Saturday, May 30, 2015

Law and Disorder

Photo: NY Daily News, May 9, 2015
The day following Officer Brian Moore's funeral.
Crime is up in Baltimore, you say? Well, imagine that.

You can't have it both ways, people. Either cops do their jobs with community support, or they hold back from fear of negative consequences to themselves, their families, and their careers. And when cops hold back, criminals step forward. It's not rocket science; it's a predictable combination of common sense and human nature.

Occasions of police brutality are real, but these unfortunate incidents are not racially motivated. If you're resisting arrest, attacking or threatening an officer, or otherwise acting with aggression that threatens the peace, you might get roughed up while being arrested. It doesn't matter what color you are; it's the cops' job to subdue you and prevent harm to themselves and to others. No surprise there, at least to any thinking person.

In all of the strident protests, nobody ever holds a sign reading "Stay Safe--Surrender Peacefully!" So much conflict and grief could be prevented if that were the message. But arriving at that rational conclusion requires critical thinking and honesty, two characteristics in short supply these days. Emotional reaction and political agendas always seem to trump intelligent thought nowadays, a fact that makes me fear for our country's future.

When there's trouble or danger in our lives, who are we to call for help if not the police? It's a hard question that many US cities are being forced to face.

Earlier this month, NYPD officer Brian Moore, age 25, was shot and killed by a career criminal when Moore approached to question the shooter. Moore and his partner had seen the murderer adjusting a gun in his belt. There were no riots, marches, or protests over Moore's death. He was just a cop doing his job. Cops know that any shift they work could be their last. But a group of children standing on a sidewalk to salute Moore's passing hearse wore T-shirts that proclaimed "Blue Lives Matter."

It's a message that surging crime rates in besieged cities might now be willing to consider.