So the greatest revelation that some communities may be grasping, moving into 2018 is that if you continuously threaten the police, attack the police, protest and spit on the police, they’ll back off and the crime in your communities goes up.
It’s almost as if law enforcement is a necessary part of a civil, safe society, and a couple of instances of bad apples are not the whole of the profession.
Now Baltimore, a scene of chaos after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in 2015, is seeing a third straight year of murders over 300 in the city. This is murders per number of citizens, and it’s alarming.
Some are saying the lack of an adequately stringent police presence is the reason.
The Rev. Kinji Scott, a pastor in Baltimore who’s held positions in local city government, says the opposite needs to happen.
“We wanted the police there,” Scott says. “We wanted them engaged in the community. We didn’t want them beating the hell out of us, we didn’t want that.”
See? It’s that broad brush and how it’s applied to police officers, resulting in some being targeted and executed while sitting in their patrol cars that may have convinced them that they needed to cut back their presence.
“We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion,” he says. “And that’s when we’re going to see a decrease in crime.”
You can’t have a conversation if it begins with accusations. Asking one side to sit and take abuse doesn’t work.
The pastor was asked if the goal was to get the police to back off after the death of Freddie Gray.
No. That represented our progressives, our activists, our liberal journalists, our politicians, but it did not represent the overall community. Because we know for a fact that around the time Freddie Gray was killed, we start to see homicides increase. We had five homicides in that neighborhood while we were protesting.
He further discussed the need for relationship building, as emphasized by President Obama (and I’m going to assume he’s talking about the impossible task Obama put forward, after his “The police acted stupidly” nonsense).
The primary thrust nationwide is what President Obama wanted to do: focus on building relationships with police departments and major cities where there had been a history of conflict. That hasn’t happened. We don’t see that. I don’t know a city — Baltimore for certain — we’ve not seen any changes in those relationships. What we have seen is that the police has distanced themselves, and the community has distanced themselves even further. So the divide has really intensified, it hasn’t decreased.
If anything, Obama and liberal Democrats have done more to ruin the relationship between our law enforcement and minority communities than any other president in recent memory, and that includes our current president.
So is the pastor hopeful for 2018?
I am not. Because I look at the conclusion of 2017, these same cities — St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans and Chicago — these same black cities are still bleeding to death and we’re still burying young men in these cities.
I’m a preacher, I want to be hopeful, but not as it stands, no. Not until we really have a real conversation with our front line officers in the heart of our black communities that does not involve our people who are “leaders.”
We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion. And that’s when we’re going to see a decrease in crime.
There definitely needs to be conversation, but it needs to be honest and on even ground. If you look around your community and there are people who go into rages over the phrase, “Blue lives matter,” then you’re going to find any conversation difficult to have.
There also has to be honest self-evaluation. If you want law enforcement to do an inventory of their ranks and purge the bad seed, give more specialized training to handle today’s unique societal problems, then these communities where the crime is so rampant need to get themselves in front of a mirror and address honestly the root causes of the problem.
As the numbers can attest to, a police presence is not the source of violence and crime in those areas, so that needs to be taken off the list, first and foremost.
Then maybe the conversation can begin.