Fear and Control
In the wake of several fatal ambush attacks on police in both Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana last summer and other instances throughout last year; the infamous “war on cops” narrative has once again reared its ugly head with more vitriol and veracity amongst law enforcement officials and supporters. Over the past several years, in the wake of dozens of highly publicized, questionable police shootings of unarmed individuals and countless protests that have swept across the nation as a result, the police have responded by pushing a faux “war on cops” that has largely been the number one trope championed by law enforcement in response to such movements in an era of heightened scrutiny in regards to police misconduct and renewed demands for hard-hitting, systematic police reform and oversight. It has been repeatedly used over and over again as a deflection against criticism and condemnations from police reform movements such as Black Lives Matter in an attempt derail any discussions of implementing any true, meaningful police reform in the U.S.
It doesn’t take a political scientist or sociologist to tell you that this dangerous fallacy has only been further accentuated throughout the duration of the 2016 presidential campaign and the subsequent election of Donald Trump. Trump who has championed himself as the candidate of “law and order” throughout the duration of his campaign has wasted no opportunity to fan the flames and further stoke fear based on rhetoric and a variety of false claims. In fact, on the first day of the inauguration, the Trump administration immediately removed the Civil Rights page from WhiteHouse.gov as well as LGBT rights, climate change, and health care from its “issues” section after Trump took the oath of office. The Civil Rights page, in particular, has since been replaced with a page entitled “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” which replaces concerns with police misconduct, brutality and how law enforcement is held accountable with a demand for more cops in cities all throughout the U.S. An excerpt from the page reads, “One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it”. Other excerpts from the page also use thinly veiled language such as, “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter. Our job is to make life more comfortable for parents who want their kids to be able to walk the streets safely. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus. Or the young child walking home from school”. The language and tone in the new administration’s rhetoric in regard to policing and Civil Rights in the county is a cryptic reminder of the bleak outlook in regards to federal oversight and police reform under a Trump administration as well as an indication that the current White House has no intention of quelling nor ceasing to peddle the ever increasingly dangerous “war on cops” narrative to the public.
As one can see, Trump, law enforcement officials, and their supporters have wasted not one opportunity to attempt and paint a picture of a country that has fallen into complete utter lawlessness where law enforcement is regularly targeted and constantly under siege. The FOP (Fraternal Order of Policing) which bills itself as the largest police union in the world overwhelmingly endorsed Trump back in September of 2016. The FOP particularly praised Trump’s commitment to reverse an executive order by President Obama which limited the transfer of surplus military equipment and weaponry to local police departments under the 1033 program, with Trump even commenting that the transfer of such military-grade weapons and equipment for use by undertrained and inexperienced local police departments was “an excellent program that enhances community safety”.
Other politicians and prominent conservative figures in the public eye have also made no delay to throw their own hat into the ring to use the “war on cops” fantasy as a political football to conveniently kick around when favorable or when it suits their interests. Back in July of 2016, at the Republican National Convention former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani insisted cops had a “target on their backs.”
While the controversial and frequent Fox News guest commentator Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, who was also a speaker at the convention, said there was a “war” taking place in the U.S. in which Black Lives Matter was the enemy. While inflammatory rhetoric and posturing ran rampant during the election year, and there has certainly been no shortage of officials in law enforcement trying peddle this dire narrative in an attempt scapegoat movements such as Black Lives Matter as well as other police accountability organizations and activists that dare bring attention to abuse and misconduct. However, the data simply doesn’t match the narrative that Trump, law enforcement officials, and conservative lackeys have continually attempted to peddle to the public over the past several years. In fact, if anything upon closer inspection it paints quite the opposite.
When Data Doesn’t Match Rhetoric
Now almost nobody would argue that cops have a very difficult and at times dangerous job. However, we set a disturbing and troubling precedent when we begin exaggerating and romanticizing that danger to a greater degree than what it actually really is because, not only does it warp the public’s perception of the police and the danger they face, but, even more dangerously it warps the perception of how police view themselves and the public they serve. And while any death is a tragedy, the fact of the matter is that on the job deaths of police officers continue to remain at historically low levels (even given the recent, but not unreasonable uptick in 2016), and are fairly consistent from year to year, as well as the demographics of suspects that commit these crimes against police. From 2005-2014, an average of about 50 officers were killed feloniously per year according to FBI data, and a vast majority of them were carried out by white males. Journalist Shaun King of The New York Daily News stated in an article chronicling an “ambush” attack that left two officers dead in Des Moines, Iowa stated, “white men, often older and within extensive criminal records, represent the majority of police shootings”.
