I have to apologize to the NYPD and eat my own words. In response to a press conference given by the New York police union head Patrick J. Lynch where he blamed protesters and Mayor de Blasio for the murder of two police officers I said that if police actually cared about their own safety, “rather than model themselves after an occupational army tasked with enforcing anti-human drug laws and thousands of other idiotic non-crimes deemed unacceptable by the political class, they’d advocate ending the war on drugs and repealing the lot of stupid laws on the books for which the enforcement of such puts police in danger. ”
While they haven’t actually called for any laws to be repealed, since December 22nd they have stopped putting themselves in danger to enforce a host of stupid laws. As the New York Post reports, comparing the week after December 22nd, 2014 to the same week in 2013:
Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.
Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
All these petty offenses are non-crimes, the enforcement of them is not just wrong but immoral. Excluding reckless driving and parking violations on private property, none of these “crimes” should ever be enforced, the only reason they are is thanks to government busybodies and the state’s rapacious drive for revenue.
The only troubling part of this state of affairs is the prospect police will end their protest and start doing their jobs again.
Nonetheless, I believe the police’s actions in this past week shows they themselves understand how unnecessary all these stupid laws on the books are.
The prospect that any danger could befall them while they potentially ruin thousands of people’s lives and threaten thousands with fines and the possibility of jail has lead to them making the rational calculation to leave people the hell alone.
From the prospective of a cop, I would find this rather troubling, as it could be interpreted that the indiscriminate killing of two cops actually made the streets safer and put police in check. Of course, I don’t advocate violence against anyone, but it seems to me this whole imaginary “war on cops” that the police and the media have hyped up in this case is actually serving the public good, and again, it’s all the better it’s a fantasy as the rise in the death of cops this year is not a statistical outlier. To expand on that point, this recent shooting in New York was done by a suicidal man who was going to kill himself before shooting the two cops he killed, but his girlfriend talked him out of it, he shot her in the abdomen after she did so, for which she almost died, then he fled the scene, shot two cops and then himself. His mother said he had “attempted suicide in the past, and attempted to hang himself a year ago.”
This is all ignored because he made some instagram posts saying he would kill cops as revenge for Brown and Garner, other people made similar inflammatory statements calling for cops to be shot yet none of them acted on any of it. Simplifying this man’s attempted triple murder-suicide into a simple “war on cops” narrative is dishonest and only serves to mislead people.
Nonetheless, with police’s paranoid reaction to the shooting, what comes to my mind is a quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago,
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”