Dismantling Law Enforcement

The protests over the George Floyd in-custody death quickly shifted from "Justice for George" to defunding and even abolishing police departments.

David Griffith 2017 Headshot

The George Floyd in-custody death was horrific. Watching that video is a nauseating experience. All of the officers I have talked to about it have been disgusted by the knee-to-the-back-of-the-neck tactic used by Derek Chauvin and the duration of its application. Chauvin is now charged with second-degree murder and three other officers involved in the incident face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

That should have been enough to quell the protests and rioting over the Floyd incident. But it wasn't.

Organizers of the anti-police movement nationwide have seized upon the death of George Floyd to spark a "summer of rage" and push their true agenda. They want to end law enforcement as we know it. That is their ultimate goal. And the never-ending George Floyd protests are giving them the lever to produce that change.

The chants of protesters marching in American cities have quickly transitioned from "No Justice. No Peace" to "Defund the Police." That is the first step toward abolishing law enforcement.

As a practical matter, the defunding of law enforcement had actually begun long before Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has ravaged the U.S. economy. Which has slashed local tax bases. So there was already going to be a lot less money to allocate to next year's police and sheriff's budgets.

And then came the protests and riots. Overtime costs have skyrocketed, massive amounts of equipment has been destroyed, and resources have been spent. All of this combined means that many agencies are facing a tight 2021.

But that's nothing compared to the long-term costs of this nationwide wave of unrest, which are going to be with us for years to come.

Want to defund law enforcement agencies in the long run? Then use lawsuits. Many agencies whose officers responded to the protests and riots are going to be paying out the nose for liability settlements. The news coverage of the protests has painted you as stormtroopers spraying tear gas on babies, brutalizing old men, and shooting teenage girls in the face with "rubber bullets," so juries in these cases are going to be so prejudiced that your attorneys will advise you to roll over.

So your agencies are already facing a perfect storm of budget stress. And now here come the politicians to announce how they are going to defund the police.

The week before I wrote this column, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti decided to announce his plan to begin defunding the LAPD. First, he announced that the department will not be receiving its planned 7% increase for fiscal year 2021. Also, he's cutting the LAPD budget an additional $150 million. That's going to result in some serious cuts in overtime and other belt-tightening measures. The money taken from the PD is supposed to be spent on currently unspecified programs in communities of color. "We need to keep moving toward a new model of peace officer. Of a guardian-based system. And invest long before any criminal activity ever comes," Garcetti says.

Not to be outdone by his West Coast counterpart, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that he was in favor of defunding the police. How he's going to do that, how much money is involved, and where the money will go all have to be worked out.

Hearing Mayor Garcetti's plans for the LAPD, the head of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police union, called the mayor "unstable."

Well, if you really want to see unstable head to Minneapolis. Up there, nine of 13 city council members have committed to disbanding the police department and replacing it with…Well…Something. Even anti-police mayor Jacob Frey thinks that's a really bad idea. He was booed out of a protest for saying so. But it doesn't matter what he thinks. That nine of 13 is a veto-proof majority of council members so what they say will go and the mayor can't change it.

City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, who is the son of Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison, tweeted, "We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we're done, we're not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It's really past due." In interviews, Ellison said he expects the process to take a year.

Disbanding police departments is the absolute end goal of the anti-police movement. And this end game objective is now on the fast track because of the George Floyd incident, even though polls, show the vast majority of Americans disapprove of defunding or disbanding police departments.

So if you're an officer in one of America's largest cities, it may be time to polish your résumé. And if you are residents of one of those cities, you are lambs about to be thrown to the criminal wolves and there will be no police sheepdogs to help you.

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