Cops and the Media: Nothing Has Changed

Let’s see. The Puerto Rican celebration in New York turned into turned into a rape fest, and the police were denounced for not stopping it. In Philadelphia, a black shot at cops, the cops thumped him, and the NAACP sued.

The rules are fairly clear by now. If white cops do anything to misbehaving minorities, they are guilty of some form or other of discrimination–at least if one accepts the views of the media and racial lobbies.

If cops notice that some groups engage in some types of behavior more often than others, which once would have been called “experience,” they are now guilty of “profiling.” If a criminal shoots a cop, well, it’s no big deal, and anyway everybody knows cops are paid to get shot. But if the cops smack a guy who shoots them, that’s brutality.

Notice that the media invariably try to find a racial angle. Some of the cops in Philadelphia were black, which isn’t surprising: Oddly enough, black cops don’t like being shot at either. Black cops do not think about being shot in racial terms. They do not think, “This guy pointing a gun at me is black, so it’s ok if he shoots me. But this other guy is white, so if he shoots me, it’s discrimination.” White cops also are racially neutral about being killed. They’re against it.

The reaction to the two incidents has been fascinating. The response by the media has been as predictable as gravitation. On the Internet, however,which seems to be replacing the mainstream outlets as a source of information for the intelligent, things were different. There was a transcontinental surge of support for the police. It wasn’t racial. It wasn’t fascistic. The view was simple: “If you try to kill cops, and they smack the stuffing out of you, that’s as it should be. Nobody should be expected to be shot without hitting back.”

One wonders: From a cop’s point of view, what might be the best conclusion to draw from all of this?

It seems to me that the police should follow the lead of gynecologists, who (I’m told) often require that a female assistant be present when a male is making an examination. That is, no cop should arrest, say, a Puerto Rican without having a Puerto Rican officer present.This, at least, would make it more difficult to charge racism (which is serious: Careers end because of it.) Arresting a white should require having a white, and so on.

Scheduling might become a problem. In Arlington, where we have every kind of people you’ve heard of and some you maybe haven’t, police would have to travel in large groups, so as to have a Vietnamese officer to arrest Viets,a Cambodian. . . . Instead of police cars, we might have eighteen-wheelers.

A more practical alternative might be have neighborhoods patrolled by police of the local race. If white police always arrested white criminals in white regions, clearly the motives couldn’t be racial. In mixed neighborhoods and on highways, monoracial policing would not be feasible,but usually it would be.

The result might be more than cosmetic. If black cops had caught Rodney King, for example, Los Angeles wouldn’t have burned. Blacks, whether for good reasons or bad, very much dislike being policed by whites.

Another possible solution for police is the one used in Central Park: Do nothing. (I’m not sure who ordered the passivity.) The risk to their careers, and therefore to the welfare of their families, is too great.

Suppose the cops had charged into the rape fest. You can’t control a violent mob by following social rules that work in a fern bar. When several young males are throwing bricks at you, and others are tearing the clothes from a tourist woman from Germany, you can’t say, “Sir. . . sir. . . please cease. . . .”

You have to smack them. Somebody will get it on video, and then you will be guilty of brutality and, if by any stretch it can be arranged,of racial brutality.

Personally, I wouldn’t do it. It’s one thing to take risks in the line of duty. It’s another to be demoted for taking risks in the line of duty. I’d get a long-distance call at a crucial moment, or answer a burglary call somewhere else, or just not see the riot. Why take the heat? Wait to retire, move to some civilized state like Minnesota where crime is the exception rather than the rule, and go fishing.

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