This reality stands in stark contradiction to the Black Lives Matter ‘thug’, ‘Latino gang member’, ‘criminal alien’ or any other of the shallow, one-dimensional caricatures and tropes that are routinely parroted by politicians, the police and right-wing surrogates that ring about continuously in conservative echo chambers. However, King raises a valid point that is increasingly being discussed more and more. Pointing out this a long documented trend of white men committing the majority of police killings in this country that is conveniently ignored and swept under the rug whenever the ‘war of cops’ argument is brought up to counteract reform movements. In fact, in a 2015 article published by The Washington Post using data compiled from the FBI database, the Post reported that from 2004 to 2013 there were 511 officers feloniously killed in the U.S. Among the total 540 offenders who committed the crimes, 52 percent were white while 43 percent were black.
If one were to go back even further to the 1980s, the data still shows a similar trend. From 1980 to 2013 there were 2,269 documented instances where officers were feloniously killed by 2,896 offenders. A breakdown of the racial demographics shows a similar correlation between the 10 year and 33-year sets of data showing that between 1980 and 2013, 52 percent of offenders that killed officers were white, while 41 percent were black. Likewise, in general, police killings have consistently been decreasing in line with the consistent overall decrease in violent crime over the past 20 years. In fact, data collected showed that statistically, police killings had dropped to an all-time low during the 8 years of the Obama administration.
All of this being said, this lopsided dichotomy is important because it showcases front and the center the selective outrage and blatant hypocrisy that law enforcement officials, unions and conservative leaders clearly display when ignoring violence committed against police by white suspects vs. that committed by non-white suspects, as well as all but debunking the myth that policing had somehow become significantly more dangerous under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Going back to the Des Moines incident, where Scott Michael Greene a 46-year-old white man killed two officers in separate “ambush” style attacks. By all accounts from neighbors and authorities, it can be gathered that Greene is and was a bigoted white man. Weeks prior to the shootings, Greene was kicked out of a local high school football game for waving a confederate flag in the faces of black fans in attendance. Neighbors also say Greene was an avid Trump supporter, putting a Trump sign in his front yard just two weeks prior to the shootings as well. Again, quite the contradiction from the usual narrative and one-dimensional profiles regurgitated time and time again by law enforcement. In fact, in the wake of the shootings, not one politician or police leader has called the need to address the threat of the rising wave of white nationalists and the growing white supremacist movement that consist of dangerous individuals just like Greene. Not one politician or police leader has proposed more surveillance and policing of white communities as a response to Scott Michael Greene, even though white men overwhelmingly kill more cops than any other demographic in the entire country. It should also be noted that after taking the lives of two officers Greene was arrested and taken into custody by police, alive. Greene and others like him are far from being a random outlier or a rare anomaly. In fact, cases like such are so plentiful and abundant that one could dedicate the rest of this article dedicated solely to the topic and examining those cases. This being said, let’s be real. If Greene or any other cop-killer for that matter was any shade or hue of brown or black, it would have remained the top story of that day, and probably remained so all through that following week echoed all throughout the media but it didn’t, by the next day the story had largely disappeared from the media’s news cycle. It’s also very doubtful Greene would have been taken alive. Especially given the fact, that countless unarmed people of color across the country have paid with their lives for far lesser offenses.
In today’s current environment, full of vapid sensationalism and fear-mongering, many top law enforcement officials and conservative figureheads would have the public believing that one would have to go back to the ’80s or the 1970s to find levels of violence against police this high. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. While the FBI will not release its official statistics until later in the year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund at least 64 law enforcement officers were shot killed by firearms over the course of last year.
