The Police Threat Is Too
January 11, 2015 "ICH"
- The hypocrisy of American police is
beginning to bother even law and order
conservatives. The New York Police
Department is rivaling the black community
in Ferguson in keeping alive the murders of
their community members.
We are constantly reminded
of how dangerous it is to be a police
officer. A total of 50 police officers were
reportedly killed last year in the “line of
duty,” but the police themselves managed to
kill 1,029 Americans during the same time
period, most of whom were unarmed and
innocent of wrongdoings.
In other words, any
encounter between the public and the police
is more than 20 times more dangerous for the
public than for the police.
That should raise
questions about the absence of restraint on
the ability of police to use deadly force as
a first resort. Yet authorities and white
communities invariably defend police
violence against the public.
If Americans had
half-decent educations, Americans would know
that power comes from precedent. The police,
like the executive branch, have now
established themselves above the law. The
laws that apply to the public do not apply
to police, US presidents, presidential
appointees, NSA, and CIA.
The URL below provides two
short videos of Montana police officer Grant
Morrison shooting to death in separate
incidents two unarmed drivers pulled over by
Morrison in routine traffic stops. In both
cases, Morrison’s first actions are to
scream obscenities and pull the trigger.
Morrison comes across as completely crazed.
It is inexplicable that Montana permits an
armed lunatic to roam the streets pulling
over cars. You try doing that.
Clearly the police are
privileged and, thereby, unaccountable.
According to news reports,
during eight years of what is called the
Iraq War more US citizens were murdered by
the police than US soldiers were killed in
the war. In other words, US police are a
greater threat to Americans than enemy
forces are to US soldiers who have invaded a
The other day I heard a NY
police commissioner on NPR defend the NY
police violence against Eric Garner that
resulted in Garner’s death. The police
commissioner said that Garner more or less
brought on his own death by not quickly
cooperating with police orders. When asked
if selling single cigarettes out of a pack
was a sufficiently dangerous act to justify
police use of prohibited choke holds, the
commissioner said Garner’s single cigarette
sales were depriving NY City of hundreds of
millions of dollars in tax revenues that
could be used for more and better schools
I was surprised to learn
that selling “loosies” was a billion dollar
business. Somehow that seems about as hard
to believe as everything else authorities
Other countries manage to
have police forces that do not
indiscriminately gun down their citizens.
Yet most Americans will support the police
until it happens to them, but keep in mind
that every time you get in your car you have
placed yourself in far greater danger from
police than you face from terrorists.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for
Economic Policy and associate editor of the
Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for
Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service,
and Creators Syndicate. He has had many
university appointments. His internet
columns have attracted a worldwide
following. Roberts' latest books are
The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and
Economic Dissolution of the West and
How America Was Lost.