The Hidden Agenda Behind “Defund the Police”
Back in the 1960s, there was a campaign launched by conservative political activists called “Support Your Local Police….and Keep Them Independent.” During that turbulent period in U.S. history, law enforcement was under heavy attack, just as today. In the midst of riots and civil unrest associated with the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, police officers were victimized for attempting to maintain order by violent radical left-wing groups like the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground and others. Unfortunately, as is the case today, some police officers were stereotyped as racists because of the actions of some of their brethren in the then-segregationist South.
The “Support Your Local Police” campaign was sparked by a desire to not only offer public support for law enforcement at a time it was under attack, but to preserve the concept of local autonomy and the independence of local police from the control of an all-powerful central government in Washington, D.C. Throughout history, dictatorships have quickly acted to secure their power by confiscating firearms in private hands and abolishing local law enforcement and placing it under the control of the central government or the Party. This is what happened in Nazi Germany, for example.
The fact is that as long as local police forces exist, there is some check on the ability of the central government to oppress the population. A city police department under the authority of the elected mayor and city council could refuse to enforce a federal order to confiscate privately-owned firearms, for example. A county Sheriff is the highest law enforcement authority in that jurisdiction and can refuse to enforce laws that he finds are illegitimate or unlawful. A number of California Sheriffs, for example, have said they will decline to enforce Governor Newsom’s unconstitutional “edicts” regarding the mandatory usage of face masks. Others have organized into movements vowing to defy gun control legislation. By taking an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, they are duty-bound to refuse to obey political orders that violate our nation’s guiding principles.
The very existence of independent, locally-controlled police and sheriff’s agencies is a major stumbling block in the way of power-hungry politicians who would seek to consolidate total control over the population. What they seek is a federal police force instead. This would be the most dangerous development that could occur in any free nation.
In recent months since the George Floyd incident, the attacks on the police have again moved into overdrive, but let no one believe it is simply motivated by a desire to end police brutality. Ending an occasional abuse or purging a few bad officers from a given department is not a justification for “defunding” the police entirely or slashing their budgets by millions of dollars or all but handcuffing officers in face of violence and terrorism. Imagine your home is being broken into at 2 AM and you’re expected to call a social worker instead of a cop to deal with the situation. Completely insane.
Of course, the true facts simply do not support the false narrative that this nation is being overrun by rogue cops abusing and brutalizing civilians, be they black, brown or white. The truth is that deaths of unarmed people at the hands of police are rare. According to the FBI and the Washington Post, 1,004 individuals were killed by law enforcement officers in the U.S. last year. As Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown observed: “The overwhelming majority of those deaths were justifiable homicides committed by officers defending their lives or the lives of other people.” Of the 1,004 who were killed, 41 ( 4% ) were unarmed. Of those 41, 19 were white and 9 were black. The remaining 13 were either Latino or “other,” including Asians and Native Americans. Since 2015, the number of such police shootings has remained steady at around 1,000 annually so there has hardly been a surge. Critics of the police are quick to point out that 23% of those shot and killed by police are African-Americans when they only make up 13% of the population. Yet, African-Americans make up 53% of known homicide offenders and commit about 60% of robberies. Would the left suggest we now establish racial quotas for criminal conduct?
The goal of the Left is simply to dissolve local law enforcement and replace it with a militarized federal police force empowered to run roughshod over states, counties, cities, and towns. You will be stripped of your right to elect your county Sheriff, or in some cities, your Chief of Police. By defunding and hamstringing officers, the Left will unleash more crime and mayhem in our streets, leading a desperate population to demand federal action to quell the turmoil. Enter Top Cop Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff who will be only too willing to oblige. It is true that President Trump and the Justice Department have acted to send some federal law enforcement agents into cities like Portland, but that was as a last resort to protect federal property, not to supplant and replace local police. Of course, the radical Left mayors of Portland and other cities are doing everything in their power to shut down the police and encourage the rioting and looting as a way to blame the President and throw the election to senile Joe Biden.
If we as Americans permit our local cops to be ridiculed, mocked, persecuted, assaulted, and killed, we will be paving the way for a new heavy-handed form of federal police power run from Washington, D.C. It will be the end of local control and local sovereignty and will pave the way for dictatorship in America. So, to resurrect the slogan from the 1960s, “Let’s Support our Local Police and Keep Them Independent.”
Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Dr. Veltmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by visiting his website at drveltmeyer.com
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