Try this at home. Enter the words “demand for accountability by police” in the search bar of your Web browser and press enter. Your search will receive more than 21 million responses. That’s 21 million entries calling for more “accountability”of law enforcement officers. This word you see is part of the new “buzzword bingo” being pushed out by everyone who has an anti-law enforcement agenda, with President Obama and his first choice for United States Attorney General Eric Holder leading the pack. Almost every speech given by those two regarding law enforcement contains repeated references to “must be accountable” when it concerns the police.

Let’s just look at the Ferguson debacle for the perfect illustration of how Obama and Holder weaponized “accountability” against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Department, and all law enforcement officers.

Michael Brown committed a strongarm robbery of a convenience store in Ferguson. Officer Wilson spotted Brown and his accomplice and stopped them. Brown attacked Wilson while he was still in his patrol car and tried to take the officer’s handgun. Brown was subsequently shot to death by Wilson.

What took place after that shooting will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest examples of agenda-driven, media- fueled propaganda to be perpetuated on the American public, the fiction of “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” Literally on the same day as the shooting of Michael Brown, the media picked up the phrase from an alleged witness who said that Michael Brown had his hands up in the air yelling “Hands up. Don’t shoot” when the Police Officer “gunned him down.” The fact that it never happened didn’t stop the media from playing it over and over ad nauseum. And the fact that it never happened didn’t stop sports figures, celebrities, actors, and even members of Congress from running around like idiots with their hands up in support of poor Michael Brown, demanding the prosecution of Officer Wilson for murder. The demonizing of this poor young police officer by everyone from the President of the United States down to the man in the street who formed his opinion from his only source, the media, was like nothing I have ever witnessed. Kinder words were spoken about Adolf Hitler than this young cop whose only sin was to do his duty and survive a critical incident.

Here is where “accountability” was used as a weapon against the police in general and Officer Darren Wilson in particular. All officer-involved shootings (OIS) are investigated and protocols are established by the agencies involved as to who conducts those investigations. In Ferguson, MO, the St. Louis County Police Department is the investigating agency for an OIS. The St. Louis County PD is a large department with the expertise and resources to perform such investigations. In these cases, the investigators involved report to the district attorney who reviews the investigation, calls witnesses, and makes a determination if the shooting is justifiable or not. That’s the system in Ferguson and this is how “accountability” is supposed to be determined.

But from the moment the media picked up the story, the wheels were in motion to interfere with this established process and the power behind those wheels would reach all the way to the White House and the Department of Justice. Rioters, including busloads of professional protestors paid by Obama benefactor George Soros, filled the streets of Ferguson, burning and looting in a frenzy that would last week upon week. And when the police tried to restore order, the governor of Missouri and Holder’s Department of Justice interfered in the name of “accountability” and would not allow law enforcement officers to do what they are paid to do, protect people and property because police in those nasty-looking tactical uniforms and helmets might incite the crowd. And because deployment of armored vehicles were forbidden after outcry about the militarization of police during the early days of the Ferguson siege, officers were subjected to rocks, bottles, and even bullets while they “stood the line” and were told to watch the city burn.

By the end of this odious chapter in law enforcement history, the city was damaged physically and economically by not only the rioters and looters but by the Department of Justice as well. Because unhappy with the finding by the district attorney that the shooting of Michael Brown was “justifiable,” the DOJ initiated its own investigation (in the name of accountability). But even DOJ investigators were forced by the facts to conclude that Wilson was justified when he killed Michael Brown. However, the DOJ wasn’t done with Ferguson yet. Unhappy with these conclusions, the DOJ conducted yet another investigation, one that the Attorney General had much more control over. This “pattern and practice” investigation resulted in several sacrifices. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was forced to resign and Officer Wilson was forced to leave the job that he loved and hide in fear for his very life and that of his family. All in the name of “accountability.”

This politically correct madness continues unabated. Dashcams and bodycams record almost every moment that an officer is on duty, in the name of “accountability.” The over investigation of law enforcement officers and agencies by local, state, and federal governmental entities and of course the ever-present media ( in the name of “accountability”) is leading to the exodus from the profession of thousands of experienced law enforcement officers. Those reaching retirement eligibility are fleeing at the first moment they are able and many who are not able to retire are simply quitting. Recruiting qualified candidates has also become increasingly difficult. So some agencies are lowering the qualifications for entry. This brings a whole new set of issues and problems.

Policing has always had dangers associated with the profession. Physical, emotional, and psychological threats have always existed. However, when the fear of those who work the streets behind those badges is directed more to their own agencies and the government they work for than it is towards the criminal element they are fighting every day, those who suffer the greatest will be the honest citizens of this country.

You can hear commentary from Randy Sutton on “Police Radio: The Voice of American Law Enforcement” on the America Outloud Network.

Author

Randy Sutton
Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.

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Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.

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