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FORMER CHIEF OF POLICE MAURICE RICHARDS: In A Time Of Violence, Americans Must Take A Stand Against Lawlessness

Periods of civil disorder, like elections, are a time for choosing sides. Democrats have chosen their side — against police, against safety and against the rule of law. On November 3, the American people will choose whether to join them.

For more than three months we have witnessed riots, lawlessness and political violence instigated by antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) radicals — cities burned, stores looted, police officers and citizens attacked and even killed. Vicious mobs felt emboldened to “occupy” our streets, block traffic and invade our neighborhoods.

While Democrat mayors, governors and prosecutors refused to stop the violence, President Trump refused to surrender to the mob, standing up for our police and for the safety and security of American families.

Their rhetoric now seeks to rewrite history, but when the moment came to pick sides, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats cast their lots with the mob, not the law-abiding citizens being terrorized in their homes. Their silence — and in some cases outright support — allowed our cities to descend into chaos. The Democrats denied the violence and tried to convince us that the arson, looting and beatings were actually just “peaceful protests.”

But we all saw the truth with our own eyes.

In Portland, the mob dragged a man from his truck, then beat, stomped, savagely kicked him in the head before leaving him for dead in the street. In New York City, violent radicals attacked three NYPD supervisors, opening a huge gash in one officer’s head. One of the attackers was arrested, only to be immediately set free to continue rioting under New York’s radical “bail reform” law — the same policy of eliminating cash bail that Kamala Harris hopes to implement nationwide. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, a 71-year-old man defending his business was viciously beaten by a group of thugs, suffering a broken jaw at the hands of the “peaceful protestors” who then stepped over him to loot and burn his store.

This mob violence spread and intensified because Democrat mayors prevented the police from confronting it, and even gave the rioters moral sanction to run wild.

When a Black Lives Matter mob in Washington, D.C. threatened innocent bystanders who were peacefully dining outdoors, demanding the diners shout their slogan, they went unchallenged by police. Radicals took note that such behavior would be tolerated, and now the same type of intimidation has spread to Rochester and Pittsburgh.

Another mob set upon peaceful citizens departing the Republican National Convention. Among the victims were U.S. Senator Rand Paul and his wife. Surrounded and in fear for their lives, the couple only escaped the possibility of serious injury or death thanks to the extraordinary action of four brave police officers, who kept the antagonists at bay until Sen. Paul and the others made it to safety. Biden and the Democrats refused to denounce the mob — after all, the violent rioters are their base, and they hoped to ride that kind of “enthusiasm” into the White House.

No Democrat official has acted more shamefully than Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. For 104 days and counting, he has allowed mobs to riot, destroy public and private property, and even attempt to burn police officers alive. Wheeler has openly supported the violence, literally standing with the mob while law enforcement officers were being attacked. Even when rioters threatened a federal courthouse, Wheeler refused President Trump’s offers of assistance while his prosecutors continued to let those responsible out of jail without posting a cent of bail. His tolerance for violence reached its inevitable result on August 29 with the assassination of a Trump supporter.

This dramatic politically-motivated violence grabs headlines, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Toleration of violence and disorder by those tasked with maintaining public safety and order only breeds more violence. Predictably, violent crime is going through the roof in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and other Democrat-run cities.

New York City has seen a 166 percent increase in shootings and a 34 percent rise in murders from August 2020 compared to the same period last year. In Chicago, shootings have increased by 52 percent and murders by 49 percent, with 2,152 people shot and 503 murdered already this year. During July and August alone, 1,087 were shot and 168 killed in the Windy City.

As demonstrated in Chicago and Minneapolis, Democrat mayors have legitimized the activists’ belief that looting is an acceptable response to any perceived injustice involving the police. Inevitably, Black Lives Matter interpreted that as permission to go even further. “No justice, no peace” has now evolved into a belief that looting is justified as a form of reparations for slavery.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the official, acknowledged leaders of their party. They could — and should — have exercised real leadership and condemned these radicals. But at the Democratic National Convention, neither Biden nor Harris, nor any other Democrat uttered a word condemning the riots and mob violence that had already been going on for months by that point. Instead, they used the anti-American lie of “systemic racism” as a central theme of the convention, making common cause with activists who believe America is evil, illegitimate, and inherently racist.

They approved a Democratic Party platform that enshrines the false and dangerous myth that police are “systemically racist,” slandering the brave men and women of American law enforcement and giving their imprimatur to radical rhetoric likening federal agents to the Ku Klux Klan and police officers to Nazi “stormtroopers.”

The violence we are seeing now is a direct result of the false narrative about systemic police racism. Democrats may just be trying to win an election, but in the process they have dealt a significant blow to the legitimacy of the police in the eyes of many citizens, and law-abiding Americans are suffering mightily for it.

American civilization rests upon the will of the people, not the fury of the mob. If we lose the rule of law, we lose our country. Democrats have shown how they run cities — in the process making it clear that our families will not be safe if they are allowed to run our country. They have chosen their side, but it’s not too late for us to choose President Trump’s — and our own.

COLUMN BY

MAURICE RICHARDS

Maurice Richards is the former Chief of the Martinsburg Police Department in West Virginia. He served as Chief from 2015 to 2020 after 24 years as an officer and lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department. Richards holds a doctorate in Adult Education from Northern Illinois University.

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