The year-end fatality rates for police officers feloniously killed in 2016, while nonetheless tragic are not atypical, nor a brand new unprecedented occurrence. In fact, one only has to go back 5 years to 2011 to find levels even higher than those of 2016. According to the FBI, 72 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2011. There was no declaration nor fear-mongering of a relentless “war on cops” then. Of course not, that would have made the police and anyone who’d dare defend such an alarmist and ludicrously baseless claims look ridiculous. However, fast forward to 2017, post- Ferguson and Baltimore uprisings, amongst a fervent demand from the public and Civil Rights Movements for greater oversight, bold, sweeping reform in policing and the criminal justice system, cops and law enforcement leaders have resorted to exaggerating dangers they face in an effort to deflect criticism and scrutiny from the public eye. And while 2016’s fatality rates for officers feloniously killed are higher than they have been in previous years it is not abnormal nor unheard of. Anyone who’s familiar with and regularly deals with mathematical statistics will tell you that statistical fluctuations and fluctuations in quantities derived from many identical random processes (such as year to year stats of law enforcement fatalities) are fundamental and unavoidable. When a number of random processes occur, it can be shown that the outcomes will inevitably fluctuate, this is statistics 101. For law enforcement to now pretend that yearly fluctuations in numbers are somehow indicative of a greater, longer-term trend without any hard evidence to back up such a claim is simply spin from law enforcement and right-wing pundits using the lives of dead cops as political leverage to further their own agenda in the hopes of muzzling and silencing voices from communities of color all throughout the country demanding true, hard-hitting and genuine police reform.
However, despite this overwhelming amount of data to contrary, police departments, unions, and right-wing conservatives are still pushing this false narrative of a “war on cops” and the effects of this zeal and rhetoric are already beginning to manifest themselves in a variety of disturbing ways. The implications of such irresponsible fear-mongering by police unions and top officials nonetheless is not be taken lightly. Such words and rhetoric don’t just take place in a vacuum, they have the potential to reap some severe and dire real-world consequences especially when police are conditioned to see the cities and communities they’re supposedly there to protect as being more dangerous than they really are. New cadets going into police academies are actually being indoctrinated with the belief that there actually is a nationwide “war on cops” being carried out against them and this is extremely troubling. Along with the rapid militarization of police that has persisted practically unabated since the institution of the 1033 Program in 1997 allowing the transfer of excess military weapons and equipment to local civilian law enforcement agencies by President Bill Clinton cops are increasingly no longer being taught be enforcers or upholders of law, but instead indoctrinated with the belief that they are now domestic, urban soldiers who are going in hostile territories like it was Iraq or Afghanistan and that simply is not true. With more and more military hardware and weaponry returning back from overseas as several ongoing conflicts in the Middle-East continue to wind down, police are continually being outfitted more and more to go to war with the public while also being a fed a toxic persecution complex rooted in lies.
Facts Still Matter
Fortunately, some prominent figures with experience in the field of studying and analyzing data on statistics and trends in regards to policing and crime have voiced their opposition and rebuttal to counter the “war on cops” narrative that has remained stubbornly persistent. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University pushed backed against the “war on cops” narrative currently being floated saying, “In the past, most shootings by police officers, as well as shootings of police officers, were typically local or regional news events. But after Ferguson, everyone is paying attention. So often, these incidents now become national and even international news events”. Stinson also said “I don’t buy the “war on cops” narrative, nor do I draw any conclusions from small changes in the numbers of officers killed over a few years,” said Stinson. “Policing in this country is violent…It is business as usual on the streets and in policing.”
Stinson is also not the only one challenging the current “war on cops” narrative either. In an interview with Boston.Com, Tom Nolan, a 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department and associate professor of criminology at Merrimack College, reiterated that attacks on police officers have been decreasing since at least the 1990s, according to FBI data. Nolan said in the interview that narrative currently being pushed that there is now suddenly a “war on cops’’ is a reaction to the increased attention and scrutiny of law enforcement from the general public as a result of widely covered high-profile killings in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Baton Rouge amongst a plethora of many others throughout the country. Nolan also went on to state, “Police feel that they are somehow being undermined and their perspectives are being dismissed and challenged. Their reaction to that has been to craft this counter-narrative of this “war on cops”, which is non-existent”. This being said, it has still not quelled prominent law enforcement officials and advocates from peddling grossly inaccurate information and projecting dangerously misleading perceptions. In 2015, FBI director James Comey made statements insinuating that a phenomenon dubbed the ‘Ferguson Effect’ brought on as a result of the Ferguson uprisings and Black Lives Matter movement was having a “chilling effect” of law enforcement leading to a decrease in stops and thus driving up crime rates throughout the nation. Director Comey made these statements when the year was barely halfway through, and while preliminary stats can be released the FBI generally doesn’t release statements on crime stats until the following year when data can be completely gathered and thoroughly examined for errors and consistency to give the most accurate analysis. When national crime stats for 2015 were officially released, it was determined that while crime rates had increased a few select cities such as St. Louis and Baltimore, nationally the crime rate still continued to fall. In line with a trend that has persisted since the early 1990s. Now making inaccurate and premature statements such as this (from the director of the FBI nonetheless) is not only disingenuous and disturbingly misleading to the public, but it can end with catastrophic and deadly results. Especially when done so to create a false sense of danger that ultimately leads to hastily written and poorly thought out legislation that we are beginning to see pop up in certain regions of the country.
