Nearly two years ago, a wacko call to shut down police came from the left in Washington. Those who thought it was nutty eventually saw that the administration in the White House and others at the state level did not, either. We weren’t facing a raw deal when we asked cops to continue wearing uniforms.
So, why is there such an effort in California to shut down some 24,000 law enforcement positions across the state?
The White House said Friday the law enforcement initiative that got named for President Barack Obama is “scaled back significantly.” And it won’t be accompanied by funding.
The law enforcement lobby, clearly overjoyed, thanked President Obama and his team for the gesture. But they also didn’t spare the sting for the bill’s sponsors. The entire measure had been a political muckraker’s dream, with the moniker “Defund the Police” attached — and it very nearly killed.
This might be an enlightening time to remember why the immigration debate on the street comes back to the huge numbers of undocumented immigrants currently working and paying taxes. Because the federal government needs these workers to keep the lights on. And to do our jobs without our intervention.
Let me give you an example. When someone calls the D.C. police about a disturbance in their neighborhood, the officers go to the scene first, ideally engaging the perpetrators and attempting to de-escalate the situation. The residents will often say, “Let the cops handle it.”
But after about five minutes, if the situation starts to get ugly, the officer begins an investigation. And no one is safe. A lot of arrests will be made, property will be seized, and a lot of victims will be harmed.
If the police are conducting this investigation when the activity is done, the owner of the property will not be pursued for the destruction of his property. The property owner will end up in court, and his property rights will be recognized. But a neighbor will. And he won’t be out $500 in attorney’s fees and a fine. All of which makes him maybe willing to think hard about confronting a neighbor.
If, as a neighbor, he decides to tackle the offender in self-defense — in ways that are reasonable in the circumstances — he’ll never be in court for the crime. And he’ll probably be unable to access social services. Because he’ll be undocumented.
The same process applies to a similar situation where a police officer responds to an emergency. If he merely asks a person to prove their identity, as law enforcement does in all the states, the citizen has the right to exercise the same self-defense they might hope to experience in a fight with a stranger.
Yet a vote of conscience committee vote to defund the police and deport undocumented immigrants like the Washington, D.C., police officers would force the city to put a hold on the work. So, for example, an officer might not be able to attend to a crime scene until her next shift.