If Police Gear Up, Let Them Actually Protect Property

On the military police gear, I got some good pushback on the use of body armor in general. I think my original point stands (and I’ve made it over and over again) that we have far too many late night/early morning raids in this country with far too much firepower for situations that don’t call for it.

But I do want cops to be protected from real threats, and I should have been more specific. Using a headline about Ferguson was probably not the best way to rehash the argument about SWAT raids.

Also, Ferguson’s time of peace did not last very long.

I’ve seen several local stories in St. Louis. Here is a summary from the Daily Caller.

This is an ongoing situation and I’m always worried I’m missing some crucial piece of information. Please let me know if you’ve noticed anything I’m not taking into account. But from what I’ve heard leads me to believe that we have a situation where the police are somehow doing anything but protect property. The looting Sunday night was, as far as I can tell, mostly permitted by the police. Then there were nights of tear gas and rubber bullets which were aimed at people who were, at most, blocking the street (journalists were bullied and “arrested,” without any documentation, as well). And then, last night, we had more looting. And once again last night there was no police protection (though the St. Louis County Police say they wanted to do their job).

Via the Daily Caller:

Then, just like Sunday night/Monday morning, business owners found that they had to protect their property if they wanted to prevent looting.

I can’t stress this enough: if the police are not going to protect people’s property then there is no reason for them to exist. I realize that there is the fear that the “civil rights brigade” will find fault and punish them. But that didn’t prevent any of them from using tear gas and rubber bullets against mere protestors (perhaps for blocking the street).

If you have protestors and looters and you shoot at the protestors, I strongly disagree with your priorities.

As far as I can tell, the looters aren’t even the same people as the protestors in most cases. In fact, the last time I checked few, if any, of the few looters who did get arrested were even from Ferguson. These people are mere criminals taking advantage of a free pass that has been bestowed upon them by the police. That should never happen.

So what is going on? Why are businesses being damaged and destroyed while the police “stand down”?

I would suggest that business owners should sue, but my understanding is that there is, actually, not “right” to police protection. The police are supposed to protect “the public” which never translates into an obligation to protect any specific individuals.

Welcome to government efficiency and government justice.

PS. One thing I do blame the protestors for is acting so outraged that the police released the robbery footage, allegedly showing Michael Brown stealing and threatening a store owner with physical violence. I’m sorry, but if Michael was on trial for murder in the public view, they would do everything they could to make him look as good as possible. If the accusation hinged on who started a fight, they would do everything they could to make it look credible that the victim started the trouble.

Every accused person speaks in his own defense. Brown’s advocates should not pretend that it is “outrageous” that an accused person would release information that would make his side of the story look more credible. All they needed to do was point to the evidence that he was running away when the cop fired a second time (or more?) and that strong-arm robbery does not warrant execution on the street. Instead, they acted as if they deserve a verdict in favor of Brown without a trial.  That is absolutely wrong. While cops shouldn’t have extra rights to kill people, neither should they have their basic rights stripped away. They get the same right to defend themselves that anyone else gets.

As a result of this focused attention, the looters targeted the business that Brown allegedly robbed. And, again, while the attention was brought to bear on the business by the Ferguson Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol ordered the St. Louis County Police to stand down.