Comment Of The Day: “Maryland Strips Police Officers Of Substantive Due Process Rights: Oh, THIS Will Work Out Well, Yessiree!”

Another Steve-O Comment of the Day is on the way, but this one is particularly relevant considering what is unfolding in Minnesota, and not just there. Here, for example, is the state of affairs in Austin, Texas:

After the Austin police budget cut on top of the repeal of the public camping ban, Austin crime and disorder has gotten measurably worse. Austin police are also leaving in droves:

After the Austin city council voted unanimously to defund its police department by about one-third of its budget, in August 2020, many predicted that once the cuts kicked in a flood of officers would leave the force as soon as they could. The new district attorney’s policy of re-investigating police officers for closed cases is also expected to cause officers to resign or retire.

The city council’s cuts officially kicked in and have been in place for a few months.

PJ Media reports exclusively that APD is now suffering a huge surge of officer departures putting it on pace to shatter 2020’s record.

In January 2021, sources tell PJ Media 20 officers retired from APD and eight resigned, for a total of 28 departures.

In February 2021, five officers resigned and six retired, according to multiple sources, for a total of 11 departures.

In March 2021, 24 more officers left APD, with 20 officers retiring. Additionally, three officers resigned and one was terminated.

To put this into perspective, 2019 was the last non-pandemic year and the year before the city council cut APD’s budget. APD averages about 50 retirements or separations in a calendar year, and replaces them with cadets who have graduated from the police academy or officers who join APD from another force.

APD saw 46 officers retire with another 22 resigning in 2019, according to local TV news station KVUE.

2020’s numbers were exacerbated by the George Floyd riots; 78 officers departed or retired from APD from the beginning of those riots to the end of 2020, for a total of 89 separations, according to KVUE.

Official 2021 numbers provided to PJ Media by the Austin Police Retirement System (APRS) break down as follows:

  • Prior to 2020, retirements averaged 50-52 per year over the last 5-6 years
  • Record number of retirements in FY 2020: 97
  • First-quarter 2021 retirements: 45

Add to those 45 retirements the 18 resignations or terminations, for a total of 63 separations in just the first quarter of 2021. If the current pace continues, APD could lose approximately 252 officers — about five times the average number of separations for a year. This will impact public safety across the board, and according to the APRS, can impact retirees’ benefits as well. APRS raised the alarm about the impact the city council’s cuts could have in September of 2020.

March 2021’s retirements hit all over the department, including tactical intelligence, gang crimes, narcotics enforcement, investigations, and the bomb squad, according to a full list provided to PJ Media. Traffic enforcement — both warnings and citations — has declined by more than 60% in the first two months of 2021, a source tells PJ Media.

At the same time, the city council’s cuts have forced the cancellation of police cadet classes. The department is losing experienced officers in droves and is unable to replace them with new officers.

Fewer officers means fewer officers to cover 911 calls, to the point that some 911 calls now result in “NUA”s: No Officer Available…

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, where it increasingly appears that the prosecution and the judge are willing to discard due process and basic fairness to make certain Derek Chauvin is convicted of murdering George Floyd, Kim Potter, the police officer who shot Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb after appearing to mistake her gun for her Taser was arrested yesterday and charged with manslaughter. The Wrights’ family lawyer, Ben Crump, coincidentally the same lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, declared,

“This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force. We will keep fighting for justice for Daunte, for his family, and for all marginalized people of color. And we will not stop until there is meaningful policing and justice reform.”

Nice! Crump is accusing Porter of racism and murder, before any investigation and without any evidence that race played any part in the shooting. The fact that the victim resisted arrest, however, was a significant part of the tragedy. The convention Crump and various elected officials and legislators are trying to create would create strict criminal liability for law enforcement officials when black suspects are involved. Why wouldn’t this eventually lead to police officers being passive when confronted with black law breakers? Why would any officer take any measures to stop a fleeing African-American suspect,or foil efforts to resist arrest?

Here is Steve-O-in NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post, Maryland Strips Police Officers Of Substantive Due Process Rights: Oh, THIS Will Work Out Well, Yessiree!

Maryland will have no one but itself to blame when crime takes off like a rocket because the police can’t recruit decent candidates and the ones on the job barely do the job. We’re a long way from Baltimore officer Salvatore RIvieri getting sacked because he berated skateboarding kids and threw one of them to the ground. We’re a long way from the possibly deliberate mistreatment of Freddie Gray and what followed. This is about making police officers afraid to take any kind of police action.

Officers will now know every time they pull a car over, every time they investigate a light on in a building that’s supposedly abandoned, every time they tell a group of kids/young adults hanging around one corner not doing anything in particular that they want this corner cleared, they risk not only losing everything they’ve worked for up to that point, they risk not only going to jail themselves, but they risk becoming the latest face of racism and white supremacy, and they risk it all without much protection for their rights in all of this.

If you’re near the end of your time, and probably cynical a la Richard Belzer’s Det. John Munch, maybe it’s easier to cross the street, look the other way, give everything the benefit of the doubt, even when it doesn’t deserve it, and just move closer and closer to your pension and the day you don’t have to deal with this crap anymore. If you’re not, though, it’s another story. Who wants to go through the risk and bother of an arrest only to see the prosecutor cut the person loose every time? Who wants to risk death or injury knowing most folks will say you probably deserved it for harassing young black men who ‘dindonufin’? Who wants to spend a decade or more walking on eggshells, knowing that you could lose everything at the drop of a hat, knowing that no one has your back, knowing the locals don’t trust you, the politicians hate you, and the prosecutors want to put YOU in jail more than they want to put the people you arrest in jail? On top of all this, then all these folks want to blame you and lay you off before your pension vests because you aren’t doing your job, when they’re the ones who made it impossible for you to do it in the first place. Then you’d be on the street, 33 and having given up 11 years of your life, with nothing to show for it, not knowing how to do much else, facing the unappealing choices of being a sleazy private eye or working “loss prevention” for $8/hour.

What’s more, do you think that the ordinary people will just hurry home in the evenings and cower in their homes while crime takes over? Maybe for a while, but eventually they’re going to turn elsewhere if they can’t turn to the police because the police are too scared or demoralized or too “busy” to help. I’m not talking “community watches” made up of paunch-bellied retirees who have too much time on their hands and want to play cop and paranoid soccer moms who see trouble everywhere. I’m talking shomrim who won’t hesitate to beat the tobacco juice out of a shvartze or goy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m talking wise guys who will ahem, solve their people’s problems and not say how they solve them. I’m talking tongs who who will take their people’s hard-earned money at mah-jong one night and make someone who isn’t their people but is spending too much time in the neighborhood vanish the next. I’m talking former military private security who will hit or shoot first and say nothing later.

Congrats, way to go upholding the rule of law.

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