Police chiefs decry the 'myth' on race perpetrated by the press

Two police chiefs from major cities spoke out on Fox News Sunday, criticizing journalists for perpetrating the myth that there has been some sort of "breakdown" in the relationship between citizens and the police.

Sometimes, you can never state the obvious often enough.

The Hill:

“I think one of the great myths is that there is some kind of breakdown between the people at the grassroots and their police,” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“It’s a false construct,” Flynn said.  “It’s a canard.  The reality is that our officers are out there day after day protecting our communities.”

“There are thousands of police actions that go well everyday you never hear about because they went well,” added Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

“Nobody talks about that sort of thing,” Ramsey said.  “That’s why police are here to begin with.  It really does distort the view of what is going on in policing.”

Flynn and Ramsey’s remarks come amid a summer of increased violence against police officers.

“Fox News Sunday” reported that 24 police officers have died nationwide in attacks against law enforcement since 2015 started.

Ramsey argued on Sunday that the media is focusing more on race relations rather than the actual causes of criminal activity.

That narrative, he charged, is complicating the issue of violence for police departments and the communities they serve.

“There are lot of issues behind crime in our neighborhoods,” he said.  “If you’d don’t address the drivers of crime, this is not going to result in anything at all that’s positive.”

Ramsey additionally called on members of the Black Lives Matter movement to exercise restraint when questioning the real issue of police abuse.

“We do have officers that engage in misconduct,” he said.  “[But] if all you want to do during a meeting is scream and shout, you’re not going to get very far.  It certainly doesn’t help.”

I'm afraid the chiefs are going to be disappointed. It's the nature of journalism to publish the "man bites dog" story rather than the alternative. Certainly the press can make a much better effort to tell the whole story. But the tens of thousands of police officers who go about their business every day with quiet competence and courage will never be given their due simply because doing one's job isn't news. 

So the vacuum caused by the non-reality of the false narrative is filled by hearsay and outright falsehoods. Michael Brown was running away when he was shot. Freddie Gray was an innocent who never harmed anyone. These lies become entrenched in the narrative because the press makes no effort to correct the record even when they have the opportunity.

All of this has to have an effect on the safety of officers. And the press, who enable groups like BlackLivesMatter share at least part of the blame.

 

 

Two police chiefs from major cities spoke out on Fox News Sunday, criticizing journalists for perpetrating the myth that there has been some sort of "breakdown" in the relationship between citizens and the police.

Sometimes, you can never state the obvious often enough.

The Hill:

“I think one of the great myths is that there is some kind of breakdown between the people at the grassroots and their police,” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“It’s a false construct,” Flynn said.  “It’s a canard.  The reality is that our officers are out there day after day protecting our communities.”

“There are thousands of police actions that go well everyday you never hear about because they went well,” added Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

“Nobody talks about that sort of thing,” Ramsey said.  “That’s why police are here to begin with.  It really does distort the view of what is going on in policing.”

Flynn and Ramsey’s remarks come amid a summer of increased violence against police officers.

“Fox News Sunday” reported that 24 police officers have died nationwide in attacks against law enforcement since 2015 started.

Ramsey argued on Sunday that the media is focusing more on race relations rather than the actual causes of criminal activity.

That narrative, he charged, is complicating the issue of violence for police departments and the communities they serve.

“There are lot of issues behind crime in our neighborhoods,” he said.  “If you’d don’t address the drivers of crime, this is not going to result in anything at all that’s positive.”

Ramsey additionally called on members of the Black Lives Matter movement to exercise restraint when questioning the real issue of police abuse.

“We do have officers that engage in misconduct,” he said.  “[But] if all you want to do during a meeting is scream and shout, you’re not going to get very far.  It certainly doesn’t help.”

I'm afraid the chiefs are going to be disappointed. It's the nature of journalism to publish the "man bites dog" story rather than the alternative. Certainly the press can make a much better effort to tell the whole story. But the tens of thousands of police officers who go about their business every day with quiet competence and courage will never be given their due simply because doing one's job isn't news. 

So the vacuum caused by the non-reality of the false narrative is filled by hearsay and outright falsehoods. Michael Brown was running away when he was shot. Freddie Gray was an innocent who never harmed anyone. These lies become entrenched in the narrative because the press makes no effort to correct the record even when they have the opportunity.

All of this has to have an effect on the safety of officers. And the press, who enable groups like BlackLivesMatter share at least part of the blame.