Skip to comments.Why Conservatives Should Care About Ferguson
Posted on 08/22/2015 5:21:12 AM PDT by Kaslin
Last Saturday I made a first-ever visit to the down town Dallas Police Department to fill out a report. I had never been to a police department before. My only image of one was the police station I had seen on the television series Hill Street Blues.
Unlike the television show, the building I approached was thoroughly modern -- constructed of glass and steel. I was impressed.
Also unlike the television show, the building was locked. Locked? Yes locked. The police take off on weekends? Apparently. From what I remember, people walked in and out of the Hill Street Blues police station at any time night or day. It was part of the community. Not in Dallas.
That Saturday morning there was someone behind the locked front door. But he would only talk to me over an intercom. Come back Monday morning after 8:00, he ordered. When I did, I observed the interior of the building was as impressive as its exterior. But the mood and demeanor of the personnel was not much different than what I had experienced at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security administration office or almost any other government agency.
Conservatives have a long tradition of being suspicious about the power of government. But they have tended to make an exception for the police in particular and the criminal justice system in general. It was not that long ago that support your local police bumper stickers were popular in some parts of the country.
Its time to reset.
The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. was just the first in a disturbing string of widely publicized deaths of black citizens who were stopped by the police or in their custody. Most of what Ive read about this lately has been written by liberals. But try to put that thought aside and objectively consider what New York Times columnist Charles Blow has to say:
Many local municipalities experience budgetary pressure. Rather than raise taxes or cut services in response, things that are often politically unpalatable, they turn to law enforcement and courts to make up the difference in tickets and fines. Some can also increase the number of finable offenses and stiffen the penalties.
Officers, already disproportionately deployed and arrayed in so-called high-crime neighborhoods — invariably poor and minority neighborhoods — are then charged with doing the dirty work. The increase in sheer numbers of interactions creates friction with targeted populations and ups the odds that individual biases will be introduced.
Blow isnt saying the police are racists. They are probably no more racist than anyone else. The problem is that pressure from City Hall creates a situation that disproportionally affects blacks. As Blow writes:
There is blood on everyones hands, including the hands still clutching the tax revenue that those cities needed but refused to solicit, instead shifting the mission of entire police departments from protect and serve to punish and profit, as Mother Jones magazine recently put it in a fascinating article on this subject.
Is it a coincidence that many of the recent cases involving black people killed by the police began with stops for minor offenses?
And thats just the first step people encounter when they interact with the criminal justice system. If they are charged with a crime, it gets worse. Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Nick Pinto says that:
[A]t any given time, close to 450,000 people are in pretrial detention in the United States — a figure that includes both those denied bail and those unable to pay the bail that has been set... In New York City, where courts use bail far less than in many jurisdictions, roughly 45,000 people are jailed each year simply because they cant pay their court-assigned bail. And while the citys courts set bail much lower than the national average, only one in 10 defendants is able to pay it at arraignment. To put a finer point on it: Even when bail is set comparatively low -- at $500 or less, as it is in one-third of nonfelony cases -- only 15 percent of defendants are able to come up with the money to avoid jail.
In a post at Slate, Andrew Kahn and Chris Kirk note that:
· Black and Hispanic drivers are far more likely than whites to be stopped and searched by the police.
· Black Americans are more likely to be jailed while awaiting trial.
· Blacks are more likely to be offered a plea deal that avoids trial.
· Blacks are more likely to serve longer sentences for the same offense.
· Blacks are more likely to be disenfranchised because of a felony conviction.
· Blacks are more likely to have their probation revoked.
· Blacks are more likely to be excluded from jury pools.
· Blacks are more likely to have their probation revoked.
None of this means that racism is involved, although it may be.
Conservatives are prone to point out that there is more criminality in the black community. Writing in USA Today, criminology expert James Alan Fox notes that:
"[T]he police were not the greatest threat to black citizens and the tranquility of their neighborhoods during the late-80s crime wave. At that time, blacks were only 12% of the U.S. population, yet constituted nearly half of the nations homicide victims. Moreover, well over 90% of these black homicide victims were slain by members of their own race. Black lives do indeed matter, but not just when they are taken by officers in blue."
Fair enough. But that cant excuse a lot of current practices.
Conservatives who become outraged when city governments overstep their powers of imminent domain and seize private property should be even more outraged when the criminal justice system abuses rights instead of protecting them.
So we can "BUY" peace in the inner city if we just pay more taxes? I doubt it, and, to paraphrase Robert Goodloe Harper: "Millions for policing and incarcerating uncivilized thugs but not one cent for tribute."
