Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the Beaufort Observer.
So the protestors, and most elected Democrats, say they favor abolishing or significantly de-funding police. They do not tell us what they would put in its place. We think it is an important issue that deserves careful thought. As for us, we will say that the status quo needs to go. That is based on our experience right here in Washington and Beaufort County We take seriously the responsibility to report on crime but readily admit we do a very poor job of it. But that is not to take the blame. We do a poor job because the law enforcement agencies in Beaufort County do a miserably poor job of informing the press so we can inform the public. "The Club" protects itself and its members by a stone wall. There is little effective oversight in either the WPD or especially the Sheriff's Office. The Beaufort County Manager and Board of Commissioners offer no oversight.
Much of it is silly things, such as what happened with the SO car that was destroyed on the Bath Highway a few years ago. We found the vehicle at a local garage but were not allowed to photograph it. Do you know what happened to the driver? Just pursue the websites of both agencies and see if you feel informed after doing so. Find any data on the number of citizen complaints and their disposition? Let a former sheriff be stopped for driving careless and reckless and try to get the officer's report that stopped him. Or the Highway Patrol trooper who was unceremoniously reassigned out of Beaufort County because he stopped a deputy for speeding. And of course there is the Cory Anderson case. Simply stated, they is a culture of secrecy with every law enforcement agency we cover in Beaufort County. They've won. We've lost. We just don't beat our heads against that stone wall any more.
If we are going to have meaningful reform in law enforcement and the judicial system we need an honest dialogue between those who hate the police and those of us who value honest law enforcement.
A starting point of becoming informed is an article by Annie Lowrey in the Atlantic, a liberal publication that can reveal the thinking behind defunding or abolishing the police. She writes:
- What are the police for? Why are we paying for this?
- The death of George Floyd and the egregious, unprovoked acts of police violence at the peaceful protests following his death have raised these urgent questions. Police forces across America need root-to-stem changes - to their internal cultures, training and hiring practices, insurance, and governing regulations. Now a longtime demand from social-justice campaigners has become a rallying cry: Defund the police. This is in one sense a last-resort policy: If cops cannot stop killing people, and black people in particular, society needs fewer of them. But it is also and more urgently a statement of first principles: The country needs to shift financing away from surveillance and punishment, and toward fostering equitable, healthy, and safe communities.
Read the full article HERE
on The American Conservative