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Hullabaloo


Saturday, October 24, 2015

 
Nice little streets you have here, be a shame if anything happened to them

by digby

That is pretty much what the head of the FBI is telling America.

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said on Friday that the additional scrutiny and criticism of police officers in the wake of highly publicized episodes of police brutality may have led to an increase in violent crime in some cities as officers have become less aggressive.

With his remarks, Mr. Comey lent the prestige of the F.B.I., the nation’s most prominent law enforcement agency, to a theory that is far from settled: that the increased attention on the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals. But he acknowledged that there is so far no data to back up his assertion and that it may be just one of many factors that are contributing to the rise in crime, like cheaper drugs and an increase in criminals who are being released from prison.

“I don’t know whether that explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year,” Mr. Comey said in a speech at the University of Chicago Law School.

Unless you people want to be overrun with crime, you'd better not criticize the cops for anything they do wrong. You'll be sorry when they pout and refuse to do their jobs and let you die in the street.

Ironically, on the same NY Times front page is this story:

[A]n analysis by The New York Times of tens of thousands of traffic stops and years of arrest data in this racially mixed city of 280,000 uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct.

Those same disparities were found across North Carolina, the state that collects the most detailed data on traffic stops. And at least some of them showed up in the six other states that collect comprehensive traffic-stop statistics.

Here in North Carolina’s third-largest city, officers pulled over African-American drivers for traffic violations at a rate far out of proportion with their share of the local driving population. They used their discretion to search black drivers or their cars more than twice as often as white motorists — even though they found drugs and weapons significantly more often when the driver was white.

Officers were more likely to stop black drivers for no discernible reason. And they were more likely to use force if the driver was black, even when they did not encounter physical resistance.

Shhhh. Don't say anything. The cops will have their feelings hurt and they won't do their jobs anymore.

This is actually not an uncommon argument among authoritarians. Recall that he CIA made the same arguments about being held accountable for torturing people too. If you hold CIA responsible for breaking the law and engaging in sadistic immoral behavior they'll stop doing their jobs and then where will you be?

These institutions used to be respected because people who took oaths to protect their town or their country were mature individuals who had a higher purpose. Now they act like spoiled children who threaten to hold their breath until they turn blue unless they are allowed free rein to do anything they choose. Essentially, they do not believe the rules should apply to them --- only the citizens and "the enemy" (and they are often the same thing in their minds.)

It does not appear that the rest of the DOJ agrees with Comey:
Mr. Comey’s remarks caught officials by surprise at the Justice Department, where his views are not shared at the top levels. Holding the police accountable for civil rights violations has been a top priority at the department in recent years, and some senior officials do not believe that scrutiny of police officers has led to an increase in crime. While the department had no immediate comment on Friday, several officials privately fumed at Mr. Comey’s suggestion.

Why Democratic presidents insist on appointing Republicans to this job I will never understand.

Update: Recall this, from a while back. Comey's also going all over the country telling local yahoos to keep their eyes open for one of the thousands of ISIS terrorists who are in our midst.

He's a very calming influence on the paranoid American right isn't he?


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