Police working with targets on their backs

By the end of September 2019, 30 U.S. law enforcement personnel had been killed while on duty. Thirty-seven have been killed this year. Non-fatal injuries have soared too.

It is not being inaccurate to note that many — probably most — police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel feel they are going about their jobs with targets on their backs. A number of them are shot, stabbed, battered or harmed otherwise every year. It is worse now, however, and we know why.

Both directly and indirectly, protests against brutality involving a minuscule minority of law enforcement personnel have made life significantly more hazardous for their conscientious brothers and sisters.

Peaceful protests are the American way. Those taking part in them are to be commended, regardless of whether we agree with their points of view. But many demonstrations against law enforcement have degenerated into riots. In New York City alone, 472 police officers have been injured as they tried to control rioters. Some of them have been hurt badly, suffering permanent injuries including blindness.

Indirectly, protests against law enforcement have been taken by the criminal element as licenses to attack the men and women in uniform.

This is not acceptable. To be blunt, targeting people because they are law enforcement personnel is no more acceptable than brutalizing them because of their race.

Targeting law enforcement personnel also is counterproductive. It can promote a bunker mentality behind which rogues can hide.

Anyone intentionally harming a law enforcement officer, deputy or agent ought to be hunted down and punished — just the same as brutal cops should be dealt with.


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