These are troubling times for the police with cops under siege. Progressives have been waging a relentless war against the police and it all started in 2009 when President Obama declared the “police acted stupidly” in arresting his friend, Harvard Professor Henry Gates and suggested his friend was a victim of historical racial profiling by the police.
In July 2009, Gates was arrested at his Cambridge, Mass. home by the local police after they received a 9-1-1 call of an attempted burglary in progress. Gates had just returned from a trip to China and was unable to unlock his front door. While he and his driver were trying to force the door open, neighbors reported it to the police. Gates gave the cops a lot of lip and he was hauled off to the pokey for disorderly conduct. The charges were then dropped.
President Obama was a friend of Professor Gates. He issued a statement saying: “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
Obama was correct in saying any of us would be pretty angry if getting busted for trying to get inside our own home. And the arrest was pretty stupid. But by playing the race card, Obama started a war on the police that has been waged by Progressives ever since.
The war began to peak in 2014 with the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of the police.
In July 2014, Eric Garner died in a struggle with NYPD cops who were trying to arrest him for selling ‘loosies’, cigarettes sold individually without city and state taxes. He had a history of arrests for selling loosies and, at the time, was out on bail for that charge. The police responded to a complaint by store owners that Garner was selling the cigarettes in front of their businesses. When four cops tried to arrest him, the 395-pound black man told them he was tired of being “harassed” by them and kept shoving the officers away. In a struggle on the ground, officer Daniel Pantaleo appeared to be putting a choke hold on Garner who told the officers several times he could not breathe. Garner died and his death led to demonstrations all over the country with mobs shouting “I can’t breathe.”
An autopsy indicated that Garner’s death resulted from a choke hold, compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police. Asthma, heart disease, and obesity were cited as contributing factors.
Garner’s death led to the prominence of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, whose police-hating rhetoric incited the assassination of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of nine others in in July 2016.
In August 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black youth, was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri by a white cop. Brown, who had just committed a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store clerk, when he was spotted by Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson. A physical struggle occurred between the white officer and the black thug which led to Wilson shooting Brown dead. A Brown friend told everyone who would listen that Brown had his hands up in surrender or said “don’t shoot” before he was shot. An FBI investigation showed this was not true.
Rioting occurred in Ferguson with members of the mob shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Wilson was forced to resign in order to placate ‘the community’. A grand jury refused to indict Wilson and after a long investigation by the FBI, the Justice Department announced there was no cause to take any action against Wilson. Even though the shooting of Brown was justified, Wilson’s career was irreparably ruined.
President Obama stoked the flames in the war on cops with this remark about the shooting of Michael Brown: “In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement — guilty of walking while black or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.”
In the Garner death, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo and the Justice Department announced there were no grounds to charge the officer criminally. That led to at least 50 demonstrations nationwide against police brutality. Two police officers in Brooklyn, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were ambushed and shot dead just weeks after a grand jury cleared Pantaleo.
Obama also stoked the flames in responding to the Pantaleo grand jury decision and, among other remarks, said: “We are going to take specific steps to improve the training and the work with state and local government when it comes to policing in communities of color. We are going to be scrupulous in investigating cases where we are concerned about the partiality and accountability that’s taking place.”
Apparently, Obama and the Progressives, a euphemism for Liberals, are not concerned about a big thug attacking Officer Wilson or about Garner resisting a lawful arrest. To them it’s white cops killing black men just because they are black. They feed off of the rare shootings by bad white cops of black men that are undeniably unjustified such as the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and the 2015 shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.
With liberal DAs filing charges against cops in response to demonstrations or in order to head them off, the war against cops was in full swing.
In 2015, Baltimore DA Marilyn Mosby charged six officers for their role in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody after he suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported in the back of a police van. A judge dismissed charges against three of the officers. Mosby then decided not to pursue the remaining three cases. It was clear she should never have charged the officers in the first place.
In 2016, a wave of liberal prosecutors funded by George Soros were elected nationwide in major jurisdictions including Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, St. Louis and Houston. Soros donated $500,000 to Kim Ogg’s campaign in Houston. Several of them quickly charged police officers in order to mollify crowds accusing cops of police brutality. New York Post columnist Miranda Devine says “In district attorneys’ offices across the country, plans are underway to dismantle the criminal justice policies that have served us so well for a generation.”
This brings me back to the Eric Garner case. For five years the wolves led by Garner’s family and rabble rouser Al Sharpton, have been howling for the blood of the arresting officers. When they could not get Pantaleo charged with murder, they demanded he be fired. Uber-liberal, Sandinista-loving Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had previously warned his son about trigger-happy cops shooting young black men, made it clear he wanted Pantaleo fired. Thus, fearing for his job, Police Commissioner James O’Neill committed a grave injustice against Pantaleo by firing the officer on August 19.
That wasn’t enough. Garner’s family, Sharpton and the other wolves keep howling for the blood of all officers involved in his arrest. De Blasio was heckled at a town hall meeting even though he had called for and got Pantaleo’s scalp because the other officers were still at work.
The fallout from the Pantaleo firing was swift. Patrick Lynch, the Police Benevolent Association boss, urged cops to “proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job.” Joseph Imperatrice, founder of pro-cop group Blue Lives Matter, said “The days of proactive policing are completely done.” Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins said, “The NYPD is falling apart at the seams.”
But one NYPD cop put it more succinctly by saying, “Policing is dead. Morale was already low. This was just the nail in the coffin.” NYPD’s morale began its spiral downward when Red Bill became mayor in 2014.
Indeed, cops in New York are now slow in responding to calls and are making fewer arrests. Arrests dropped 27% between Aug. 19 — the day Pantaleo was fired — and Aug. 25 compared to the same period in 2018, with police making 3,508 busts compared to 4,827.
The firing of Pantaleo has not only affected NYPD officers, but it has also been noted by cops all over the country. They are troubled that police can no longer count on being backed up by the brass and feel that cops have to protect themselves because no one else is going to protect them.
With the Progressive’s war on cops, people have felt free to douse NYPD cops in Manhattan and Brooklyn with water and to throw objects at them. And in Philadelphia crowds cheered on a cop killer.
Whenever you hear a Democratic political candidate say he or she supports the police, you are hearing the words of a hypocrite. You won’t hear them condemning their fellow Progressives who are waging the war started by President Obama against those who protect us.