The largest police union in the country has had it with President Obama and his constant harassment of the nation’s law enforcement officers. After getting wind of Obama’s plans to take military equipment out of the hands of local police departments, the Fraternal Order of Police is fighting back against measures that would put officers in greater danger.
The union’s executive director, James Pasco, told Politico on Monday that the FOP would be “at our most aggressive” when it came to defending the rights of officers in harm’s way. “We need to only look back to Baltimore to see what happens when officers are sent out ill-equipped in a disturbance situation,” he said. “Because you don’t like the optics, you can’t send police officers out to be hurt or killed.”
This week, Obama announced that military weapons such as bayonets, grenade launchers, and weaponized vehicles would no longer be accessible to local police departments. He also said that police would have to be granted special permission to acquire riot gear and armored vehicles.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” Obama said Monday. “It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”
Yes, perhaps that’s true. And perhaps there are very good reasons to keep our law enforcement agencies from having all of the weaponry available to the U.S. military. But the president isn’t being driven by common concerns about militarization, he’s being driven by the fictional narrative that says police are a brutal, racist force out there to keep the blacks in line. This is his way of pandering to the civil rights leaders who are making this their cause, and to make sure he secures a legacy that makes him look like he did something for his own people.
Isn’t is funny how it’s always a one-way street? It’s always the police that have to make the community feel better. It’s always the police that have to change their ways. What about these communities? Why does Obama never criticize them? Why is there never any responsibility thrown their way for steeping themselves in criminal activity? No, it’s only the police that have to change, only the system, only the laws, only the juries…never the ones who riot and loot and make the cops have to get out their tanks and smoke bombs.
It may seem strange to the rest of us, but Obama believes that if we simply ignore crime, maybe it will go away. That’s probably not going to happen. And it may look better on the books when police are no longer arresting black men, but it’s going to look a lot worse on the other side of the ledger when crime statistics keep going up and up. Is there a middle ground? Probably. But disarming and vilifying the police isn’t going to get us there.