Miosotis Familia of the New York Police Department was murdered in her patrol car on July 5. Her funeral was this past week.
After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri in 2014, the organization known as Black Lives Matter emerged and promoted the lie that racist cops were targeting black men. Demonstrations against the police broke out. Well drilled mobs chanted the slogan that BLM deceitfully attributed to Michael Brown in his last moments, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Arson and rioting ensued.
However, a Grand Jury hearing did not indict the officer who killed Mr. Brown and the Obama Justice Department found that the officer did not violate his civil rights.
Later studies showed that
• Police killings of civilians have dropped significantly in the last few decades.
• Any perceived disproportionate rate by which the police killed blacks was more than explained by a disproportionate crime rate.
• A Harvard economist who looked at data since 2000 in large urban areas wrote that “blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites.”
Nevertheless the BLM narrative took off and activists were able to intimidate both college administrators and Democratic politicians from responding to their slogan with the anodyne phrase that “All Lives Matter.”
It is reasonable to conclude that BLM helped create the context in which unbalanced and/or hate-filled thugs have murdered police in Dallas, New York and elsewhere.
Newsweek has reported that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund asserts that the number of police officers who were killed on duty went up by about 30 percent in the year ending this June 30.
The media has reported that Officer Familia was the tenth child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and had three children of her own.
She was shot in the head by a criminal who was black and who may have had untreated mental illness. The police killed him later in a fire fight.
Last month another marker in the police-civilian controversy could be observed when Milwaukee policeman Dominique Heaggan-Brown was acquitted in the 2016 shooting of Sylville Smith who was black, a killing that led to several nights of violence in the that city.
All this calls to our mind this recent book: “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” by James Forman Jr. Professor Forman was at one time a public defender He recalls an awakening he had in a case one day. The case involved a 15-year-old client named Brandon: “It wasn’t only Brandon and the other young men in the cellblock who were black. So was everybody in the courtroom—an recalling his time not just the judge, but the court reporter, the bailiff, and the juvenile prosecutor. So was the police officer who had arrested Brandon, not to mention the police chief and the mayor. Even the building we were in—the H. Carl Moultrie I Courthouse, named after the city’s first black chief judge—was a reminder of the African American influence on D.C.’s legal system.”
“Newsweek has reported that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund asserts that the number of police officers who were killed on duty went up by about 30 percent…”
This is an honest book and perceives racism in the criminal-justice system. But it acknowledges that racism is not the whole story. It is black municipal officials who for decades have pushed for tougher laws against crime in an effort to keep law-abiding blacks safe. They have done so at the urging of their constituents. A 2014 poll asked Americans if courts deal “too harshly or not harshly enough” with criminals. Seventy-three percent of whites and 64% of blacks responded “not harshly enough.”
Mr. Forman captures this in describing a prosecutor, he went up against in court: “She was part of a breed of race-conscious black prosecutors who prodded the system to value the lives of black victims. She was a reminder that for all my claims about punitive criminal justice being a civil rights issue, other black Americans believed just as passionately that rampant crime and violence remained the defining racial justice questions of the day.”
Two things are clear: Police officers while like everyone else are imperfect should be honored for what they do and black precincts need protection.
At Officer Familia’s funeral NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil spoke:
“Let me tell you something. Regular people sign up to be cops. They sign up for this job of protecting strangers knowing the inherent risks…. But not one of us ever agreed to be murdered in an act of indefensible hate. Not one of us signed up to never return to our family or loved ones. So where are the demonstrations for this single mom who cared for her elderly mother and her own there children?”
Mr. O’Neil went on: “There is anger and sorrow, but why is there no outrage? Because Miosotis was wearing a uniform? Because it was her job? I simply do not accept that. Miosotis was targeted, ambushed and assassinated. She wasn’t given a chance to defend herself. This should matter to every single person who can hear my voice in New York City and beyond.”
Also exactly right.