Support Your Local Police

From The New American by Steve Byas, May 11, 2016

Heather Mac Donald wrote in her book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, “On March 11, 2015, as protesters were once again converging on the Ferguson police headquarters demanding the resignation of the entire department, a six-year-old boy named Marcus Johnson was killed a few miles away in a St. Louis park, the victim of a drive-by shooting.”

Mac Donald noted that no one protested the boy’s killing. “Al Sharpton did not demand a federal investigation. Few people outside of his immediate community know his name.”

Yet, all Americans can recall how the focus of the nation was upon lone white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, accused of shooting down an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, who was allegedly trying to surrender.

In his nationwide “Support Your Local Police — and Keep Them Independent” speaking tour, sponsored by The John Birch Society and its local chapters, James Fitzgerald, a former police detective from Newark, New Jersey, explains to his audiences what really happened in Ferguson. Despite initial media reports that Officer Darren Wilson had simply gunned down Brown, whose hands were allegedly raised in surrender, the grand jury investigating the incident concluded that the officer’s story was the correct one: that Brown was charging at Wilson.

Why did they come to this conclusion? Fitzgerald, speaking in Oklahoma City, told his audience that 40 witnesses — 38 of them black — testified that officer Darren Wilson was indeed telling the truth.

Fitzgerald has speeches scheduled in the next few weeks in Billings, Montana; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Keyport, New Jersey. He is the national director of field activities for The John Birch Society, the parent organization of The New American magazine. In the early 1960s, the Daily Worker, an official Communist Party publication, blamed Fitzgerald for getting rid of a civilian review board in New York City.

As The New American’s Joe Wolverton has written,

The campaign for establishing “civilian review boards” has been underway since the 1930s — when it was launched by the Communist Party. The term “civilian review” is deceptively appealing, and we already have it in the form of civilian officials elected by the people and other civilian appointees and institutions established under state constitutions and county/city charters: state and county grand juries, county commissions, city councils, mayors, county sheriffs, etc. The Communist Party and its fellow travelers intended to undermine this constitutional civilian process by inserting over the police and sheriffs an unelected board of activists (whom they intended to control). Unfortunately, this subversive program has now been instituted in more than 100 U.S. cities.

Fitzgerald began his speech in Oklahoma City by citing a report by the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate in 1960 entitled “Communist Plot Against Free World Police.” The report concluded that Communists were working to sully the reputation of the nation’s police forces. A few year after this report was published, Sargent Shriver, a brother-in-law of President John Kennedy, was director of the Peace Corps for President Lyndon Johnson. From that position, Shriver was funneling money to “community organizers” in Newark, New Jersey, who were working to radicalize young black Americans. Shriver was cautioned that these groups were led by ideological Communists, who had posters of Communists such as Mao, Lenin, and Che Guevera gracing the walls of their headquarters. He dismissed the concerns, but the agitation against the police continued until the infamous Newark race riots occurred.

Similar tactics as those described in the 1960 Senate report are still used today, Fitzgerald said. He explained that demonstrators were actually bussed into Ferguson, and such activities were funded by George Soros via millions of dollars. Among the groups were “Black Lives Matter” and the “Organization for Black Struggle.” Clearly, Fitzgerald said, the people in Ferguson had no interest in burning down and looting their own communities — it was mostly these outside agitators who did so.

But, when President Barack Obama’s Justice Department investigated the situation in Ferguson, it concluded that the problem was the police! Others who arrived in the St. Louis suburb to agitate against the local police included Al Sharpton. Fitzgerald recalled that in 1988, Sharpton had encouraged black female teenager Tawana Brawley to insist that a county prosecutor had raped her. A grand jury investigated and discovered that Brawley had simply made up the story because she was scared that her stepfather would punish her for staying out too late. Sharpton and Brawley eventuallly lost a libel suit, and Johnny Cochran, the lawyer made famous by securing O.J. Simpson’s acquital, paid Sharpton’s judgment. Brawley, now a nurse, has had her wages garnished to pay off her part of the judgment.

