Tag Archives: Freddie

The Hill: Why Kaepernick, Beyonce and Black Lives Matter fail to understand cops

My latest piece in The Hill focuses on the needed clarification of roles so that the public can best understand what law enforcement does, and what roles are best left to social services to avoid deadly misunderstandings on the street.

To read the full story, please click here.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: What’s missing from Justice Department’s police investigations

The St. Louis Post Dispatch republished my Hill commentary on the DOJ Investigation in Baltimore.

Their coverage can be viewed by clicking here.

What’s Missing from the DoJ Civil Rights Division’s Police Investigations

baltimore police doj report

Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, discussed the department’s findings on the investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department with Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Associated Press/Brian Witte

Today, I was published in The Hill, in regards to the US Justice Department, Civil Rights Division’s release of a scathing, 163 page report on Wednesday, detailing their investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD). The report concluded that BPD has exhibits systematic racial bias against African-Americans.

This DoJ report is quite similar to the ones written following investigations in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Ferguson, MO and Albuquerque, NM following controversial police uses of force.

However, in reviewing the report’s findings, one is left to wonder what elements are missing from these scathing reports that seem very quick to cite race as the pivotal factor in their conclusions.  Furthermore, one is left to wonder what the lasting effect these reports and their resulting consent decrees have on policing in their respective cities. At the end of the day, the nature of these DoJ reports can beg the question of their effectiveness.  Could a better use of governmental resources can easily be directed at the reasons crime is so high in the very communities where these DoJ reports are focused.  If we, as a collective, recognize the job of the police, in responding to and preventing crime in the context of the high-crime areas where these investigations are conducted; then we can understand these statistics much better.

Please read the whole article and my talking points by visiting The Hill by clicking here, free of charge.

Buffalo News: Why police officers get the benefit of the doubt

Buffalo NEws 7-16-16 Masthead

Published on July 16, 2016 following the assisinations of Law Enforcement Officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge brought upon by harsh rhetoric toward policing practices in America.
By A. Benjamin Mannes

The horrifying carnage in Dallas following the recorded police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota has once again brought forth a heated, racially charged debate on police use of force in America.

The Black Lives Matter movement and related groups have painted the police shootings of African-Americans as an epidemic of racism. The “killer cop” narrative is often in direct conflict with the evidence that is later made public when an investigation is completed.

In Ferguson, Mo., two autopsies, a state investigation and a federal investigation concluded that Mike Brown assaulted the police officer who took his life. In New York, the media and protesters focused on Eric Garner’s saying “I can’t breathe” and attributed his death to an unauthorized choke hold administered by a far smaller police officer. However, expert grand jury testimony showed that it was Garner’s obesity and bad heart that contributed to his death, leading jurors to disregard the priviously reported findings of the DiBlasio-appointed NYC Medical Examiner.  If the police had administered a true “choke hold” on him, he would not have been physically able to resist arrest and say “I can’t breathe.”

So why is the public, through the media, so quick to judge the police? Consider these facts:

• The law enforcement community functions with intense oversight and scrutiny, from internal affairs to inspectors general, to civilian oversight boards, to elected mayors and their appointed police executives.

• The average law enforcement officer udergoes a background investigation, psychological exam, months in a training academy and a year of both probation and field training.

• Lastly, if the news footage from the scene at Dallas showed anything, it’s that being a member of a public safety agency or military shows how little racist one can be.

Dallas officers, white, black or brown, were rushing to protect their fellow officers and the very protesters who cursed their name that night. These men and women volunteer to take a job with marginal pay to serve the very communities that are demonizing them as you read this.

It may not be “cool” or “progressive” to side with law enforcement, but it’s hard work and they deserve the respect they have earned by raising their hand to take a dangerous position of public service in the very communities accusing them of hatred.

The metrics and independent, scientific evidence support these statements, So what will it take to get people to take a breath and let the process play out before staging knee-jerk protests, fueled by a competitive, ad-driven media, that tie up valuable police resources that can be spent preventing and responding to violence in underserved communities without any regard for potential facts or outcomes?

A. Benjamin Mannes serves on the Criminal Justice Board at Peirce College in Philadelphia.