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Reforming the Police Isnít Anti-Law and Order
Townhall.com ^ | June 10, 2020 | Bob Barr

Posted on 06/10/2020 7:47:44 AM PDT by Kaslin

Policing in the United States is overdue for reform. Admitting to this is not a matter of race, political party, or ideology. It is an observable truth, confirmed time and again by the lack of accountability in holding bad cops responsible for actions that should not be tolerated in a free country governed by the constitutional rule of law. 

There are steps that the federal and state governments can and should undertake to address deficiencies in policing. Defunding the police, however, is not an idea worthy of consideration. The fact that “defund the police” is actually being seriously considered illustrates the idiocracy that has infected public debate in 21st century America.

Defunding the police because of a few bad police officers is akin to closing down hospitals as a result of an occasional malpractice incident by doctors; or closing public schools because there are some bad teachers. Such a move would solve nothing and in fact make matters incalculably worse for everyone (except perhaps for the very rich, who could afford private security services for their homes, property, and vehicles). Still, however, especially within the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the proposal lives.

Thankfully, amidst the cacophony, there are a few rational voices.

On Twitter, Washington Post columnist and noted police critic Radley Balko suggests we not get too hung up on the phrase “defund the police” as a literal objective, but rather take it as a call-to-arms for a host of sensible reforms. Balko’s approach should be garnering wide, nonpartisan appeal, but many Black Lives Matter activists still insist that the only solution is literally to get rid of police departments. “Please don’t misrepresent our demands,” Jonathan Ben-Menachem, who writes at the criminal justice news site The Appealreplied to Balko -- “It’s not a euphemism or an analogy.”

But advocates of this extreme measure should not be permitted to skate by without being forced to answer a host of hard questions. Who, if anyone, is to investigate crime, and what limitations, if any, would restrain them in their search and surveillance powers? Would the Constitution still apply to these New Age Peacekeepers, or would they be unrestrained by due process and equal protection of the law? In the society envisioned by Ben-Menachem, what authority would peacekeepers have to detain or incapacitate dangerous individuals – or would they be not be empowered to do so in the first instance? 

Most fundamentally, what exactly is the goal for such radicalism? Perhaps, like the Bernie Sanders socialists who romanticize a future of complete economic and social equality, police abolitionists foresee a future miraculously free of crime, where community “peacekeepers” exist only to change tires and help old ladies across the street. But, just as socialists always have had to contend eventually -- people can only be made equal through government power, ultimately enforced at the end of a gun; look no further than the chaos that grips modern-day Venezuela.   

Both history and human nature confirm that there are sound reasons why policing is one of the basic functions of any government. In our society, police functions are designed to be a common authority to enforce the law equally for all citizens, removing the need for vigilante mobs operating without accountability. More importantly, the Constitution and the rule of law hold police accountable within defined boundaries. 

Clearly law enforcement today has in many respects fallen below a necessary high standard of neutrality and accountability. Even so, fighting for reforms beginning with ending overcriminalizationdemilitarizing policede-escalation, and limiting or ending no-knock warrants, is far preferable to a world without police. 

Meaningful reform will be difficult and painstakingly slow but start we must. The “Justice in Policing Act of 2020” was introduced in Congress just this week. While not perfect, the bill includes a number of positive proposals for federal law enforcement (supplemented by grants to state and local law enforcement if they implement similar measures), including a ban on chokeholds, officer camera mandates, and limiting the immunity that far too often shields the bad cop from being held accountable. The initial bill goes off on unnecessary and costly tangents favored by liberal lawmakers, and the provision for the “use of force” standard needs to be more carefully crafted, but many of the substantive provisions are worthy of bipartisan support. 

Such legislation, properly crafted, should not be viewed by Republicans in Congress or by the President as an anti-law and order bill, but one that can in fact help to “Make Law Enforcement Great Again.”



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: donutwatch; police; reform
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1 posted on 06/10/2020 7:47:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

later


2 posted on 06/10/2020 7:49:22 AM PDT by libertylover (Socialism will always look good to those who think they can get something for nothing.)
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To: Kaslin

Gaslighting nonsense. “Not get too hung up on ghe phrase, ‘defund the police’”..

