Violent crime is higher in some places? No shit, Vince.

By the time the Denver Post landed on my driveway* this morning, Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca’s plan to replace policing with peacekeeping in Denver had already been thoroughly rejected by the city council.

That surprised no one. Still, columnist Vincent Carroll belittled the plan as “half-baked” and used nearly 800 words to explain some but not all of the disparities in arrest rates between the Black and White communities.

Pixabay image

He graciously gave us all permission to “dismiss the arrest statistics as additional evidence of racial bias,” so feel free to have at it. Here’s the column.

Carroll also felt compelled to tell us, while explaining some but not all of the aforementioned disparities, “The violent crime rate really is higher in some communities.”

No shit, Vince. It is what it is, you might as well have written.

That is not a reason to reject out of hand the very idea of rethinking and even replacing failed, seriously flawed police forces. Stop apologizing and excusing and start to think a little harder about the root causes of these life-and-death issues and how to deal with them.

Feel free to start with this concept:

When the pot of water starts to boil over, you don’t turn up the heat. You turn it down.


*We canceled our home delivery subscription a couple of months ago and went digital-only. The newspaper mysteriously began showing up here again a week or so ago, quickly followed by two unauthorized withdrawals from our checking account totaling just shy of $100. Repeated calls and complaints have yet to resolve the issue or get us a refund.

I support law enforcement, but maybe not the way you do

A friend of mine, a fellow Navy veteran, shared this black-and-blue image the other day from a Facebook page called Police Lives Matter. 2016-10-03_1757

I didn’t share it.

Does that mean I’m afraid to share those four words? Does it mean I don’t believe police lives matter?

Not at all. I might actually share something akin to “I support law enforcement” under certain conditions:

  1. If I knew exactly what it meant.
  2. If the message didn’t insinuate that neglecting to share it marked me and other non-sharers as anti-cop America-haters.
  3. If it didn’t come from a page whose existence is so obviously in-your-face backlash against #BlackLivesMatter, as if police being held accountable were in some way equivalent to the oppression experienced by descendants of slaves.

“I support law enforcement” is so vague as to be meaningless unless you recognize it as shorthand for “the cops are always right.” If that’s not what you mean, you have to clarify and qualify before I will share it.

Here are some statements that  I will share:

I support law enforcement by paying my taxes.

I support the enforcement of just laws by honorable, competent public servants.

I respect individual law enforcement officers who treat me and other people with respect.

I’m sorry that took more than four words.

Feel free to share.