The current trend to excuse or de-criminalize criminal behavior is going to get a lot of people injured and killed.
Yeah, walking down the middle of a street - a cop should just ignore that. And also should ignore that the description of one of the walkers matches that of a strong-arm robbery suspect that was just broadcast over the radio. Yep, the cops should ignore those small, trifling matters and wait until the Michael Browns of the world move on to bigger crime such as attempted murder. Which Brown promptly did when the cop tried to stop him.
I agree too much is criminalized in this day and age. I agree that cops too often profile race instead of activity. But in Brown's case, it was precisely his activity that drew attention. He is about the worst possible poster child for excessive force by police, and only liberal loons immune to facts continue to make him their cause. So what does that say about this writer?
He could have ordered the police teports online via email. I request them police departments all over the country online then have them emailed or mailed to me. In some instances I have to go to the police station to pick them up but those are generally the older Barney Fifeish stations.
The popos are NOT your friend, like they may have been in the 50s.
There is police misbehavior and institutional excess, but to use the defensive shooting of the Gentle Giant as a case in point is just beyond stupid, beyond idiotic, beyond propagandistic.
I give this article a super-secret double-probation F triple-minus.
Back to 2nd grade, moron!
The truth is in the free market. If you go to poor black areas you will find grocery and retail chain stores with higher prices. In the typical American business model every store is its own profit center. That means that the costs associated with shoplifting and added security are added to the costs of items in that store. Poor areas pay more because they are full of thieves, (that’s a type of criminal.) Criminal behavior draws police like stink draws flys.
Strongarm robbery is illegal everywhere, and you don’t get a ticket for it.
Dont do things to attract their attention.
Orilly? To the rest of us, it looks like another in a disturbing string of coddled criminals who are so used to getting away with crime that they get high on drugs and think they're Superman, and try to attack and kill armed policemen.
There's no precedent in American history for the percentage of blacks today who grow up without fathers. Under Jim Crow and slavery before that, two-parent families were overwhelmingly the statistical norm among blacksfar more so than among white families today. The rate of fatherlessness today is why the crime wave in Section 8 areas is so astronomical. It's programs like Section 8 and the AFDC bounty for bearing children on welfare are what created this monstrous trendwhich of course is one of the things that genuinely hurts blacks in poor neighborhoods the most, since it subsidizes the bad actors there.
The comment about how black people in those neighborhoods pay the brunt of the costs for extra policing now required through nuisance fines is a joke. It's everyone not in those neighborhoodsanyone middle class who has a car, and can be counted on to get fined $250 for a routine traffic ticket and actually pay it.
“What a crock...”
Side note per locked doors on Police Station.
I grew up in a Northern NJ town in Bergen County and the doors on the Police Station were never locked. I know this because as a 50’s juvenile delinquent my friends and I visited there on a more or less regular basis.
Truth be told we were on a first name basis with all of the younger cops.
Kool Aide mascarading as conservatism. Simple demonstration of cause and effect: violence and crime are far more prevalent with African-Americans and policing has evolved to deal with that violence.
It isn’t pretty, but it has kept most of us secure in our homes.
It doesn’t take too much imagination to guess what would happen if thousands of Michael Browns were turned loose to do what they felt like doing, does it?
I completely lay the blame for what happened to Michael Brown at his feet. (Same goes with Trayvon Martin)
That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about what is happening and I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of an 18 year old black man who was born to a single mom, raised by his grandmother because his mom was a crackhead, or by a mom on welfare. I imagine my daily life, challenges, opportunities and events. And I have to say I don’t know that I would have the character - internal or learned - to prevent me from acting out like so many blacks from these areas do.
I’m not trying to say they are not culpable for their actionss But maybe, just maybe, their choices really do have more to do with environment than low character, The Bell Curve notwithstanding. And maybe we really CAN do something.
Unfortunately, none of my ideas are PC. They all involve “tough love”.
i.e. the author makes some very good points.
‘The current trend to excuse or de-criminalize criminal behavior is going to get a lot of people injured and killed.’
“Why Conservatives Should Care About Ferguson”
We shouldn’t, moving along.
I'd put it at
environment: 10%, low character/evilness: 90%
There is no justification for acting like an animal, brutalizing innocent people.
Bullcrap. The premise is fatally flawed.
Caring about Ferguson as evidence of overzealous policing willfully ignores the hostile giant’s actions that day.
Utter bovine scatology.
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