The War on Law and Order

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The War on Law and Order

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Events of the first half of 2020 rocked the world. First was the Covid-19 epidemic, but perhaps even more jarring was the tidal wave of racial unrest and protests that jolted America and then spread like wildfire overseas to Britain, Australia, France, Germany and other nations.

Where is the chaos in our nations leading? What does the Bible have to say about where our cities are headed? When will the lawlessness we see in our towns finally be brought under control? Can there truly be peace on our streets?

Because of disrespect for law enforcement, major cities across the United States have erupted into violence that caused more than two dozen deaths, more than a thousand injuries to police and rioters and property damage and other costs to society estimated at over $1 billion.

The spark was the death of a black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minn. In the process of his arrest for trying to buy cigarettes with counterfeit money, George Floyd died after an arresting officer kept him pinned down with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Nearly all Americans were rightly horrified at Floyd’s death, captured in cellphone videos and immediately broadcast all over the world. Overnight he became the latest victim of alleged anti-black police bias. Mainstream news media labeled his death as the latest example of a major city police department demonstrating that supposed systemic bias.

For much of the mainstream media, and groups like Black Lives Matter, it was all very simple: The Minneapolis police department, like most other large city police departments, was infested with racism, and George Floyd was only the latest victim (this despite the fact that the department was headed by a black police chief).

Within days, the protestors and rioters took up a new cry: “Defund the police!” Eager politicians jumped in to lead the parade.

What the media has not reported

Millions have come to realize that the major news media does have an agenda, and coverage of events is often slanted to fit that agenda. But certain facts deliberately unreported by the media help put this tragic event in better perspective.

For example, the mainstream media failed to point out that two of the four supposedly racist officers involved were themselves minorities. One was black and another Asian, and the officer whose knee allegedly caused Floyd’s death was married to an Asian woman. 

Of course, none of this justifies what happened to Floyd or exonerates police officers from wrongdoing in this case. But broader context lets us see how the incident was exploited to drive a particular narrative. 

As protests and rioting spread to other cities, also largely unreported were the resultant deaths of many civilians, most of them black. Two black law enforcement officers were also killed in the violence. Yet no one carried signs and placards for these victims.

The protests that had started peacefully quickly turned violent. A number of protestors who marched and chanted by day turned the nighttime into firestorms of arson, looting and vandalism. Scores of businesses, many of them minority-owned, were looted and torched.

A number of police stations were attacked. “Every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground!” became a popular chant.

When police have responded to try to keep order, they have been met with a hail of bricks, rocks, explosive fireworks and other objects. Police cars have been struck by Molotov cocktails and burned. Officers have been sprayed with mace, bleach and urine and struck with balloons filled with fecal matter.

At the time this issue went to press, more than 1,300 law enforcement officers have been injured and more than a dozen killed.  One is paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in the head from behind.

Defund the police: the movement spreads

By mid-June, “Defund the police!” became the left’s new national battle cry. The group Black Lives Matter quickly took the leading role, joining with other groups calling not just for “reforms” in policing, but for the actual abolishment of police departments in major cities across the country. The movement quickly mushroomed, with news outlets more than willing to give vast amounts of coverage to the chants of protesters.

Minneapolis became the first city to move to officially dismantle its police department when the city council voted June 8 to replace it with a new “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention,” whose structure, power and procedures have yet to be fully defined (to take effect, the move must be approved by citizens at a future date).

Over the summer, the move to defund police departments spread like wildfire across the United States, with major cities seriously considering cutting back or eliminating their police departments altogether.

Black Visions Collective director and Minneapolis city council member Kandace Montgomery articulated the new mantra argued by progressives across the nation: “It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here,” she said at a Black Lives Matter rally. “We’re safer without armed, unaccountable patrols supported by the state hunting black people.” The very use of such an inflammatory term as “hunting black people” shows the depth of the growing animosity toward law enforcement in some of America’s political leadership and large urban centers.

Advocates of defunding are calling for a total restructuring of policing. They argue that, instead of officers empowered to enforce the law, teams of mental health experts, drug counselors, social workers and victims’ advocates will help communities do away with crime.

Abolishing or restructuring?

The idea of police department defunding has been a gleam in the eyes of radical leftists for years. It sparked the founding of Black Lives Matter in the wake of the 2014 Ferguson, Mo., shooting of Michael Brown.

