It’s called “the blue wall of silence,” that seemingly impenetrable code of honor among cops who cover for fellow officers suspected of breaking the law. For decades, this code has been scrutinized, but rarely as much as right now in the wake of the videotaped death of a black suspect, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police. In addition to triggering demonstrations and riots, the incident, less overtly, has caused many people to raise the possibility that unions representing cops are part of the problem. Critics argue that police unions do more to shield members from accountability than promote good community relations. While riots and calls for the abolition of police forces are indefensible, there are legitimate concerns that police unions are doing more harm than good.
There are currently about 700,000 law enforcement officers in this country, most of whom belong to … Read More ➡
Police unions represent people who arrest thieves, not employ them. In Somerville, Mass., they’ve got both types. Last week, a source close to the local police department in Somerville, adjacent to Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, revealed that the Somerville Police Employees Association (SPEA), an independent union of nearly 100 patrol officers, is missing between $50,000 and $90,000 from its coffers and that the culprit is one of its own. SPEA President Michael McGrath indicated that the case is under investigation, but would not comment further. No outside government agencies have gotten involved yet, but that could change soon.… Read More ➡
On the surface, it looks like a compromise. Underneath, it is a capitulation. Yesterday the National Football League and its 32 team owners announced the establishment of a new policy on the issue of player ‘kneel-downs’ during the playing of the national anthem to express solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other radical groups who see America as the land of racial injustice. While the policy nominally bars players from kneeling down on the sidelines and gives owners the latitude to levy fines against violators, it also allows players to protest by remaining in their locker rooms. This is not a resolution. Indeed, it is a guarantee of further political melodrama.
Last November 29, as National Legal and Policy Center discussed at length days later, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement over this issue to ward off controversy. The league would provide $89 million … Read More ➡
One of the more irritating aspects of what passes for civil-rights activism in this country is the constant clamoring for a “national conversation on race.” In practice, what this amounts to is blacks accusing and whites apologizing. About a dozen years ago, President Bill Clinton explicitly called for this sort of “dialogue.” Now President Barack Obama has jumped into the fray. At the close of his press conference this evening, Obama denounced Cambridge, Massachusetts police for acting “stupidly” in arresting Harvard African-American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. on July 16 for disorderly behavior. Yet the facts of the case – beginning with the fact that police and prosecutors soon dropped the charge – speak more about the disregard for logic and context among blacks eager to locate the latest evidence of institutional “racism.”
Henry Louis (“Skip”) Gates is a reasonably competent scholar who owes his heavyweight credentials primarily to … Read More ➡