I know this is the second appearance today of James Donald’s anguished coda at the end of “The Bridge Over The River Kwai,” but he arrives when it is appropriate.
Maryland’s Democrat-controlled legislature moved yesterday to pass a “police reform package “that includes the repeal of the state’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), overriding Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto to do it.
The state’s police Bill of Rights covered due process for officers accused of misconduct. You can read it here. I have. I would call it a not especially radical or permissive document, and its provisions simple codify basic due process rights. I view this move by the legislature as primarily symbolic, a virtue-signaling gesture of support for the individuals who break laws and against those who enforce them.
Yes, this is sure to work out well.
The action of the Maryland House of Delegates is more of the George Floyd freakout, still marching to the dishonest tune of Black Lives Matter, as the news media provides ample fertilizer. Here’s Politico, for example: “The move, a win for police reform advocates, comes amid a national reckoning with policing after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last year.”
Morons. First, Floyd did not die “at the hands” of a police officer by any measure. Second, whether the police officer caused his death is a matter being determined in a court of law, a right even police officers have. Third, it is foolish, irresponsible, incompetent emotion-driven policy-making to allow any single event, especially one in a different state, to drive substantive policy changes of any kind.
In his veto statement, Governor Hogan wrote,
“These bills would undermine the goal that I believe we share of building transparent, accountable, and effective law enforcement institutions and instead further erode police morale, community relationships, and public confidence.They will result in great damage to police recruitment and retention, posing significant risks to public safety throughout our state.”
Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to serve as a police officer in Maryland? I guess the state wants police officers who are not in their right minds. Oh, yes, this is really going to work out well.
In response to Hogan’s completely rational statement, State Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat, revealed the kind of calm, rational, professional public servants running Maryland, tweeting that he “doesn’t stand with Black & Brown people in the state.”
“He is telling Black Marylanders that systemic racism in policing doesn’t exist here. SHAME ON HIM,” Atterbeary said. “He is telling my children & all other Black children in the state he does NOT care about their futures. SHAME ON HIM. SHAME ON HIM.”
So her position is that only black and brown citizens break laws in Maryland? That’s interesting. Ironically, I’m willing to bet that “black and brown” citizens will be the ones most harmed by making police feel that the state does not support them in the dangerous and difficult job of law enforcement.