A white officer was accused of shooting Brown without cause, but a federal investigation determined that Brown, of “hands up, don’t shoot” fame, was actually attacking the officer, who was in his car questioning Brown because he had just committed robbery and assault. Brown was by no means surrendering. Yet protesters rioted and burned large parts of Ferguson in response.

While the slogan “Defund the police” is simple and powerful, there is disagreement among the anti-police crowd over what defunding actually means. In reality, it could range from merely restructuring many police departments to completely abolishing others. Much of the rhetoric involves slashing the number of officers and redirecting funds toward “community investments.”

Gone would be intensive placement of law enforcement officers in crime-ridden areas, a practice that led to two decades of reduced crime in cities such as New York. Instead, many or most police officers would be replaced, as noted above, by legions of substance abuse counselors, mental health workers and others dedicated to working with crime-prone populations to avert crime before it happens.

Police officers should be trained in ways to de-escalate violence. And maybe trained counselors could settle disputes or defuse some emotional situations. But how would this work in cases of violent crime? Would “counselors” miraculously appear to talk rapists and murderers out of committing their horrific crimes? Would they show up just in time to talk criminals out of armed robbery attempts?

Undoing two decades of progress

Those who call for averting crime before it happens do not realize (or choose to ignore) the fact that police were already doing that. Consider the success of America’s largest police force, the New York City Police Department. Their practice of intensive policing of crime-ridden neighborhoods resulted in crime falling for two decades, from 1994 through 2014. Noted criminologist Heather Mac Donald reported the results in her 2016 book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.

Intensive policing means that police proactively take actions to stop crime before it happens. In 1994, newly appointed New York City Chief of Police William Bratton instituted what became known as “broken windows” policing, which held that allowing neighborhoods to be overrun by litter, graffiti, abandoned buildings, public drunkenness and other forms of squalor breed crime by signaling that social control of the area has collapsed.

He put in place the controversial “stop and frisk” policy by which individuals exhibiting suspicious behavior could be stopped and questioned. “Frisking” was to occur only if such individuals were suspected of carrying a gun.

This and other tactics produced dramatic results: Crime dropped by 12 percent the first year and 16 percent the next. Seeing New York’s dramatic drops in crime, other cities adopted similar tactics.

Over the next two decades, Mac Donald writes, crime nationwide fell by 50 percent, helping to revitalize cities such as Baltimore, New York, Detroit and Philadelphia.

What was not commonly reported was how much safer law-abiding citizens of these cities felt. Elderly people could shop without fear of getting mugged, children could play safely without fear of being hit by stray bullets and small businesses began to come back to downtown areas.

Then came 2014. Two highly publicized deaths of young black men at the hands of police led to the founding of Black Lives Matter, which claims that police officers are the greatest threat to young black men today. Intensive policing suddenly came under attack. The practice of “stop and frisk,” now labeled as racist, disappeared.

In America’s big cities, the tide of opinion began to turn against police forces. In some cities, police departments that had enjoyed the support of their city councils and leadership saw a big jump in anti-cop rhetoric. Arrests and routine police actions began to draw jeers and taunts from hostile crowds. Any arrest was sure to be caught on cellphone video and then splashed on the Internet.

As police began to disengage from proactive policing due to what Heather Mac Donald terms “the Ferguson effect,” crime began to rise, with the murder rate in 56 of America’s largest cities rising 17 percent from 2015 to 2016. Proactive policing disappeared as more and more police were instructed to make no move until a crime actually occurred.

Is police bias real?

Black Lives Matter was founded largely on the claim that many of America’s police are racists who unduly target young blacks—this despite the fact that many of the police themselves are black or of other minorities. Just where is the hard evidence of such bias?

What the actual evidence shows is that police shooting incidents are related to crime and violence, not race. In a series of studies published in August 2019, researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot. There is “no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” the report on the studies stated (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Aug. 6, 2019).

Mac Donald, in researching her book, came to the same conclusion, finding that, in terms of proportionality of violent crime, “blacks are killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict.” She also found that “little over a quarter of all homicides by police involve black victims.”

