Reflections on Anti-Cop Sentiments in the U.S.: Then & Now
Do you remember the late 1980s and early 1990s, back when anti-cop sentiment was quite high due to the United States having high crime rates and, because of this, a number of controversial police incidents to go along with them? The zenith of all of this drama and tension was the Los Angeles Riots. Rodney King’s controversial high speed chase and arrest shocked the United States and the world, and the officers involved were all acquitted of any criminal charges.
In response to this, there was about five days of extremely violent rioting. This resulted in the army being sent in, and to this day the riots are brought up when people talk about how realistic it is to depend on police during a lawless time. Entire neighborhoods were left on their own and quite a few (most notably Koreatown) had to defend their businesses and homes without hope of police help.
More recently, we have had another flare-up of anti-cop sentiment. This arguable began with the deaths of Trayvon Martin in 2013 and Michael Brown in 2014, and hasn’t quite died down – which may be due to the Black Lives Matter movement, which seems to be invested in stoking nationwide anger and distrust in law enforcement.
This current stretch of understandable outrage over the death of George Floyd, though, dwarfs anything I have ever seen. Nationwide riots of this size haven’t occurred since the late 1960s, and we happen to be in a particularly perfect set of circumstances for these to continue for weeks- or maybe even months- to come as large swaths of the nation are still out of work and on unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no jobs to go back to, riots can continue indefinitely, especially in major cities that are still at least partly locked down.
Particularly troubling is this current “abolish the police” sentiment that has caught fire. I have hardly ever heard anyone argue for it seriously, let alone on such a mainstream and massive scale before now. Anyone even bringing this up in the 1980s or 1990s would have been laughed out of the room, and those decades were FAR more violent overall.
So far, though, the powers that be are getting nervous, and reacting in the worst way possible. Yet another shooting has occurred in Atlanta, and this is one that was more than justified. You wouldn’t know that listening to media coverage of it, though, as it’s being covered as if it were an outrageous use of force. The scared district attorney has thrust a completely bogus murder charge on the officer. Outraged police across Atlanta participated in a sick-out strike in response, and soon after the Blue Flu hashtag began trending. It is widely speculated that something of this nature may occur across the country at some point. Will it be a national police strike?
Overall, there is absolutely no way to understate how unprecedented this is. This is an unbelievably extremist solution to the ongoing problem of police brutality. Absolutely nobody that is worth taking seriously is considering this, and any mainstream publication that is floating it is being gaslit by a social media rage mob that doesn’t know when to stop. We have reached a boiling point in this country that is not going to die down easily. We can only hope this fizzles out, but with the pandemic continuing and with this being an election year, we need to prepare for the worst.
In recent news the police have been under much scrutiny. This all started with the death of George Floyd. As a result of this, some major cities have been taking steps to defund their police departments. Read more here.