Fitzgerald also discussed the Freddie Gray incident in Baltimore, where the death of Gray in police custody led to riots. Incredibly, the mayor of Baltimore told the police not to interfere with those destroying property. Mac Donald noted that the three most consequential officers in Gray’s arrest and transport were black. “There is no evidence,” she said, “that a white drug dealer in Gray’s circumstances, with a similar history of faking injuries, would have been treated any differently.”

Black Lives Matter is a radical organization founded by Marxists, Fitzgerald said. He used photographs of demonstrations around the country, with signs all including the words, “RevCom.US.” He explained RevCom.US is for “Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States.” Black Lives Matter, a group that President Obama defends, teaches chants that glamorize the killing of police. This illustrates that these riots are the result of a combination of “pressure from below” by street thugs, and “pressure from above” by powerful political figures such as President Obama. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio worked with the Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Fitzgerald said, in offering a second illustration of “pressure from above,” as the New York mayor has been extremely hostile to his own local police force.

Today, there are no government agencies investigating the organized violence in the streets, Fitzgerald lamented. We no longer have groups such as the House Committee on Internal Security, the Subversive Activities Review Board, or the attorney general’s list of subversives.

Perhaps it is because the attorney generals of our present presidential administration are the subversives! Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, actually funneled $1.5 million
to the Bronx Defenders, a group that created a rap song about how to kill policemen!

His replacement — Loretta Lynch — is no better. She wrote a nine-page letter to 6,500 municipal and state courts threatening to withhold federal funds if they don’t incarcerate fewer people!

Fitzgerald charged that the Justice Department was using something called the Police Data Initiative to achieve “federalization of the local police.” The way this is to be accomplished is through “standards” for local police both created and enforced by the Justice Department.

Referring once again to the 1960 Senate Judiciary Committee report, Fitzgerald cited the conclusion that Communists would create trouble by starting fights in public places, and when the police arrived, they would link arms, in an apparent attempt to create an incident of “police brutality.” He then compared this to a recent photograph of Occupy Wall Street activists also linking arms.

The media also repeats tactics over the years to promote such causes, Fitzgerald noted. He showed a photograph from a December 6, 1968 edition of Life magazine of the riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, with the caption, “The Police Rioted.” Several months later, Life repeated the charge with a riot in New Jersey, again blaming the police. Amazingly, the photo used was the same as one used earlier to illustrate alleged police misbehavior in Chicago!

What is the purpose of this leftist attack upon the police? Fitzgerald asserted that a principal goal of the Left is to nationalize the police function. Citing the 1960 Senate Judiciary Committee report again, Fitzgerald quoted, “There is a natural antipathy between the police and the Communists.” Fitzgerald offered some examples of nationalized police forces, including the Cheka in the Soviet Union and the Gestapo in Nazi Germany, and finally, the powers given to the executive branch of our own federal government by some provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), in which the president is given statutory authority to have Americans detained, without any actual charges and without any constitutional due process.

An increase in lawlessness, largely owing to the reluctance of police to confront some criminal activity in minority neighborhoods in such places as Chicago, where the murder rate has spiraled upward, will lead some Americans to believe the local police are not capable of controlling violent crime, Fitzgerald predicted. A nationalized police force will then be presented as the solution, he warned. He cited J. Edgar Hoover, the late long-time director of the FBI who said in 1968 that America does not need “a national police force” because “effective law enforcement is basically a local responsibility.”

Al Sharpton, however, has argued for an “end” to local policing, with that function taken over by a nationalized police force.

But, one can argue that Sharpton holds no public office (although he has been warmly welcomed at the White House by President Obama). What can one left-wing agitator actually do to bring this about?

Obama, shortly after being elected president in 2008, called for a “civilian national security force.” Speaking in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-financed.”

While some of Obama’s defenders have protested that he is only talking about such groups as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, it is hard to imagine either of those two groups constituting a “civilian national security force,” just as powerful as the U.S. military. Unless their mission is somehow expanded.

It is also hard to imagine why someone who believed in limited government would want such a force. This is why it is not just a “support your local police” campaign, as important as that is, but the second part of the campaign effort that is also critically important to the survival of a limited constitutional government in the United States: keeping them independent. We must keep the police independent, and not allow them to be controlled by the federal government.

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