The State Declares War on Personal Freedoms
Needless to say, in the wake of protests in response to high-profile shootings of both unarmed citizens and police. In addition to the myriad of other protests that have taken place all throughout the country such as the Dakota Access Pipeline opposition and the wave of protests mobilized in response the policies and conduct of the Trump administration; state lawmakers throughout the nation have been whipped into a frenzy castrating laws and protections endowed upon the public that protect the rights of those who mobilize and organize opposition against the state. Furthermore, enacting legislation to effectively criminalize certain forms of peaceful, non-violent protests. In North Dakota, where the Dakota Access Pipeline opposition is currently taking place, republican politicians recently introduced HOUSE BILL NO. 1203a bill that if passed would effectively allow motorists in the state to run over and kill any protesters obstructing a highway as long as a driver does so ‘accidentally’. In the state of Minnesota which has also experienced a wave of protests in 2016 following the fatal shooting of Philando Castile back in July,Republicans introduced a bill which seeks to dramatically strengthen fines against freeway protests and would grant state prosecutors the ability to seek a full year of jail time for protesters that engage in protests that result in blocking highways. The billHF 55 also elevates the charge for such protesting to a “gross misdemeanor,” making it punishable by both a year in jail as well as fine of $3,000. Even Republicans in Washington state have advocated the implementation of a plan to reclassify the grounds of a felony civil-disobedience protests and allow the state to prosecute those that take part in protests that are deemed “economic terrorism”.
This fresh wave of draconian anti-protest legislation that has taken root in states throughout the nation targeting non-violent protests has fueled immense concern amongst civil-liberty advocates. In an article published by The Intercept, Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU commented on the trend of increased criminalization of protesting in the country stating, “This trend of anti-protest legislation dressed up as ‘obstruction’ bills is deeply troubling. A law that would allow the state to charge a protester $10,000 for stepping in the wrong place, or encourage a driver to get away with manslaughter because the victim was protesting, is about one thing: chilling protest”. Jordan S. Kushner, a Minneapolis civil-rights attorney who has represented Black Lives Matter protesters also spoke with The Intercept commenting on such legislation stating, “The statute is very heavily abused by police to charge people with crimes in response to minor resistance to police based on good faith disagreements with what they are doing. It is frequently used in response to people who verbally challenge or try to observe/record police at protests.” Kushner also commented on the motivations behind such recent affronts on the right of protesters saying, “I think that the motivations for the Republican legislators proposing bills to penalize protests are to cater to the general public hostility towards Black Lives Matter in the overwhelmingly white suburban and rural districts they represent. The goal is to criminalize protesting to a greater degree and thereby discourage public dissent”. While the recent moves by various states to criminalize and vilify protest movements across the country are at the very least troubling and set a dangerously slippery precedent perhaps the most disturbing pieces legislation to take root is so-called “Blue Lives Matter” legislation which is quickly gaining popularity in certain regions throughout the U.S. In May of last year, Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB 953 or the “Blue Lives Matter” bill which effectively made the state the first in the entire country where public safety workers are now considered a protected class under Louisiana’s hate-crime laws. In most states, hate crime laws levy further punishment for individuals convicted of crimes that target victims on the basis of one’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Under the new law police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel now fall under Louisiana’s hate crime law statute. This is made all that much worse by the fact since Louisiana cops are now endowed with such protections that the subjective offense of ‘resisting arrest’ can now be potentially turned into a hate crime depending on the