path. I know I would. Poor — often black — communities are going to be the victims again. Shame on the politicians for causing this problem. I hope they don’t need a cop any time soon.