Travis Yates has authored an angry and ominous post on the Law Officer website. He is a Doctoral Student in Strategic Leadership, a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a police commander. Titled “America, We Are Leaving,” his article expresses his disgust at the abuse being focused on police in the wake of the George Floyd incident, and vows to leave law enforcement as a result. He writes,
From chiefs to sheriffs to politicians, no one has our back. Now, the little we have, we are told they are going to defund us or even abolish us. Citizens with a political agenda will reign over us and all you have to do is wake up and put on a uniform to be a racist.
This weekend I received death threats for just doing my job. It would have been outrageous a decade ago and made national news.
Now, it’s just a Monday.
There will be more threats, more accusations of racism and more lies told about us.I used to talk cops out of leaving the job. Now I’m encouraging them.
The essay concludes with a threat and a warning…
You aren’t going to have to abolish the police, we won’t be around for it.
And while I know, most Americans still appreciate us, it’s not enough and the risk is too high. Those of you that say thank you or buy the occasional meal, it means everything.But those of you that were silent while the slow turning of the knives in our backs happened by thugs and cowards, this is on you.
Your belief in hashtags and memes over the truth has and will create an environment in your community that you will never expect. If you think Minneapolis will turn into Mogadishu and that is far from you, it’s coming.
And when it does, remember what your complicity did.
This is the America that you made.
I do find myself wondering why anyone would continue to want to be in law enforcement when the culture, politicians and then news media vilify them to this extent for not only serving the public in a vital job but also a dangerous one. The accumulated effect of insults and attacks, from Minneapolis announcing that it was defunding its police department, to Maven publishing dropping a pro-police website, to such gratuitous nods to police hate, like the cancellation of the TV show “Cops” and LEGO absurdly refusing to promote its products with tiny police figures, has to be having an effect. The question is how long the effects will last, and how serious they will be.
The anti-police actions and rhetoric are, after all, bigotry. If one is a police officer, American culture, its leaders and opinion-makers, are accepting and enabling the lie that this means one is violent, dangerous, and racist. It is easy to dismiss Yates’ article as an emotional outburst, portending nothing.
I wonder if that is wise.
Here’s a poll.