Sorry, you use that phrase and the discussion is over. You are an idiot.


3 posted on 06/10/2020 7:56:34 AM PDT by Bayard
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To: Kaslin

Agreed.

Let us add to that, ending qualified immunity, ending asset forfeiture.


4 posted on 06/10/2020 7:56:40 AM PDT by heartwood (Someone has to play devil's advocate other.)
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To: Kaslin

There is reforming the law enforcement officer corps, and there is dismantling it altogether.

Policing of the civil population has deteriorated since the time of the principles set down by Sir Robert Peel, for the simple reason that many of them are not observed, or observed only in the breech.

PRINCIPLE 1 “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”

PRINCIPLE 2 “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”

PRINCIPLE 3 “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”

PRINCIPLE 4 “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

PRINCIPLE 5 “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”

PRINCIPLE 6 “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”

PRINCIPLE 7 “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

PRINCIPLE 8 “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”

PRINCIPLE 9 “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

Still very little to disagree with there.


5 posted on 06/10/2020 7:58:56 AM PDT by alloysteel (Freedom is not a matter of life and death. It is much more serious than that..)
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To: Kaslin

Advocates of this extreme measures should not be permitted.
Look how many extreme measures the left has already got away with and the media is their pimp,time to get the big eraser out.


6 posted on 06/10/2020 8:00:09 AM PDT by Vaduz (women and children to be impacIQ of chimpsted the most.)
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To: Kaslin

Defunding the police is an idea that is discarded by anyone with a neuron still firing inside their head. Instead, how about 24/7 body cams on everyone that can’t be shut off “in the field”? The danger there is a policeman, who perceives his life in danger, takes a split second to consider what the situation looks like “on camera”. That may be enough time to get that policeman killed.

And to the BLM movement, you need to step back and ask yourself: “If discrimination is a learned behavior, why are blacks the target to a much larger extent than other minorities?” Blacks have a public image of violence as the solution to everything. Maybe you need to admit that racism is a two-way street and I don’t see anything being done by BLM to lessen that perceived image. Until that happens, the best BLM can hope for is a seething inner rage on both sides about what’s going on right now. I see lots of movement by whites, and none by blacks. It’s going to take both to fix this.


7 posted on 06/10/2020 8:00:15 AM PDT by econjack
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To: Kaslin

Not that I agree with this but it isn’t about ‘reforming the police’ It is specifically racial, anti-white with the police used as the platform to push that narrative.


8 posted on 06/10/2020 8:01:29 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: Kaslin

Just ‘reform’ HR practices in cities where these sham professionals hire guys with awful records.

I wouldn’t be surprised if communities with the most police problems are Liberal and the HR director appointees are ‘connected’...

All personnel problems, in EVERY organization, are HR problems.


9 posted on 06/10/2020 8:04:31 AM PDT by SMARTY ("Nobility is defined by the demands it makes on us - by obligations, not by rights".)
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To: Kaslin

Anything a lefty says is a lie.

They want mass graves filled with their political enemies.

It always starts with ‘reform’.


10 posted on 06/10/2020 8:07:52 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Kaslin

Bobby Barr ain’t getting it. “Defund the Police” ain’t about any reasonable discussion of reform; it’s about taking down the United States by any means possible.

Go away Bob.


11 posted on 06/10/2020 8:10:52 AM PDT by romanesq (Flubro, from the people who brought you the stupidity of grifters & the letter Q)
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To: Bayard

This article makes perfectly valid points. Police are used by politicians to enforce many ridiculous, nanny-state rules from wearing-masks and social-distancing to things like not selling individual cigarettes. They also enforce many bad laws - particularly against the 2nd Amendment.

This is not on police, this is on the politicians who are above them - which ironically, no one is discussing now.


12 posted on 06/10/2020 8:10:53 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: Bayard

It is impossible to communicate when the same language is not spoken. The “Progressives” always change the meaning of words to whatever is useful to them.
For example, the Anti-Lynching Bill. No one supports lynching, but has anyone read the bill. They should consider the consequences of vague wording.


