This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published July 24, 2016 by The Washington Times.
As officers’ families mourn the deaths of ambushed police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge and elsewhere, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and some in the liberal media are doing their best to stir up yet more minority resentment against police.
In Oklahoma City, the ACLU is loudly objecting to a policy allowing officers to carry their own rifles as long as they meet police specifications. “This is a very troubling development,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU’s Oklahoma chapter. “This will lower trust between the people of Oklahoma City and the police force. I think this makes for a more dangerous situation for everyone.”
Well, not everyone. The officers are now better equipped to stop assassination attempts.
Defending the rifle policy to a skeptical reporter, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said the personally-owned rifles would be deployed only in “very specific, very, very high-intensity events like those seen in Dallas and Baton Rouge.”
Local Fraternal Order of Police President John George told news station KOCO, “With the 600 square miles to patrol, your nearest backup can be 15 or 20 minutes away. A lot of times you may have to handle these situations alone.”
In another segment that aired July 18, KOCO reporter Patty Santos ginned up negative reaction to a video of a fatal Oklahoma City police shooting of a violent suspect on a city bus in June. The two officers involved are on administrative leave pending an inquiry.
Although KOCO played the more than three-minute raw tape released by police on Monday, the segment by Santos featuring the slain man’s family stops the video before the suspect scuffles to the floor with a female officer after grabbing her gun. In the full raw footage, a male officer comes to her aid and shoots the suspect.
In the Santos clip, the video stops short as they’re still standing, with Santos concluding:
“Watching this video, the family tells me they see a man who needed help, but was instead met with lethal force.”
She makes it sound like the police officer wanted to shoot the poor guy, not rescue a downed officer whose life was in danger.
Perhaps the most revealing encounter between progressive media and the police was a CNN segment on July 17 after a black militant executed three police officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge. CNN anchor Don Lemon ends up over his head in a heated debate with Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr.
Mr. Lemon first expresses condolences, but then declares that the “message” of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is “one of peace.” He then asks the sheriff, “What’s your message?”
Mr. Clarke looks incredulous, and asks Mr. Lemon why he characterized Black Lives Matter that way, given its “hateful ideology” and “vile” rhetoric. As the discussion escalates, Mr. Lemon asks Mr. Clarke to prove that BLM’s anti-cop mantra inspired black militant shootings of police. An angry Mr. Clarke responds that he’s been warning about such a connection for two years, and Mr. Lemon cautions him to maintain “civility.”
After Mr. Lemon defends the BLM’s contention that police treat black males differently from whites, Mr. Clarke calls it a “lie” unsupported by data, and says, “the president has been lying about it” when Mr. Lemon invokes President Obama. As the segment ends, Mr. Clarke sums up Black Lives Matter: “They preach vitriol in the name of virtue.” Mr. Lemon condescendingly tells Mr. Clarke, “We understand it’s a very tough time for you.”
Sheriff Clarke went on to give a well-received speech at the Republican National Convention. In stark contrast, the Democratic National Convention, which opens Monday in Philadelphia, is slated to feature relatives of victims of police shootings but not of slain officers.
“We will not soon forget that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are excluding the widows and other family members of police officers killed in the line of duty who were victims of explicit and not implied racism,” the Philadelphia police union stated.
On ABC’s “The View” last Tuesday, panelists Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Whoopi Goldberg blasted former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his speech the night before at the Republican convention, in which he defended police and the kind of policies that helped reduce crime in the Big Apple during his tenure. He called for a national return to law and order.
According to Newsbusters.org, the women called Mr. Giuliani “nutty,” “berserk” “lunatic” and “divisive,” with Ms. Goldberg likening him to Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Just another day in the enclaves of the inclusive and tolerant.