judgment of the district attorney. However, the law has not been without its criticism and resistance from community and Civil Rights advocacy groups throughout the state. The New Orleans chapter of the activist group Black Youth Project 100 had called on Gov. Edwards to veto the legislation arguing that it is communities of color and the greater public at large, not the police that are currently under assault in the country. Black Youth Project 100 issued a statement decrying the law saying, “The criminal (in)justice system and those who uphold it have a long and egregious history of inflicting violence on Black and Brown bodies while hiding behind uniforms and badges. The “Blue Lives Matter” bill is an insidious attempt to destabilize our First Amendment rights as community members who hold the police, and others sworn by oath to serve and protect, accountable”. The statement also commented how giving disproportional power and protections to police can potentially inflict even greater harm to communities that historically have been maliciously targeted and brutalized by law enforcement saying, “By treating the police as specialized citizens held above criticism and the laws they are charged to enforce, we lose our ability to exercise our First Amendment right. Including ‘police’ as a protected class in hate crime legislation would serve to provide more protection to an institution that is statistically proven to be racist in action, policy, and impact”. Black Youth Project 100 is not alone in their concerns and criticisms either. In an article from The Advocate, Allison Goodman, the regional director for the Anti-Defamation League’s office in Metairie also commented on the fact that it is unwise to include something as broad as occupations to hate crime protected classes and allot special protections to them. “It’s really focused on immutable characteristics.” Goldman said in regards to what elements constitute hate crimes also saying, “Proving the bias intent for a hate crime for law enforcement or first responders is very different than proving it for someone who is Jewish or gay or black”. At the end of the day, all of these dissenting voices from community organizers and Civil Rights advocates make a valid point. We should not be allocating special privileges and protections to individuals simply based upon one’s occupation. That is not the purpose of hate crime protections in this country. It never was and never has been. Let’s make something absolutely, one hundred percent clear. Police are not a marginalized group. They simply are not, and to suggest that they even remotely are is nothing short of a bald-faced lie. If anything they are endowed by society and armed to the teeth by the state with more privileges, protections, and power than the rest of the general public could ever dream of. The purpose of hate crime legislation is to protect marginalized groups that are disproportionately vulnerable to harm because of who they are. Hate crime laws are intended to protect the powerless, not aid and abet the disproportionately powerful. Police are not a marginalized minority group. On the contrary, they are a protected class, frequently operating with complete disregard outside and above the law. So-called ‘Blue Lives Matter’ legislation misconstrues police as a vulnerable minority facing special danger and that is simply just not true. In fact, nothing could possibly be farther from the truth. If anything legislation such as that passed in Louisiana is nothing short of a blatant slap in the face to the vulnerable and marginalized of our society that politicians and law enforcement would equate wearing a uniform (that anyone can put on or take off at any moment) to ineliminable qualities and features such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities which people continue to face discrimination and are regularly targeted for by racists, xenophobes, bigots and the absolute worst that our society has to offer. By pressuring politicians to railroad legislation of this nature through the courts the message cops have blatantly broadcasted over the past several years, especially in response after consistently pushing a faux “war on cops” is one that they believe they’re above the law and that their lives are in some way more valuable than the lives of the people they harm and everybody else in the community that they serve. This has only been made seemingly worse when reinforced by politicians who seem hell-bent on codifying these special protections and privileges which allow police free reign to do as they please unchallenged.
