Is the Media’s ‘Anti-Cop’ Narrative Responsible for the Dallas Shootings?

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The divisiveness between cops and the public will not end while ‘there are so many institutions committed to racial victimology,’ Heather Mac Donald, author of a new book, tells TCR.
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4 thoughts on “Is the Media’s ‘Anti-Cop’ Narrative Responsible for the Dallas Shootings?

  1. For years, the popular response to criminal behavior, has been to beef up law enforcement. That has given us the present prison/jail population that makes us number one in the world. This reactive, after the fact response, has never been in keeping with the will of the majority of people who believe that the social and economic causes of criminal behavior need to be addressed. The emphasis on law enforcement does not address the roots of the problem and will guarantee new victims and high costs to them and the taxpayers who support a costly and ineffective prison system. Until policy makers focus on crime prevention we will be stuck with the same old thing and an endless litany of new crime victims.

  2. I like to play this game where I look up what Heather McDonald cites and see what the researchers actually concluded.

    1. McDonald argues racial discrimination in the criminal justice system is a myth. She cites Sampson and Lauritsen 1997, stating they found racial differences in offending were to blame for racial differences in all other facets of the justice system. Sampson and Lauritsen actually attribute their findings to longstanding discrimination, the drug war, and other social forces that “ecologically concentrate with race and poverty.” She cites Tonry’s malign neglect in the same regard, when his entire book lays out how crime control policies discriminate against and “decimate” black communities.

    2. She argues a “Ferguson effect” is causing officers to stop policing altogether, which is causing a rise in violent crime. There has been zero evidence to support a de-policing phenomenon, or its impact on crime, despite how hard she tries to misappropriate studies to make this claim. Officers are still doing their jobs, rather than going into a “fetal curl” as she suggests. Leading crime scholars attribute the rise in crime to a police legitimacy crisis, but caveat this by saying there’s no hard evidence at this point.

    3. She argues more severe crack downs on crime are what is needed in this country — Broken Windows policing can “interrupt or deter more serious crime.” Not sure how many studies she had to read and dismiss before she found one that supported this claim, but this has been disproved for a long time.

    4. When asked whether a child of wealth has the same opportunities as one who grew up in poverty, she states “being low-income does not force someone to commit drive-by shootings and other crimes. Numerous residents of poor communities lead law-abiding lives.” That’s very scientific, considering the evidence she was mis-citing throughout the article.

  3. Asking police to self examine to see if their practices could use less focus on instant control and more on learning to pause and study each situation with more curiosity and try to communicate with less fear and more sensitivity, that’s not anti-police – that’s asking police to help with solutions.

    And “broken windows” was originally conceived as improving hope by fixing broken windows, broken mailboxes, street lamps, etc and promptly addressing small infractions – with a remark or reminder, not stopping and frisking all young men on the street, fearing them as suspects, humiliating them by making them lie on the ground or remove trousers. It is monstrous, maybe many think it’s routine or necessary, but rethinking must come from examining better practices in different fields and countries. I’ve worked in violent settings, and making time to pause, listen and respond goes a long way. Clear, alert, responsive, firm, not cold.

    • Evidently, you don’t understand the theory or practice of “community policing.” “Improving hope by fixing broken windows” and the like was hardly the primary goal of the “broken windows” theory or “pro-active policing.” The theory went like this: If the police pro-actively arrested those who engage in petty criminal conduct in particular communities, they would find that those they arrest for petty crimes are the same individuals responsible for major crimes. Thus, with more felons behind bars, crimes — both misdemeanors and felonies, could and would be reduced.

      Repairing broken windows was only the visible bi-product of community or “pro-active” policing. Officers were to engage the community pro-actively, to gain the trust of those who live there and to encourage them to report and prosecute petty crimes such as graffiti, petty theft, prostitution, and the like, or what are known as “quality of life” crimes.

      As homeowners and business owners in the community were encouraged to reported quality of life crimes, they would feel more inclined to fix “broken windows” knowing that the perpetrators would be less likely to break out windows again. Thus, advocates of community policing believed that pro-active policing would reduce recidivism among the perpetrators of quality of life crimes.

      Until very recently, “stop and frisk” was a tool law enforcement employed ever since the Supreme Court declared the practice constitutionally sound, and, in effect, authorized it in the case of Terry v. Ohio (1968). Unfortunately, very recent lower court decisions have taken that tool away from police. In the major urban areas of this country, the result has been an immediate increase in violent crime especially in minority communities. In my view, “stop and frisk” is perfectly constitutional and nothing more than a legitimate and effective “gun control” policy.

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