BRETT: Jerry in Binghamton, New York. Jerry, welcome to the show. What’s on your mind, sir?
CALLER: Well, I have a few problems with some of the people being interviewed on radio today saying that policemen should start shooting people in the leg or in the arm and just wounding them instead of, quote, “killing them.” Policemen, first of all, are not trained — and I speak because I’m a retired policeman.
BRETT: Thank you for your service.
‘CALLER: I speak with some authority. Policemen are not trained to wound. We’re trained to eliminate a threat. We’re not trained to wound. We’re not trained to kill. We’re trained to eliminate a threat. Point in fact is that if a person with a knife is standing 15 or more feet away from a policeman with his gun drawn aimed at the person, that policeman stands a better chance of being killed by that man charging him. Even though he shoots him, he’s still gonna get to him, and if he wants to, kill the policeman.
BRETT: Yes, sir.
CALLER: Policemen are not trained marksmen. It’s very hard to hit an object.
CALLER: Most gunfights, actually, occur within three to four feet with police involved. And you never know how you’re gonna react, first of all. But even in that distance, police and other people miss all the time!
CALLER: More shots are missed at that distance than made. It’s ludicrous to say that a policeman should be shooting people to wound them. It’s ridiculous.
BRETT: Uh-oh. Look, it’s a great point you raise, and thank you so much for your service and helping to keep your community safe there as a law enforcement officer. You know better than anybody — and I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of these people opining on how the police should do their jobs, have never even gone on a ride-along with law enforcement. You can do it as a citizen.
I just wonder how many of them would be willing to do it.
BRETT: The debate about policing in the United States of America continues to rage on, and people from all different sides are coming at this challenge with a whole variety of different solutions. But if we take the 50,000-foot view for a quick second at the landscape across this country, one thing is pretty clear. There is a population of people…
I don’t believe it’s as large as it’s made out to be, but there’s a population of people who just don’t like law enforcement. They’re just in opposition to what it is that law enforcement officers do — and law enforcement doesn’t necessarily just mean the local cop on the beat or the state trooper. Let’s be honest here. There has been a war on law enforcement for a very long time, waged in a number of different ways.
During the border crisis that took place in 2018, you had the absolute vilification of men and women serving there in the Border Patrol, Customs and Border Patrol, ICE, what have you. These are people who are committed to stopping human trafficking, drug smuggling, gun smuggling, art theft, whatever it is that they are responsible for, and they were reviled. They were called Nazis.
I remember watching Tom Homan, the acting chief, sit there and have to answer those questions from the representatives there in the committee hearings. And he would talk about finding, you know, dozens of people dead in the back of it a tractor-trailer truck who are being smuggled into the United States and how it broke his heart to see that.
Law enforcement officers do a job nobody would ever want to do, by and large. If I didn’t tell you it was being a police officer, but instead just described to you the duties and responsibilities and the current station in life in our social culture, nobody would that job. They wouldn’t take that job for 10 times the money that the police officers, the men and women are taking right now.
It is about public service, and in a country that’s got well north of a million law enforcement professionals — especially when you work in the retired men and women — you realize very quickly, very quickly that this is a thankless job that you’re always gonna be said is being done wrong, wrongly. And that’s unfortunate. That’s unfortunate because we have the case of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. There’s a case moving now out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Pasquotank County.
It’s gonna be coming come out and it will be a big story in the coming hours and days of an officer-involved shooting. But one person that I would always have thought like really kind of understood this because she was a chief of police in Orlando, Florida, and that would be Florida congresswoman Val Demings.
She is a Democrat she was one of the impeachment managers I think in the first impeachment of Donald Trump, she was an impeachment manager, she was the chief of police in Orlando, Florida, she was on CBS’ Face the Nation. She said this about the police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio.
DEMINGS: The limited information that I know in viewing the video, it appears that the officer responded as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.
BRETT: So that’s a pretty big explanation, and it’s direct. And it’s coming from somebody who knows about policing, who knows about those responsibilities, to preserve life, to preserve innocent life, to protect and serve the public. In fact, truth be told on my own show, I thought that Val Demings might have actually been an effective choice for vice president for President Biden to pick because she understands law enforcement.
If you look at the current vice president, Kamala Harris, she was a district attorney and an AG, but doesn’t really show any kind of interest or desire to get into the meat and potatoes of law enforcement itself, which is exhibited by her inability to even get to the border and cites covid as the issue. But Val Demings, I think, with a terrific explanation. And I think none of this is new. None of this is unexpected. This is all absolutely expected — and, in fact, Rush talked about cops being in the crosshairs.