There is no “war on cops”. There’s not. The data and statistics supplied by the FBI and the DOJ nonetheless simply do not support this claim at all in the slightest bit. All of this talk of a supposed “war on cops” is nothing more than fear-based, sensationalist propaganda crafted by conservative figures, pundits, politicians as well as law enforcement officials in an attempt to stir up fear to silence, as well as demonize and derail any meaningful discussion on true, progressive, hard-hitting police reform in this country and vilify those who dare advocate for it. Now the implications of such irresponsible fear-mongering by police unions and top officials nonetheless are not be taken lightly. Such words and rhetoric don’t just take place in a vacuum, and as we have seen they have the potential reap some very tangible and dire real-world consequences; especially when police are conditioned to see the cities and communities they’re supposedly there to protect as being more dangerous than they really are. Even when data collected over the years from government figures nonetheless proves that this egregious claim is not rooted in fact and is simply right-wing conservative grandstanding utilized to peddle fear and gain favor amongst their support base, this persistent lie is still being continually pushed to mislead and misinform the public. Conversely, the “war on cops” narrative isn’t just a war of words or a battle about being right or wrong. At the end of the day the “war on cops” narrative is a massive PR campaign carried out and championed by the police, with the end goal of that campaign being to seduce the public into believing that the police cannot possibly provide safety and low crime rates in this country without massive civil rights violations, overly aggressive and disproportionate use of physical force, racial profiling, highly intrusive, questionable search tactics all while disproportionately targeting communities of color. The truth is the “war on cops” fallacy and Blue Lives Matter laws passed in response are not about public safety or about protecting the well-being of law enforcement. They’re about maintaining authoritarian rule and perpetuating the over-exaggerated or downright fabricated threats craven leaders use to justify their persistence. Entering into a Trump era, police are practically given a pass where they can literally shoot and kill individuals within seconds of engaging without facing any real consequence whatsoever. We have seen it happen before time and time and time again and sadly will probably continue to see more tragedies unfold before our eyes for the foreseeable future. Last year, according to http://www.killedbypolice.net 1,151 people were killed by the police, a small but hardly marginal decrease from 2015’s number of 1,209. These numbers alone are proof that the police are clearly not afraid of interacting with the public and are a stark rebuke to the fallacy that police are afraid to do their jobs in an era of heightened public scrutiny. Today, police are doing fewer stops because the ticket and fine hustle many cities such as Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland utilized (which practically used citizens as an ATM machine to fund their government) have been exposed for the world to see by police reform movements. This ladies and gentlemen is called spin. The police are trying to PR their way out of this to protect their already tarnished reputation, and nothing works better than fear-mongering by demonizing movements, protests, and discussions headed largely by people of color. It has been one of the oldest tricks in the book utilized by the state and the status quo.
The truth is it’s becoming more and more apparent that many cops don’t like being treated like regular people and held accountable to the same standards as the rest of the public. As evidence made blatantly clear by “war on cops” rhetoric and Blue Lives Matter legislation, it can be inferred that far too many want special treatment and think they’re above the law. Even to the point that when charged with a crime, they become indignant towards the same law they swore to uphold. These laws create a special protected class of super-citizens for the exact people who hold the most responsibility and thus should rightfully receive the most scrutiny. While cops may have a difficult and at times dangerous job, that does not change the fact that they should have every action under a microscope. At this point, it seems blatantly clear that far too many cops in the U.S. are more interested in protecting their status, privilege and other bad cops than good citizens. So no, when we get past all the rhetoric, the fear-mongering and blatant disinformation peddled by police unions, officials and lawmakers there is no widespread epidemic of violence or “war on cops”. However, here’s what is an epidemic in this country. The fact that statistically African American citizens are 3 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than whites. That’s an epidemic. The fact that Native Americans are the most likely demographic to be killed by police despite having by far the smallest population of almost any demographic in the entire country. That’s an epidemic. The fact that ¼ of all people killed by police in 2015 suffered from mental illness. That’s an epidemic. The fact that police killed over 1,000 people (not including in-custody deaths) last year and so far 0 officers have been convicted of any crime. That’s an epidemic! Numbers don’t lie, and now that the public is finally building databases with reliable figures and stats (no thanks to police nor the federal government) we can disprove without a doubt false claims and assertions peddled by the police and reveal cops for engaging in zealous fear-mongering and purposely deceitful propaganda that they have been routinely complicit in. Going forward, especially given the alarming, and increasingly growing authoritarianism of the current presidential administration which has emboldened lawmakers in states throughout the country. We can no longer afford to not confront and challenge the “war on cops” narrative that is continually being used to erode our freedoms and squelch opposition. We can no longer allow this lie to continue any longer. For years, we have seen cops make racist comments, lie on police reports, sabotage body-cameras, plant and fabricate evidence and even kill unarmed people on video, yet we’re supposed to believe that we’re the ones waging war on them? That is not true. We all know that this not true. If from this point on “standing up for law enforcement” means removing and trampling Civil Rights, then this country has a more serious problem than previously thought. Civil Rights and upholding the law are not mutually exclusive and to pretend that they are and that one supersedes the other is reckless and dangerous. This type of sentiment and mentality speaks volumes about our country, our law enforcement the current administration and will only further endanger the greater public as well if racism, corruption and impunity within law enforcement is left to continue festering without remedy.