The politically-fanned hatred and distrust for police has seemingly caused the profession to lose its bearings entirely. We have the Ferguson Effect in major cities, where police avoid proactive law enforcement for fear of getting in any confrontations with African Americans, and now the desperate efforts of police to be loved is starting to spawn the Police As Cuddly Do-Gooders movement.
This will not end well.
Last week on a hot Friday in Virginia, Halifax police pulled drivers over to—SURPRISE!— hand out ice cream instead of tickets, and captured some of the reactions on camera. Officer Brian Warner said his officers “just wanted to spread some summer sweetness in the community.” They had patrol cars equipped with coolers of ice cream, and they stopped about 20 motorists, handing out cones instead of tickets after the drivers were convinced they were being stopped for infractions.
Warner, I’m afraid, is an idiot. Stopping a car to do anything unrelated to police work is an abuse of power and authority, and unethical. It doesn’t matter if it’s a well-intentioned abuse of power, or a nice abuse of power. It’s wrong, and I would make the case that it’s also illegal, no matter how nice it is.
I’m glad I wasn’t caught on camera, because my message would have been this: Continue reading