Washington, DC (TFC) – The top cops from departments all over the country blame the fear of being caught on YouTube for a reduction in proactive policing. Even though not one person at the national conference was able to point to a single incident of violent crime occurring because officers were sub par in their performance, it’s YouTube’s fault. According to these law enforcement professionals, patrol officers are worried about a career-ending video surfacing, so they don’t harass people who are loitering. Somehow, that creates more violence.
The Washington Post was the only news outlet that was allowed into the event. Unsurprisingly, the outlet attempted to back up the officers’ claim by pointing out that murder rates are on the rise. In the article, the outlet links to a previous article about Ferguson’s murder rate in the year following Mike Brown’s death as proof of the “YouTube effect.” In that article it was called the “Ferguson effect.” It seems obvious that neither the writer nor the editor read the article that was linked to, because it plainly states that “violent crime began creeping up in St. Louis months before Brown’s shooting, according to Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist with the University of Missouri at St. Louis.” There’s not even a correlation between the police accountability movement taking center-stage and the rise in homicides, much less causation. This is part of the propaganda campaign the Mayor of New Orleans and the FBI director hoped for at the conference.
The Mayor of New Orleans said:
“My assumption is if we showed the numbers, and we broke it down and showed you the faces, and we gave you the names and we showed you what they looked like before they were killed and after they were killed, the nation would rise up and say this is a matter that is a moral imperative for the country.”
The director of the FBI invoked the image of terrorism and the Islamic State to drive the point home:
“There’s no doubt the job I have, the fact of life is, if a single person in Chicago is beheaded by ISIL, the world will go on fire. If a 2-year-old is shot in Chicago, the Tribune will write about it, the Sun-Times will write about it. I despair trying to change that world. So I think the answer is, collect the data and then do our damndest to get smarter at what we do.”
Perhaps Director Comey needs some perspective. The Islamic State is the de facto government where these beheadings are taking place. The YouTube videos that spark outrage are, in essence, of a government employee killing an innocent. The Director fails to understand that in his analogy, it is the law enforcement officers who are caught smashing a nurse’s face into the pavement, smashing a woman’s face into a cinder block wall, gunning down an unarmed person that are comparable to the Islamic State. Propaganda isn’t the answer. The answer is to stop violating the rights of the people and acting like a third world goon squad.
An officer ends up on YouTube, not by engaging in “proactive policing,” but by violating the rights of the citizens he or she is supposed to protect. Officers end up on YouTube by violating civil rights and by murdering people. The fact that officers are calling these videos “career ending” shows how bad the problem really is. They shouldn’t be worried about losing their jobs when they surface on one of these videos, they should worry about going to prison. Make no mistake, the police accountability movement will not stop until that is the fear in officer’s minds.
Stop killing unarmed people. How hard is this?