Foreward: Merely a week after addressing the murderous attack on police officers in Dallas, Tx. President Obama was condemning a similar killing in Baton Rouge, La. The attacks on the police In both instances were unprovoked and pre-mediated. Today, Obama said, “We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words…” Too bad he didn’t temper his rhetoric after the killing in Dallas. Instead, he used the opportunity to advance his agenda on “gun control” and “racial disparities in our criminal justice system.”
The President calls for unity and for finding solutions to the tension between the black community, which he helped fuel, but offers none.
William B. Scott, a former flight test engineer and Aviation Week editor, who is a Fellow at the ACD, proposes the following:
“The horrific murder of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of another seven last week triggered a profound sense of deja vu. Three years ago, I predicted this would happen, if cops continued to shoot and kill “civilians.”
Since 1 May 2013, police officers have killed at least 3,702 people. As of July 10th, they’d killed 610 so far in 2016—and the total climbs every year.
[H]ere’s the issue that makes this a national security concern… If all these factors come together under the right circumstance—something as abominable as Steele’s execution—all hell will break loose, and uncontrollable violence will spread across the country. …We’d have a full-blown revolution on our hands. Whole cities would be torched, and we’d incur thousands of casualties. The stock market would crater, people would be afraid to go to work…. Hell, son, America as we know it would cease…to…be!” From Chapter 10, pg. 181-182 of my novel, “The Permit”:
We’re not there yet, but we’re close.
I do NOT condone the targeting and killing of police officers! But I damn sure understand why it’s happening. As our nation mourns the five officers killed in Dallas, let’s not lose sight of the fact that cops are killing an average of 3.3 people per day, every day of the year—and getting away with it 99 percent of the time.
Yes, the majority of police officers truly are good people, professionals dedicated to protecting and serving, and they’re rightly being hailed as heroes today. But good lawmen are being targeted and killed, because in many instances police officers looked the other way, tolerating ruthless killer-cops in their midst. All in the name of a mindless, Mafia-like code of Blue Silence and illogical union-fueled solidarity that infects every police department and law enforcement agency in the United States.
It’s time to stop the hand-wringing, kumbaya calls for “calm” and “standing together,” and politicians mouthing pablum promises to DO SOMETHING, even if it’s ridiculously ineffective and unconstitutional. It’s time to implement real solutions, such as:
* True third-party investigations of every cop-caused fatality, based on the National Transportation Safety Board model (see “Law Enforcement is Fifty Years Behind Aviation“).
* A protocol similar to the Aviation Safety and Reporting System whereby good cops can anonymously report the misdeeds of their colleagues.
* Federal statutes requiring all law enforcement officers wear body cameras and carry (and pay for) personal liability insurance. Penalties for noncompliance include immediate dismissal. If a bodycam “fails” during a fatal encounter or its video mysteriously disappears, the officer would be considered guilty of manslaughter, at the least, and subject to criminal charges.
* Zero tolerance for preemptively killing citizens “suspected” of being a threat, solely in the name of “officer safety.” Further, cops involved in cover-ups of an officer-involved shooting or other serious misdeeds automatically would be dismissed, banned from the law enforcement field and subject to racketeering charges.
* Mandatory annual recertification of every law enforcement agent in the nation, to include psychological re-screening and several hours of education about the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. As part of this yearly process, officers having multiple use-of-force complaints and/or shooting on their records would be subject to dismissal in the name of public safety. Badged loose cannons will be purged.
* A federally funded crash program to develop, test and field nonlethal means of subduing “suspects”. The program should focus on electromagnetic and/or electrostatic technologies that accurately deliver a nonlethal, disabling effect at some distance. I saw a prototype of a similar system in a Huntsville, AL, lab 11 years ago. If a nonlethal weapon like that had been in Officer Bill Mosher’s hands on 10 July 2010, instead of a .45-caliber Glock 21 semiautomatic, my son Erik, would be alive today.
* Repeal of “Qualified Immunity” statutes that protect cops from prosecution. Although QI sounds reasonable, these well-intentioned laws have been severely perverted to the detriment of countless citizens who have been denied justice, after Police shooting. QI is literally a get-out-of-jail-free card foisted on American citizens by unprincipled police unions and politicians who failed to foresee its obscene unintended consequences.
These must be the absolute top priorities for politicos to tackle if they’re serious about ending the senseless killing of both citizens and police officers. God help us if elected officials and law enforcement leaders decide to hunker down, ride out the current crisis, and kick the issue of dangerous killer-cops down the road…again.”
* William B. Scott, a former flight test engineer and Aviation Week editor, is a Fellow at the ACD. He is the author, “The Permit”, a Checkmate Justice novel. Mr. Scott’s son Erik fell victim to Police shooting in Las Vegas, in July 2010.