Sadly, what’s happening in Baltimore shouldn’t surprise anyone.
You cannot have an environment where the political leaders leverage chaos for personal political gain and expect those on the side of law and order to sweep in and win the day. The real tragedy here is the growing fear now residing in the hearts of the good citizens of Baltimore, those being subjected to daily threats of deadly violence because of the disturbing and irresponsible actions of its political elite.
By now, most of us know the name Freddie Gray. But how many of us know the name Eladio Bennett or Kester Browne? And, how many of us have heard the name Shaquil Hinton? These are but a few of the more than 50 lives taken before their time since the death of Freddie Gray, yet their lives and untimely passing have drawn but a sliver of the attention paid to Freddie Gray.
We can’t help the good citizens of Baltimore, and America’s many struggling inner cities, if we are afraid to shine a spotlight on the real problem. The problem is an organized far-left cabal, which has hijacked the party of JFK, and an opposing political party with few leaders willing to confront them. The organized far-left has accurately calculated that they can leverage chaos and use it to place blame, and divide us into their (not our) pre-selected racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual preference silos. They also use this blame strategy to highlight the fictitious failings of our system of government, bed-rocked in freedom and individual liberty. Then, once the division and blame propaganda has set in, with few in the mainstream media willing to fight back against this narrative, they propose a better way “forward” where, conveniently, they are empowered, not you.
The new “way forward” relies on more of your money going to them through higher taxes and expensive government programs. It takes away your ability to make basic health care decisions for your family, and it orders your child to attend the school they choose, not the one you choose. If you were designing a system to fail then you couldn’t design it any better than this “way forward.”
It’s not just the political penalty we pay, where we lose control over our money through their relentless push for government empowerment subsequent to a crisis, we can also lose our lives. The complete lack of leadership in Baltimore and the constant apologies for lawbreakers who were given “room to destroy,” while ensuring an expedited rush to judgment for the police officers involved in the Freddie Gray incident, has broken what has made this country the global, historical exception; fidelity to process. Process, and the rule of law and order, has enabled us to prosper economically and become a global example for freedom and liberty. When this process breaks down and we become a country of rule by discretion, rather than rule by law, the entire system breaks down and it filters down to the police officers on the street.
Having been a law enforcement officer with the N.Y.P.D. and the U.S. Secret Service I have seen first-hand the dangers law enforcement officers knowingly face every day for little money, and even less accolades. All these men and women ask is that the cities and towns they have pledged to protect and serve grant them the same process and legal rights as the citizens they protect. I don’t know what happened behind those doors of the van Freddie Gray was placed in and, if it turns out that the officers involved committed a crime, then they should be prosecuted. But, when far-left legal scholars and conservative thought leaders agree that the charges leveled against the police officers by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby were political, and not firmly based on evidence, then we have a serious problem.
Police officers are an intelligent lot and they see this street justice prosecution as a direct attack on their ability to fight crime. Police officers are given tremendous discretion to combat crime and do their jobs and they are not legally mandated to arrest every person for every violation of the law they witness. I can imagine a scenario where many of these formerly discretionary police actions for non-violent, nuisance-crime-type activities, are not happening because the officers feel that the city of Baltimore will not be on their side if a police action for public urination turns into a use-of-force scenario. Sadly, it is this man or woman, who is engaged in this nuisance crime, and who is not confronted by law enforcement, that is typically the one who walks out of the alley and robs, rapes or kills someone.
In short, politicians and government are the problem in Baltimore, not the citizens. Nothing will change in Baltimore until the political leaders, who worship at the altar of big government are replaced by those who believe that the future of Baltimore is in the hands of the liberty of its citizens, fidelity to the rule of law, order and process, and not the permission of its government.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of the Mayor of Baltimore is by Patrick Semansky | AP Photo.