Earlier this week, we reported that President Donald Trump addressed the full assembly of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Chicago, and took the opportunity to slam Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was conspicuously absent from the event.
Trump took a sideways shot at Johnson when he pointed to persistent violence on the streets of the Windy City during the commissioner's watch.
"It's embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world, they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison."
The line was one of several that resulted in uproarious laughter and applause from the attendees.
Trump added, "Last year, 565 people were murdered in Chicago. Since Eddie Johnson has been police chief, more than 1,500 people have been murdered in Chicago, and 13,067 people have been shot. During the first weekend of August 2019, 7 people were murdered and 52 were wounded in 32 shootings in Chicago. And recently, they had 78 shootings over a weekend spree, and 3 people killed. And Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the United States. That doesn’t seem to be working too well, does it?"
Trump then issued a broadside directly at Johnson, saying "There is one person that's not here today. We're in Chicago. I said, 'Where is he? I want to talk to him.' In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something—and that's the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Eddie Johnson."
Trump continued, "Here's a man that could not bother to show up for a meeting of police chiefs—the most respected people in the country—in his hometown, and with the President of the United States. And you know why? It's because he’s not doing his job."
At practically every turn during his 2016 election campaign—and at every opportunity while in office—Trump has been supportive of law enforcement, shaking hands and taking pictures with officers almost everywhere he goes.
Almost always, President Trump finds opportunities to thank police officers for everything you do.
Meanwhile, at the Injustice League...
The president was not the only politician to speak on the matter of law enforcement in America this week.
We also reported that when asked by a young African-American man in attendance at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College what he should do when in an encounter with police, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders replied, "Respect what they are doing so that you don't get shot in the back of the head."
Sanders added that he believes that "as a nation, we have got to hold police officers accountable."
Later in the event, a young African-American woman asked Joe Biden a similar question, presenting the hypothetical that she was Biden's daughter seeking similar advice.
Not to be outdone by the senator from Vermont, the former vice president—and presumptive Democratic Party front-runner—replied, "If you were my daughter, you'd be a Caucasian girl and you wouldn't be pulled over."
Both candidates were pandering to the audience present—Benedict College is, after all, a historically African-American institution—but both also knew well that their words would get picked up by the mainstream media. They're running for the highest office in the land—arguably the world—and they're acutely aware that any utterance will get at least some attention.
It's not exactly a hot take to say that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania is pro-cop and a lot of the individuals who wish to take up residence there in January 2021 appear not to be.
It's not exactly breaking news to point out that that elected leaders who lean to the left are more often than not more critical of police.
It's not exactly a revelation to say that some politicians actively want to put police in awkward—and sometimes even untenable—positions.
Take for example the suggestion by presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's proposal to have law enforcers go door-to-door and enforce a national gun buy-back program.
In reply to this proposal, Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police Joe Gamaldi said on Fox and Friends, "The only thing more idiotic than Beto O'Rourke suggesting that we should go door-to-door and seize citizens' property, is his current presidential run. It puts our officers in a very dangerous situation where we're showing up to someone's house, we're armed, these people are armed. And now you expect us to seize their guns?"
Elected leaders and those seeking election routinely make statements at public events—and enact policies while in office—that put police officers in difficult positions (at best) and in danger (at worst).
Meanwhile, at the Justice League...
Here's the punchline—an irony hidden so patently in plain sight that it evokes memories of "The Far Side" comics by Gary Larson back in the day and "The Way I Heard It" podcast by Mike Rowe in the present day.
Police officers are present at all of these political events.
I'm not talking about off-duty officers who show up at a Trump rally in red "Cops for Trump" t-shirts sold by the union representing officers with the Minneapolis Police Department, which we reported on here.
No, I'm talking about the on-duty officers who provide security and crowd control at political events held by the likes of Bernie and Biden.
Every officer takes this duty seriously regardless of who is at the podium, or what is being said.
Do they mutter beneath their breath when some crazy nonsense booms through the loudspeakers?
Probably—but who wouldn't?
Still, the personal protection detail, the route overwatch, and the officers in the motorcade operate exactly the same when there's a Democrat in the car as when a Republican sits in "The Beast" making its way from the airport to the event.
Further, the Thin Blue Line gets a wee bit thicker when two sides—pro-life versus pro-abortion, MAGA versus Antifa, Neo-Nazi versus Anti-Defamation League, or any number of other groups on polar opposite sides—square off in the streets. Officers have to get between these people who hate each other in order to keep mayhem from erupting. They keep the opposing sides from destroying each other, regardless of each group's politics.
Police officers in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, and elsewhere—where left-leaning and anti-police leaders have been elected to office for countless years—may feel embattled, downtrodden, abused, and misunderstood, but they go out daily to protect the public, and even those anti-police politicians.
And so do you. You pull flood victims from storm drains and administer Narcan to overdose victims. You carry people from burning buildings. You talk suicidal subjects standing on freeway overpasses to safety. You grab them from the precipice when they won't listen to reason.
You search for (and find) the kids with Autism and the elderly with Alzheimer's who've gone missing from their homes.
You comfort victims of all manner of crime on the very worst day of their lives. You deliver the dreadful news to families of people who perished in a vehicle collision with a DUI driver.
You buy car seats, meals, coats, shoes, and myriad other things—with cash from your own pockets—for people in need.
You do these and countless other things 24/7/365—without thanks in most cases. Certainly without thanks from some politicians who rely on the votes of people who vilify you in order to attain—and retain—elected office.
Well... I thank you.
I'm no political leader, but I thank you sincerely indeed.