You can’t savage the cops at City Council meetings and on the evening news and then cry crocodile tears when they get hurt or killed.
Your pretty words at the hospital mean nothing when held up against your rhetoric and your legislation. When you promote hatred of the police, their blood is on your hands.
That’s closed circuit to the president of the Rochester City Council, but it applies just as well to a broad swath of politicians, pastors, activists and “reporters.” When you plant the seeds of anti-cop bigotry, you reap the harvest of blood and burials.
And so it was that the same week council President Loretta Scott argued again for her Police Accountability Board – the wet dream of Rochester’s cop haters – she showed up at the hospital while a veteran officer lingered between emergency surgery and the intensive care unit. I’m sure her words beside his unconscious bedside were comforting – to no one.
Her poignant quote shared with the newspaper: “It’s very difficult to see someone who, just by the fact of doing their job, was in that position.”
Elaborating further poetically: “I don’t take what they do for granted.”
Wow. Such words of appreciation and support. Truly inspiring.
Forgive the pissy attitude, but this same Loretta Scott is the prime enabler of a Police Accountability Board which would give a panel of unelected anti-cop activists final authority to discipline and fire Rochester police officers. Not the chief, not the mayor -- a bunch of folks who love to tell TV cameras that the police are an occupying army and the enemies of “the community.”
And she’s not the only one.
Days before the incident Friday that left a veteran officer collapsed on some front steps, hemorrhaging from his throat and his eye, anti-cop “minister” Lewis Stewart was in front of the fawning media talking about the “racist culture of the police.”
That night on the evening news, a 13-year-old who was too insolent to comply with police instructions was depicted as a victim, and verbal and physical aggression against the police was somehow twisted into some manifestation of police brutality and racism. A lady who had been angrily shouting at officers and urging her husband and son to resist the officers and refuse to cooperate was shown teary-faced, one more aggrieved victim of those damn cops.
When resistance and insolence toward police is preached as part of a community’s culture, you can’t be surprised when those traits pick up a gun or a knife. And you can’t be absolved of responsibility when blood is shed.
When neighbors’ Facebook Live broadcasts from outside a scene bloodied with an officer’s gore contain such commentary as, “I hope they killed this mother f---er’s ass. I hope it’s a straight head shot,” you’ve got to acknowledge that there is a problem.
And that problem is an open hatred of the police which is dressed up as civil-rights activism.
It manifests itself in the refusal of many members of the community to comply with or respond to simple police requests. The evening news in Rochester over recent weeks has shown video of people insolently and angrily refusing the simplest of requests made by police, and those people – instead of being accurately described as rude or disrespectful – are held up as heroes or victims.
We have normalized confrontation with the police. It is not stigmatized, it is lionized. And the police are demonized.
The City Council has done that. The ministers have done that. The evening news has done that.
And if you keep turning up the heat, after a while the pot will boil over. Some will resist with their words, some will resist with their fists, and some will resist with deadly force. And every word of anti-cop rhetoric only escalates it.