Let's Digress

Opinionated Opinions About Recent Police Officer Obfuscation

With the copious amount of opinions out there about the current state of things, and by popular request from approximately two people, I have decided to add my drops of opinions about things to the ocean of existing opinions as well. 

Buckle up, kids.

I wholeheartedly disagree with defunding the police, whether that being defined as reallocating their funds to social workers while simultaneously cutting back on the number of officers or by disbanding them altogether like what is also being discussed at the local, state, and federal levels. 

From my observation and reading, most of the fuel that has been added to this fire has been added by newspeople and people who are severely uneducated on police matters, not to mention actual state law. If I understand correctly, police officers are generally much more familiar with their particular needs (as well as local law) than news anchors and the typical layperson. Because of that, I’m inclined to weigh the opinions of officers about law enforcement matters more heavily than I am to weigh opinions about law enforcement matters from people who sound ignorant and inexperienced on the subject. 

That being said, I’m also wholeheartedly in favor of police reform, defined as evaluating current practices, policies, and procedures and adjusting them based on evidenced-based practice. This is very similar to my opinion on medicine being reformed continually based on evidence-based practice. Also, I have yet to meet anyone who legitimately suggests that cops need less training. Much like every public safety field, they need more training. That training has to be paid for somehow, so if anything they need increased funding to pay for it.

I was told the other day that “rather than send six cops with guns for a drunk homeless man, send one cop and a social worker.” That may sound all well and good, but the reality of the matter is that often times intoxicated homeless people can become cantankerous, aggressive, uncooperative, and even physically combative. We’ve all seen how strong a petite, 90-year-old grandma can be when she’s confused because of a urinary tract infection, so how much stronger then can an uncooperative, judgment-impaired, well-developed 40-year-old male be, especially when that particular demographic is known to have, more often than not, some form of needles, lighters, knives, pepper spray, or other improvised weapons on their person necessitated by dint of their lifestyle. 

Having been on the scene for many of those runs, I can confidently say that every time I’ve been around, it has exponentially safer to restrain that person with the help of six cops than by using just one cop. The best comparison I can think of is similar to how using multiple people to lift a heavy object displaces the weight evenly so each person uses less effort and the object is less likely to become damaged. Similarly, it’s safer for the person being restrained to have multiple officers there to restrain him because the effort used by six officers is less and better distributed than the effort required to be used by one officer alone.

Having worked side-by-side with cops for years and having been on many of the same scenes with them at the same time, it seems wholly illogical to me to cut their funding, disband them, or to send fewer officers and/or social workers in their place. 

In reference to the George Floyd debacle, it was horrific and all of the officers involved should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law. That being said, that situation by far isn’t the norm for police-civilian interactions and shouldn’t be used as the go-to example for what “normal” police-civilian interaction is like.

From what I have read and watched about it, I’m still struggling to see the overt racism of the Floyd killing. It looked to me like it was an incomprehensibly incompetent officer behaving like an incomprehensibly incompetent officer. I haven’t seen any evidence for racism in it other than Floyd happening to be a black man. But if there is credible evidence to support it being a racist event and not just an incompetent officer being an incompetent officer, I’m more than willing to change my mind. Regardless of that though, it was still horrible. 

I find it curious that many who are calling for the disbanding and/or defunding of law enforcement are often the same people who condone—if not outright encourage—the rioting, looting, and property damage, stating that “it’s just property,” “insurance will cover it,” and “it’s my right to tear it down because _______.” 

To that end, I have a fundamental disagreement about property rights with those people, as well as severe moral quibbles about the purpose of rioting and looting. Peacefully assembling to protest is one thing, but as soon as a window is broken, private property is nonconsensually stepped on, or when credible threats of bodily harm are lodged, then it crosses into a completely different ballpark.

To sum up this too-long article and to take a line from Andrew Klavan, it’s my contention that 70% of Americans agree on 70% of stuff. I’m confident that 70% of the 70% would agree that we desperately need law enforcement, we desperately need to treat everyone with respect, and we desperately need to be our brother’s keeper more frequently than we currently are. 


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Opinions?

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