RUSH: Just a reminder to every police officer in this country, you are being watched, and I’m very serious about this. You cops had better keep a sharp eye, because the powers that be are looking to find another cop they can accuse of racial assassination and railroad indict, and convict.
Police officers in this country are in dangerous jobs at great risk right now because they have a target on them. They have a bull’s-eye that is being painted, that’s being drawn by the highest positions of power in this country. It’s a very dangerous circumstance, very dangerous situation taking place here, folks. And the cops right now are in the crosshairs of the most powerful forces in this country.
They failed to get what they wanted in Ferguson. They’re gonna find a way. They didn’t really get what they wanted out of Florida and the “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman and all that. They didn’t get what they wanted in the Duke lacrosse case. They really want a win. And the cops are the focus, the target for that next win.
BRETT: This isn’t the sort of thing that just manifested itself overnight. We’ve been at this now — in this current iteration — really almost a decade, right? You go back to 2014 when Black Lives Matter starts to take shape in the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin, and you see that movement begin to take root and to expand across the country.
And one of the things I think it’s worth tracking back to is, Where does this anti-law enforcement sort of POV…? Where does it come from? I go back to the radical 1960s. Go back to the radical 1960s, you have the anti-war movement. Back then people in the military were the devil, right? Men who were coming back from Vietnam were spit upon.
They were were mistreated in airports, were told not to wear their uniforms out in public, were told not to wear the uniforms when they were come back home from tours of duty in Vietnam, that it was dangerous; it was rough. You move into the 1970s, the early 1970s; that’s the heyday of the Weather Underground, right? And Bill Ayers. And Bill Ayers is out there leading that organization.
And you see Chesa Boudin, who is now currently the district attorney in San Francisco, but whose parents were part of that Weather Underground movement. You saw police officers assassinated in upstate New York during a Brink’s truck robbery. You had radicals going out and committing these sorts of atrocities against law enforcement, bombing Fraunce’s Tavern, going over into the Capitol and setting bombs off there as well.
This has been a long and practiced strategy. One only has to go back to the 2004 presidential election when the left was threatening to, quote “recreate ’68.” Remember that? That was the narrative that they were using. They were talking about Chicago, they were talking about fighting the cops, doing that sort of stuff. This is a careful inculcation that is underway in our country.
It’s not lost on me that Bill Ayers — who was one of the leaders of the Weather Underground and was an adviser to then citizen Barack Obama as he started to make his run into politics. It’s not lost on me that Bill Ayers’ day job was running the education department there at the University of Illinois-Chicago, training teachers for tomorrow. It’s the academy.
It is the university system where you have this radicalization take root and the very sad reality of what it is. We’re seeing play out with this anger towards law enforcement is the fact that most people who are working as police officers are middle-class, working-class background people who have a heart for service. You’re going to have people who worked be in that job, and you would hope that many of them are weeded out by background checks and investigations and things like that before you’re able to be a certified police officer.
But the fact is, you’re going to have bad people get through the cracks. It’s going to happen. Society… Every one of these institutions, whatever it is, government, law enforcement, the world of athletics, Hollywood, is a microcosm of the broader society. You’re going to have heroes and you’re gonna have devils. And this is what you see playing out here except at the Academy — the Academy Awards, but university system — portrays these law enforcement officers as evil, as wrong.
They do it consistently with these activist groups, and so what we end up with now is another institution that’s important to daily American life, law and order, being undermined because it’s about the vilification of an entire class of people. I remember that terrible night in Dallas back in 2016 when that sniper took up a position and started shooting into the crowd at the Black Lives Matter march in the summer of 2016.
And you had, I think it was, six or seven wounded and killed Dallas police officers who were escorting Black Lives Matter protesters and who saved lives. We vilify an entire class of people at our own demise. The military, people in law enforcement, people serving at the border. There is no draft. There is no conscription for people to go out and patrol your streets.
One only has to take a look at the paradise that is Chicago under Lori Lightfoot — or Bill de Blasio’s New York or Ted Wheeler’s Portland or the chaos of what’s happening in Los Angeles with the murder rate up 200% under George Gascon or Chesa Boudin’s San Francisco — to understand that very thin line between chaos and security.
And you’re going to see these people walking away from this job. I’m glad Congresswoman Demings was honest and truthful on Face the Nation talking about this reality in this situation. It’s a heartbreaking situation for the Bryant family.