FARRELL: Politicians Proposing Defunding Police Must Personally Bear Responsibility

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Chris Farrell Judicial Watch
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Lawmakers that defund police must include language in their legislation wherein they take personal responsibility and pecuniary liability for any loss of life or property as a consequence of their action. Zero immunity for legislators and executives that endanger the public. Let’s prosecute bad cops. Let’s also hold reckless, grandstanding, political opportunists — posing as responsible government officials — accountable. They need to pay for their stupidity and willingness to endanger the most vulnerable: the elderly, children, and women. Where does the single mother caring for an elderly relative go when the family becomes victims of a robbery or assault? There is a real human toll and consequence for the superficialities of TV sound bites and protest signs.

What, exactly, does “defunding the police” entail? Who benefits? Are there serious proposals to eliminate the exact sorts of training and programs that would prevent and preclude the excessive force that sparked the current civil unrest? Would the outreach and recruitment programs that broadened and diversified police departments across the country be eliminated? Successes across the country on community policing — eliminated? What about training on less-than-lethal means to engage suspects? Cut that?

The antifa-types just want to run unopposed and wild in the streets, inflicting a reign of terror and bullying tactics that, ironically, is exactly what the Brownshirts of the Nazi Party did in 1930s Germany. Antifa engages in Brownshirt behavior. Explain how defunding the police ensures the safety of the general public against antifa. You can’t.

Politicians love a good crisis. It allows them to exploit the worst facts, the worst instincts and the worst fears. They are used to swooping in for the photo-op, the chest-thumping and finger-wagging — but then make themselves scarce when it comes to hard work and real accountability.

Now, a collection of all the “usual suspects,” the professional political class and their sock puppet television “analysts” have revealed themselves to suddenly be “experts” on police procedure, criminology, public safety, pathology and sociology. Who knew these polymaths walked among us?

The politicians proposing cuts to police departments must personally bear the responsibility and cost for their conduct. Normally, of course, elected officials bear no such consequences. They pay for their poor conduct at the ballot box. The current crisis is different. One can argue the “defund the police” initiative that instantly and simultaneously sprang up across the country is a manufactured solution in search of a systemic problem. Most police officers and departments are honorable, faithful public servants — protecting and serving the communities they live in. So, why the wholesale attack? It’s drastic stuff and most of the American public isn’t buying it. That’s precisely why there needs to be additional pressure brought to bear on the politicians and government officials advocating police defunding. They need to know they’re personally on-the-hook for what they are proposing to subject the rest of the population to, under the “vision” for a more just society.

The public figures calling for accountability need to be held to account. If there’s a supposed nationwide, endemic, policing problem — what was their role? What were they doing, or not doing, that contributed to the alleged crisis? Where were they when the budgets were passed, the police procedures approved, the enforcement provisions enacted? Leaders on the Left, such as Biden and Pelosi have very long legislative track records on policing and crime. Newbies, like AOC, can talk a good game — but, in fact, have little or no real credibility or expertise on the subject, other than repeating what they’ve been tutored to say. If politicians and government officials are going to take strong action against police departments, then they should be personally invested in the outcome. Incorporate language into any defunding legislation wherein they will bear the consequences for their decisions. Will it happen? No, of course not. But if we’re going to engage in some “revolutionary” thinking and legislating — it’s well past time we started thinking that way.

Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog organization. He is a former military intelligence officer.