The war on police meets the Uvalde shooting
Since the Obama administration, and with the rise of anti-police district attorneys in several of our major cities, law enforcement has been placed on the defensive by civil authorities, liberal politicians, and the media. "Defund the police" movements have urged cities and towns to abolish or greatly reduce police forces. Liberal district attorneys have publicly announced that they will not prosecute offenders who resist the police. Each time a police officer uses deadly force, he is second-guessed, third-guessed, and all too often presumed guilty of using excessive force. This phenomenon has been meticulously documented by the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald in several articles and in her book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.
Mac Donald detailed what she called a "multipronged attack on law enforcement" and a "crusade against law enforcement" since at least 2014, led by organized groups, and supported by liberal politicians at the local, state, and federal level, that promote the idea that "police officers are the greatest threat facing" young minority males. In response to this anti-police rhetoric and activity, she writes, "the police began to disengage from proactive policing."
One question that nobody has asked in the wake of the Texas school shooting is what effect, if any, did the anti-police rhetoric and actions by leftist district attorneys, politicians, and the liberal media during the past several years have on the reluctance of the police to quickly storm the school classrooms and kill the 18-year-old shooter? The left, which is so quick to blame Second Amendment–supporters for every gun crime and shooting, have been the most vociferous critics of the police and the most eager proponents of defunding the police. And they are also quick to blame the police for every deadly encounter with criminals, no matter how justifiable the police action was.
It is hard to believe that the police officers who responded to the Texas school shooting are all cowards. Presumably, those police officers all had active shooter training. A young man with an AR-type rifle shot at police officers, walked into a school through an unlocked door, and entered adjoining classrooms filled with many young students and two teachers. The police at a certain point knew where the shooter was — yet they waited. Why? Perhaps because they did not want to be accused of using excessive force against an obviously "troubled" young man. Perhaps because they did not want to be the latest police casualty of the influential anti-police crowd in this country. Perhaps because they thought that too quickly killing a Hispanic young man would result in more accusations of systemic racism.
The more we learn about this incident, the more it becomes apparent that the police failed to do their duty in the Texas school shooting. Some lives likely could have been saved had they acted swiftly, instead of waiting, to kill the shooter. No doubt the police involved and their commanders and civilian bosses will be — and should be — held accountable for their failures. So much is still unknown. There will be investigations, careers will be ended, and the sufferings of the parents and loved ones of the victims will never end. The person responsible for the murders is dead — belatedly killed by a special operations unit a full 45 minutes after he entered the school.
The question now is why it took so long for police to act. Are we as a society reaping the consequences of the war on police?
Image via Needpix.