The truth, as Mac Donald points out, is that police presence by and large saves black lives: “The irony is that the historic reduction of crime . . . since the 1990s was predicated on police singling out African Americans for their protection. Using victims’ crime reports, cops focused on violent hot spots; since black Americans are disproportionately the victims of crime . . . effective policing was heaviest in minority neighborhoods. The cops were there because they do believe that black lives matter” (The War on Cops, p. 67).

Immediate spikes in crime

How will defunding the police protect the public? Will merely abolishing a city’s police department induce criminals to immediately become law-abiding citizens?

The defunding frenzy has had its results. Minneapolis quickly got a taste of the effect of reduced police presence as a wave of crime over the last two weeks of June accounted for more than 110 shootings and eight murders. The situation is so dire that some residents formed what amounts to vigilante committees to patrol the streets.

In New York City, where the city council voted to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget, weekly shooting incidents in mid-

June increased by 358 percent over the same period of the previous year, the new figure being 74 people wounded in 55 shootings. This came at the same time the city disbanded its 600-person anti-crime plainclothes unit, which had specialized in infiltrating gangs and getting illegal guns off the streets.

Is this a foretaste of what’s to come in America’s large cities?

Cities like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Los Angeles, already seeing a small exodus of citizens, could see that stream swell to a torrent as people seek safety elsewhere. Forbes magazine reported in 2019 that people are moving out of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in droves. The mass departure of productive citizens and businesses could lead to economic devastation.

The ones most likely to suffer from police defunding would be inner-city minorities without the means and resources to escape. Ironically, the very populations Black Lives Matter and other anti-police organizations say are harmed by police presence would see their lives suddenly become much more dangerous—and would be unable to do anything about it.

A glaring reality the mainstream media hesitates to report is that the vast majority of blacks murdered each year in the United States—93 percent—are killed by other blacks. Heavy police deployment in inner-city areas is largely an effort to stop these killings, often prompted by criminal gangs fighting over territory.

Yet Black Lives Matter activists remain virtually silent about these facts. Nor do they protest against the abortion clinics that take the lives of some 350,000 black babies every year—with abortion killing more blacks every year than cancer, heart disease, diabetes, accidents, HIV and homicides combined. (For more, read "What people need to know about Black Lives Matter" on page 21.)

Continuing rise in lawlessness

Never, it seems, has the siren song of lawlessness been so appealing to so many. The hundreds of thousands participating in protests and riots against the police, and their support by the news media and millions on social media, reveals something deeply troubling about the character of the nation. More and more people hold law enforcement or any type of authority in contempt, be it religious codes of conduct or civil authority.

Few realize that these lawless conditions were prophesied in your Bible almost 2,000 years ago! Inspired by God, the apostle Paul could foresee that the kind of evil conditions that existed in the decadent Roman Empire of his time would be widespread in the end times as well:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness . . . haters of God, violent, proud, boasters . . . who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32 Romans 1:28-32 [28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, [30] Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: [32] Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

Paul revealed more about end-time conditions in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 2 Timothy 3:1-4 [1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
American King James Version×
: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Does this describe much of society today?

All of this should come as no surprise. In recent decades generations who have been schooled in humanistic thought from kindergarten through college now consider traditional moral restrictions as the enemy of their freedom to pursue lawless desires. Stirred up by evil forces and with some incident acting as a trigger, pent-up resentment and lawlessness are unleashed to run wild. 

The apostle Peter also foresaw these times: “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries . . . But these . . . speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness . . .” (2 Peter 2:9-13 2 Peter 2:9-13 [9] The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished: [10] But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. [11] Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. [12] But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; [13] And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
American King James Version×
).

Notice: They speak evil of things they do not understand. It’s highly doubtful that more than a small percentage of those protesting and rioting could really explain and give any reasoned support for the messages on the placards they carry and the slogans they scream. They are being used.

Make no mistake: Powerful forces are at work to destroy the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and other nations whose history and culture is rooted in the Bible. And it will grow far worse as this age of human misrule draws to its dangerous end.

The good news, however, is that these lawless times will come to an end. As unbelievable as it may seem, a time is coming when police will no longer be needed and racism will be a thing of the past. Events as sure as the rising of tomorrow’s sun will usher in a new era of universal peace and cooperation, because God Himself will bring it to pass—a time of peace, the likes of which the world has never seen!