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Police and Community Relations

Manuel’s post also raises the larger question about the nature of police and government. The article also points out that Baltimore’s mayor, Sheila Dixon, is not objecting to this new policy:

A spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon said she will not interfere with the department’s decision.

Not surprisingly, the police union is all in favor of this farce:

The police union applauded the policy change. Robert F. Cherry, president of the Baltimore police union and a former homicide detective, said the department vigorously investigates shootings that involve officers.

“If anything, the investigation is more intensive than for the average citizen,” Cherry said. “The only thing the department is doing differently is choosing not to release their name. … I’m surprised we haven’t gone to this earlier.”

My experience in working on the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case tells me that police do not aggressively investigate themselves, and that police are held to much lower standards than are ordinary citizens.

For example, the infamous police shooting in San Francisco has the police urging “caution” and no “rush to judgment,” yet if an ordinary citizen were to shoot an unarmed person in the back at such a close range, the police and press would be denouncing the “execution-style murder” and vowing justice. Instead, we hear the usual claptrap from the authorities.

All of this raises the larger question for me. If a police department is subject to the authority of government, and if government simply is an extension of “the will of the people,” as “Progressives” are fond of telling us, then why do police departments act as a law unto themselves?

The obvious answer is that not only do police officers intimidate everyone else, given they have a license to kill, but they also control a large number of votes and government unions today are major factors in determining elections. All in the name of “progress,” of course.

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10:23 am on January 7, 2009