It is only May and already 11 police officers in America have been gunned down by vicious killers. The latest two—Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate—were shot while making a routine traffic stop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Yet, there are no marches in support of police officers and no protestors wearing T-shirts proclaiming “Cops Lives Matter.” Apparently to Al Sharpton, Malik Shabaz, and the usual cast of race-hustling characters who foment looting, arson, and violence whenever a young black man is shot by a police officer, cop’s lives don’t matter—even when the cop is black. This is a sad commentary on the double-standard that exists in American society today.
Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson protests against supposed over-zealous police departments have sprung up in several large cities. Of course, in each case Al Sharpton has performed his usual dance in front of the cameras, exploiting the black community for fun and profit. Anti-police protestors have taken to wearing T-shirts inscribed with the message “Black Lives Matter.” I have no problem with the T-shirts or the message. Black lives do matter. But I do have a couple of questions for those who wear these T-shirts: 1) Do black lives still matter if the black individual killed is a police officer?, and 2) Do the lives of police officers of any race matter? If the lives of black police officers or police officers in general do matter, where are the protests when a police officer is killed in the line of duty—something that happens six times more often than a police officer killing a black suspect?
In addition to these questions, I also have a few concerns about the anti-police protestors who marched in Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia wearing “black-lives-matter” T-shirts: 1) They appear to be aiming their message at the wrong target, 2) Their message is incomplete in that it fails to acknowledge that cop’s lives matter too, and 3) Their message of “black lives matter” contains another more subtle message—that to police officers black lives do not matter.
Consider my first concern about the anti-police protestors. If they really believe that black lives matter why are their protests aimed solely at police? Why not conduct protest marches against those who account for the most deaths in the black community every year: young black men? The number of black Americans killed by the police every year is small compared to the number killed by other blacks. In fact, police officers are six times more likely to be killed by a black person than they are to kill a black person. How about protesting every time a Crip kills a Blood in a gang-banging turf war or vice-versa or when a black teenager kills another black teenager in a drug deal gone wrong. Frankly, if this were done the protests would never stop. I will believe these protests are about the sanctity of black lives rather than the result of anti-police bias when the protestors insert themselves between warring gangs in big city ghettos while wearing T-shirts that read: “Black lives matter so stop killing each other.”
Consider my second concern about the anti-police protestors. Where are they when a police officer is brutally murdered in cold blood? Where are the protest marches? Where are the signs and placards? Where are the T-shirts claiming “Cop’s Lives Matter”? Where is the outrage? If every police officer were a rogue cop who abused black people, the anti-police bias of the protestors would be understandable, but this is hardly the case. The overwhelming majority of police officers are decent, caring, law-abiding professionals who do their jobs with skill, restraint, and compassion—just as they are trained to do.
Think back to the riots in Baltimore. The only people showing restraint on the streets of that beleaguered city were police officers—officers who chose not to respond with force even when they were pummeled by bricks, pipes, and metal objects hurled at them by out-of-control rioters. Even when fellow officers were injured by rioters, the Baltimore police officers showed commendable restraint and self-discipline. Perhaps there should have been an additional demonstration in Baltimore to honor the police for their professionalism and restraint. But, then, that type of organized demonstration would not appeal to gangbangers and thugs whose real purpose was to use the protests as cover for looting, arson, robbery, violence, and other nefarious activities such as getting back at the police who are always interfering with their criminal enterprises.
Consider my third concern about the anti-police protestors. By wearing T-shirts that contain the message “Black Lives Matter,” protestors are subtly claiming that to the police black lives do not matter. This is a claim easily refuted by the facts. For example, most of the anti-police protest marches have occurred in large cities such as Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia where the police forces are minority-majority forces. In other words, if the lives of black people do not matter to police officers in these big cities, the issue must be something other than race since so many of the officers themselves are minorities.
Writing about this subject for National Review.com (August 15, 2014), Michelle Malkin made this point: “Here’s a reality check. While narcissistic liberal journalists and college kids are posting ‘hands up’ selfies in hipster solidarity with Ferguson protestors, it’s law-enforcement officers who risk their lives in ‘war zones’ every day across the country. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) reports that a total of 1,501 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past ten years, an average of one death every 58 hours, or 150 per year. Last year 100 law-enforcement officers were killed. On average, over the past decade, there have been 58,261 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries.”
Because of 24/7 coverage of their deaths and the riots, looting, arson, and violence that followed, there is hardly an American who does not know the names of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. But how many know these names: Terence Avery Green, Robert Wilson III, Josie Wells, George S. Nissen, Alex Yazzie, Michael Johnson, Trevor Casper, and Brian Moore. The reader has probably never even heard of these people because the liberal mainstream media chose to downplay or even completely ignore their deaths. Why? Because they are all police officers who have been killed by gunfire or assault in the line of duty so far in 2015. Now we can add Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate to this list of unsung heroes. But, then, the violent murder of police officers—regardless of the fact that they were killed while protecting law-abiding citizens—is not news to the mainstream media. The only way police officers who are murdered will receive any recognition is if those who care about them organize protest rallies that quickly get ugly and transition into riots complete with looting, arson, and violence. Since this isn’t going to happen, don’t count on murdered police officers receiving the post-mortem respect and positive recognition they so richly deserve.
By the time we reach December 31, 2015 there will have been an additional 140 or so police officers who died in the line of duty, but few beyond their fellow officers and loved ones will know who they are because there won’t be any riots, looting, arson, or violence to protest their murders. Rather, they will be quietly laid to rest with honor and dignity by those who loved and cared for them. Then their empty positions will be filled by new officers who will put their lives on the line every day protecting law-abiding citizens from the kind of feral predators who murdered their predecessors and who will murder them too if given the chance. This the police officers will do in spite of being underpaid and under-appreciated. And so goes the double standard that now exists in this country where criminals are treated like heroes while police officers are treated like criminals. This is what it has come to in America. God help us.