by Benjamin Tschirhart
While the track record of American police has never been stellar, the advent of the internet has made the public aware of their egregious failures and abuses in a way never before possible. Nevertheless, the mainstream media has doggedly persisted in its habit of allowing the police and their advocates to dominate the public discourse by framing the narrative surrounding almost every major domestic event in recent history. (A few notable exceptions exist, particularly when white officers shoot Black suspects.)
The narrative, as crafted by police and law enforcement, is that they are the only barrier between civilization and chaos. Protest footage is cherry picked to portray overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations as violent and chaotic, which in turn allows police to justify their use of brutality and force in suppressing the free speech of citizens. Statistics are massaged or carefully framed to present a picture of rising crime, even when the opposite is true. For example, the FBI crime report released in September of 2021 showed slight rises in the raw numbers of homicides; in some cities, an additional two or three, up from six the previous year. But the media proclaimed these as “30% increase in killings,” purposefully omitting the raw numbers that are necessary to give context to the data. They also failed to mention that index crime rates are at historic lows, even when factoring in the slight increases.
The media also insist on reporting gross failures of law enforcement as resounding successes. When Frank James opened fire on passengers in the New York subway in 2021 (injuring 29 but killing none), the police were lauded by The New York Times for their tireless and resourceful efforts to locate and arrest the suspect. Never mentioned was the fact that even with record numbers of officers patrolling the subway and with ubi quitous surveillance cameras capturing everyone’s movements, the police were still unable to prevent or stop the shooting. Afterward, Mayor Eric Adams praised the police for capturing James, even though they had failed to apprehend him in the subway – allowing him to wander the city for hours before calling a hotline and giving himself up. Even then, bystanders had to physically point James out to police before they were able to identify and arrest him. Seems even when a suspect surrenders and serves himself up on a silver platter to the police, they still require additional assistance in apprehending him.
While this trend is certainly pernicious and irritating, the end game is positively evil. Police violence and abuse are rationalized and justified, and they are permitted to use their failures as justification for needing even more money. This amounts to a perverse game of blackmail and hostage-taking, whereby law enforcement threatens us with even greater harm if we taxpayers don’t hand over even more of our livelihood to fund their already swollen budgets. They blame their intransigence and brutality on a lack of funding, and like especially unsubtle mob enforcers, suggest that even worse may be coming if we don’t surrender our money and our civil rights in exchange for their increasingly dubious “protection.”
Sources: salon.com; Project Censored
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