I am not convinced of it. The incidents seen here lately, namely Dallas and Baton Rouge, so far as can be ascertained, are only the results of the disillusions of a few imbalanced individuals. But there is an “anti police sentiment,” and it’s easy to see why. Say what you will about it, but just as you would say that there are only a “few bad apples” in law enforcement, so also there are merely a “few bad apples” in the anti-police movement. This is the cause of the incidents, and not the movement as a whole.
It is possible to oppose the system of law enforcement without targeting or antagonizing individual members. It is not proper to despise cops solely because they are cops; it is more proper to oppose the system and the laws which lead to such friction as we have seen this year. Just as racism relies upon blanket generalizations, the hatred of individual cops must also rely on blanket generalizations, which we should be moving past in our time.
I hesitate to refer to the opposition to expanded police power only by the name Black Lives Matter – for the opposition reaches far beyond that. Though there is no question that Black lives do matter, but I prefer not to be a part of the organization. Is this unreasonable? I still oppose the expansion of police power not only because of incidents seen this year but because law enforcement is nothing but the force behind a corrupt government and a perverted law. I oppose expansion of police power because I oppose government using it’s power to discourage or punish anything but violent crimes. I cannot understand how, those on the right who claim to be so skeptical of large governments, can venerate the very force of that government without any question.
When we look at what the police force has become, we understand very quickly why there is the rise of an “anti-police sentiment.” Of course they serve and protect – it would be, again, a generalization to say that they don’t. It is what they also do: it begins with the system of revenue collection. Drive too fast, get an expensive ticket – then you begin to fear seeing a police car in your rear view mirror. You get a twinge of nervousness when a cop ends up behind you: one unintentional mistake could cost you a lot of money. In the name of what? Public safety? No, nothing more than revenue collection on the backs of the innocent.
This is not all. It is the punishment of non-violent, unoffensive crimes. Sell music outside of a 7-11? Well, certainly annoying but not in any way a violent crime. A broken taillight? Not at all a violent crime, and certainly one not worthy of a man’s death. You might say in response to that, well, he may have been reaching for his gun – unlikely, but does it really matter? Why did the cop pull him over in the first place? To punish a nonviolent crime.
So why is there an anti-police sentiment? I think it’s very easy to see.
But I realize, and what the whole of the anti-police movements have to realize, is that we should not at all antagonize or protest against cops as individuals or even as a group. They do not suddenly cease to be human beings when they put on a blue uniform. Rather, we should protest the system of laws which allows or encourages such abuse of authority and perversions of justice such as we have seen. For continued antagonism of the police forces will only precipitate the very thing we oppose: expansion of the powers of police.
People are beginning to realize that the law has exceeded it’s proper purpose, and has begun to run contrary to it. But instead of protesting the root cause of that, they are merely protesting the most obvious manifestation: police power. The “anti-police” sentiment, while understandable, seems to be misplaced.