13 posted on 06/10/2020 8:13:30 AM PDT by griswold3 (Democratic Socialism is Slavery by Mob Rule)
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To: Kaslin

Just in the past year, journalists have gone from being constitutional scholars, to epidemiologists, and now to police policy and use of force experts.

Unsaid in this entire discussion, and using the George Floyd imbroglio as an example, is one question: to what extent does a criminal suspect assume liability for his actions in resisting a lawful arrest? He might well still be dead today if he had simply gotten into the back seat given, the toxicology report showing OD levels of Fentanyl, combined with methamphetamine, with no metabolites, indicating that he had just snorted the drugs within the past hour or so.

But, contrary to the narrative, the use of force wasn’t instigated by his trying to pass a phony 20 dollar, it seems to have started when the arresting officer attempted to put him in the back seat, and even though handcuffed, used his legs and stiffened his body, eventually propelling himself through the car, and onto the street outside. Was he completely blameless? What specific changes to police policy and procedure would be guaranteed to change the unfortunate outcome?

And before someone says “don’t suffocate him”, the autopsy shows that he wasn’t suffocated, and there were no compression injuries to his neck, not even a bruise.

OK, let’s ban “chokeholds” then, that’s something specific. Oops, that’s already the case, everywhere. When someone says “chokehold”, they’re referring to a carotid hold, which anyone who’s spent any time in a Jui-Jitsu dojo has personally experienced. Want to see what it looks like? Watch the next UFC fight, you have a good chance of seeing it. So it’s safe enough to use in a sporting event, but suddenly becomes deadly when used to restrain a suspect? Are there any benefits to allowing its use? What are the potential negative consequences of banning it?

Some specifics would be most helpful in clearing out the miasma of BS that has surrounded every discussion of police use of force for the past 40 years in this country.


14 posted on 06/10/2020 8:21:31 AM PDT by absalom01 (You should do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, and you should never wish to do less.)
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To: Kaslin

The type of reform the mob is seeking now will deter arresting black criminals. If I were a cop, why would I want to make a difficult arrest when I could be easily sued, or tried criminally before a cop-hating inner city jury pool? Law abiding white people will the last hired and the first fired.

Sure, we could legislate standard restraint techniques that would minimize incidents like the Floyd one. But Republican legislators are fooling themselves if they think they will not have to face-down the long list of anti-cop legislative add-ons that will be needed to pacify the mob.


15 posted on 06/10/2020 8:22:14 AM PDT by Socon-Econ (adical Islam,)
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To: Kaslin

“Defunding the police” is the same thing as “reforming the police”, if the idea is to purge (”defund”) all politically conservative officers, to “reform” the police into teams of woke, armed, conservative-crushing, jack-booted storm troopers. So yes, he’s being consistent.


16 posted on 06/10/2020 8:27:31 AM PDT by rightwingcrazy (;-,)
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To: Kaslin
Reforming the Police Isn’t (necessarily) Anti-Law and Order
17 posted on 06/10/2020 8:27:54 AM PDT by gogeo (It isn't just time to open America up again: It's time to be America again.)
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To: Kaslin

When Blacks ‘reform’ their Homes, families and communities then I’ll be open for conversations....as long as they refuse to see they’re a strong part of the problem and act on these problems....I’m not interested at all.


18 posted on 06/10/2020 8:28:38 AM PDT by caww
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To: Kaslin

Bad cops, bad teachers and bad government works difficult to remove. What is the common thread in each of these?


19 posted on 06/10/2020 8:34:08 AM PDT by pas
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To: Kaslin
Barr was the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 2008.

I think that may explain his orientation on “Police Reform.”

Speaking generally, I cannot recall a single year since the 1960s when Americans were NOT talking about racism and Police reform.

Speaking personally, I have no problems with cops.

800,000 cops in the USA.

More than 1 million public interactions each day.

A fraction of one percent of cops are corrupt or evil.

A larger percentage are incompetent, but not malevolent.

I average about one interaction with cops every ten years.

Stay calm, do what they tell you to do, and five minutes later you are back to your normal cop-free life.

20 posted on 06/10/2020 8:38:13 AM PDT by zeestephen
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