Civil rights organizations make false claims about the police
After Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, many organizations and celebrities issued press releases that went beyond the celebration of justice, offering blanket condemnations of the police as being universally racist and oppressive. . For example, Seventh Generation, the laundry detergent manufacturer owned by Unilever, tweeted than to stop the “murder of blacks and brunettes at the hands of the police.” . . we have to get rid of the systems of prejudice. LeBron James of the NBA tweeted what appeared to be a threat (since suppressed) to the Columbus, Ohio police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she assaulted another person with a knife.
While I have come to expect this kind of anti-police rhetoric from business and celebrity circles, I was appalled to see major civil rights organizations also lend their voices to false statements about the police.
As a police officer for almost 18 years, I understand the importance of conscientious and impartial law enforcement. And as a third-generation American Jew whose grandparents were forced to flee the rise of the Nazi Party, I have personally benefited from the hard work of civil rights organizations that advocate for vulnerable groups against discrimination and abuse.
When my grandfather, a Czechoslovakian, came to America after serving in the British Army in World War II, several anti-Jewish policies were still in place. Several leading universities capped the enrollment of Jews until the end of the 20th century, and Yale did not have a Jewish full professor until 1946. Campaign clubs banned Jews, blacks, and women from joining. until the 1990s. The Jews of America have also faced numerous acts of violence. It was civil rights organizations that stood up for us.
During my career, I have attended training courses and used publications published by both the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I know first-hand that these organizations value their partnerships with law enforcement. Yet this story has not stopped any of these organizations from painting every police officer with the same broad brush.
Every time a police officer takes a life, it is a sad and traumatic event for everyone involved. But this is not, as the ADL claims, proof of a system that “targets[s] and devalue[s] Blacks, Maroons and Indigenous people live for centuries. ” A ADL press release ruled that Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old gunned down by Chicago police, was killed because of “systemic racism”, not because the police were responding to the presence of an armed individual fleeing the scene. a call for “shots”. The shooting was tragic, but it was not the result of systemic racism, and a group that calls for justice when churches are set on fire should know it.
The SPLC did not do better. Their recent press release pays tribute to Tony McDale, a black transgender who was shot dead by a Tallahassee police officer in May McDade, a suspect in Malik Jackson’s death, pointed a handgun at the police as he approached, leaving the police with no choice but to shoot him. Investigators at the scene recovered a handgun, as well as the bloodied knife used to kill Jackson. Body camera footage corroborated the police officers’ version of events, and a Leon County grand jury found the use of force was justified. But none of this stopped the SPLC from citing McDade’s death as evidence of a “criminal justice system based on anti-black racism and white supremacy.”
Many other civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which believe this “racism. . . permeates law enforcement, ”have made similar damaging statements.
Comments like these, which go far beyond these organizations’ primary mission of advocating for vulnerable communities, will further erode the already strained relationship between police and their communities. By falsely blaming the entire police profession for systemic racism, these groups weaken their ability to help the real victims of civil rights violations and endanger the relationships they have forged with the vast majority of sincere and hardworking cops who are their allies in defending justice for all.
Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG