The thing about the Left is that with Obama in charge, they win even when they lose. After drug dealer Freddie Gray died in police custody, the mob burned down a decent amount of Baltimore, whipped up by 'activists' and Marilyn Mosby, the State's Attorney for Baltimore who actually allowed the mob to have free reign to burn and loot in part of the city while police were ordered to stand down.
The politically motivated charges brought by Marilyn Mosby were thrown out of court as being absolutely absurd, which they were and every one of the six officers were acquitted. her conduct was so egregious that there's even talk of having her impeached.
The same thing happened in Ferguson, Missouri where Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, assaulted the clerk, tried to wrestle a gun away from a policeman and then was shot by that policeman when he refused to halt and charged him instead with his 300 plus pound body.
In both situations, the Obama Justice Department moved in, did an 'investigation' of course found what they called 'racist behavior' with little or no actual evidence, sanctioned the police departments for 'racist behavior' and demanded wholesale changes...or else.
And of course, they got them, especially in Democrat ruled Baltimore.
But apparently this behavior had unforeseen consequences, as even the notoriously politically correct Washington Post admits, if you read between the lines.
Not only has it become extremely difficult to recruit police in both places, but crime has skyrocketed to the point where residents and business people with an actual stake in their community are begging for more police protection and quicker response time. At the same time, activists and opportunistic politicians, many of whom don't actually live in these neighborhoods are pushing the Justice department to place more and more restraints on the police.
The result of course is easy to predict. Pro-active policing, the use of police presence to prevent crime before it happens is virtually disappearing. What police officer wants to risk a reprimand or even getting fired by politically correct departments wary of crossing Democrat politicians? Crimes that were often prevented by experienced officers using that legendary 'sixth sense' experienced police acquire are now occurring. Arrests in black communities are diminishing - why take a risk of an angry crowd assembling to protest the arrest of a drug dealer or even a traffic stop? Easier and far less risky to just show up after the crime's been committed and take a report, something that I'm sure infuriates police officers who became cops because of a deep seated desire to protect the innocent.
Eight days had passed since the Justice Department issued a scathing review of the Baltimore Police Department, detailing years of racial discrimination in its law enforcement practices.
Yet the 40 or so longtime residents who gathered in a West Baltimore church basement on this August night — many of whom were older black women afraid to walk to the store or leave their homes at night — had come to urge police to clear their corners of miscreants and restore order to their crime-plagued community.
“Please, help me,” pleaded gas station owner Chaudhry Masood, whose parking lot has been overrun by loiterers and where a 17-year-old was recently shot and killed. [...]
The Aug. 10 report came more than a year after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. His funeral touched off riots, an unsuccessful prosecution of six police officers and the Justice Department investigation. Many of the abuses that investigators found centered on the way police officers interact with black Baltimoreans, including people congregating on street corners. The report concluded that Baltimore officers had “nearly unfettered discretion to criminalize the act of standing on public sidewalks.” [...]
Clearing the corners has been a mainstay of Baltimore policing for decades, a way for a beat cop to show who’s boss and to break up open-air drug markets that once numbered 200 across the city.
Anthony Barksdale, who retired from the force in 2014 as a deputy police commissioner, said he would tell young men, “Fellas, I know you’re going to give my corner,” and they would scatter.
After the Justice Department report, Barksdale said, “Everybody on the corner is challenging the police. Then when the police drive by and don’t push them off, the citizens are saying, ‘What the hell are the cops good for?’ ”
Barksdale took exception to the report’s criticism that stops of pedestrians were concentrated in a few black neighborhoods. Barksdale, who is black and grew up in West Baltimore, said that’s true only because “police are responding to crime.”
The Justice Department, he said, has effectively “turned over control of the corners to the criminal elements. The city is suffering already, and it’s going to suffer more. . . . They need to understand the streets of Baltimore are no joke, and they’ve given the bad elements more authority to destroy the neighborhoods.”
On top of all this, as existing police get sick and tired of an impossible job and go elsewhere, quality recruits to replace them are harder and harder to find. What this eventually leads to is standards being dropped simply to keep the numbers at a sustainable level.
Here's an example. One of my best friends from high school joined the LAPD and was apparently pretty good at it, having promoted and having been cited by the Department for bravery. He left to continue his career elsewhere after the riots in the early 1990's, when the L.A. city council forced the existing chief, Daryl Gates to resign and hired Willie Williams to replace him, someone with little actual police experience but the overriding qualification of being black. He turned out to be an extraordinarily inept administrator who politicized the department and cultivated a circle of sycophants and toadies. He was so incompetent and borderline corrupt that eventually the city was forced to buy out his contract and replace him.
A lot of experienced police officers left during this time, and as we now know, recruiting standards were significantly lowered to replace them. The end results of this were things like the Ramparts Police scandal, which resulted in more than 140 civil lawsuits against the city of Los Angeles and cost the city an estimated $125 million in settlements, not to mention the legal fees and administrative costs.
Another thing to reflect on is where this attack on local police forces actually originates from. A leaked document from George Soros' Open Society Foundation shows the extent of the money involved in financing groups like Black Lives Matter (who also got millions of dollars from the Ford Foundation) with the express idea of undermining local control of police forces and ultimately federalizing them using the Obama Justice department coupled with targeted social unrest.
Soros and others are also spending large amounts of money to see to it that hard Left progressives - like Marilyn Mosby - are elected to key positions as prosecutors and attorneys general in America's cities.
All that aside, in fairness it needs mentioning that there probably are a lot of the locals who don't like the police or how they behave. To quote one Fred Price in North St. Louis a year or so ago after the police took out a crackhouse in his neighborhood, killing one of the denizens who pointed a gun at them:
“They provoked the situation,” Price, 33, said. “Situations like this make us want to keep the police out of the neighborhood. They’re shooting first, then asking questions.”
While I might disagree with Mr. Price he has a point. And points the way to a win-win solution, which I presented before when I wrote about this at the time it occurred:
The locals don't like the police, to put it mildly, and I'm sure that the police themselves don't enjoy going into neighborhoods where their attempts to do a difficult job are looked upon by a significant number of the inhabitants as the provocation of racist interlopers.
Mr. Fred Price points the way to a win win resolution that will please everyone. Let's indeed give the residents of north St. Louis and other similar areas a way to keep the police out of their neighborhoods.
Let the residents take a vote on making their neighborhoods off limits to police. If such a vote passes, let the residents make their own arrangements for crime prevention or policing should they see fit to do so,and offer property owners a discount on their taxes based on this city service they would no longer be using.
Police would be limited to enforcing the perimeters of such neighborhoods, so that thugs and criminals would be prevented from leaving these neighborhoods during certain hours. But inside the perimeter, the residents themselves would take responsibility.
Based on certain incidents that have happened in neighborhoods like this in the past during tense times, it would probably make sense to eliminate or at least cut back fire department and EMT service as well, since many times they require a police escort in order to guarantee the safety of the firemen and EMT personnel. Or perhaps these communities might be able to make special arrangements not to attack them.
Like I said, a win win. The inhabitants of these neighborhoods would get the kind of policing they deserve, and the men and women the majorities in these communities see as vicious police killers would have no opportunity to practice their racism. And the police wouldn't have to go into these areas where they're seen as the enemy, making life easier and less dangerous for them.
Of course, if the people in these communities voted to continue to allow the police to serve them, it certainly wouldn't be out of line for the police to demand respect and a healthy benefit of the doubt in exchange.
My bet is that most people who have an actual stake in these communities - a job, a home, families and perhaps a business - would vote for option number two.