Those who blindly support police are fond of saying that if we criticize police, then we should not expect police to protect us.
Now those comments are being repeated by United States Attorney General William Barr who believes Americans should treat cops with the same respect as veterans returning from the war, even if it means throwing them a ticker tape parade.
Given the fact that police generally show up to a crime scene after it has been committed and the perpetrators are long gone, even the most ardent police supporters may find themselves without police protection if they happen to become victims of crime.
And what good is police protection when those same cops turn on you for exercising your First Amendment rights?
Barr made the comments Tuesday at a participation award ceremony in Washington DC where 19 cops from across the country were being recognized for doing their job.
According to USA Today:
In his speech, Barr compared being in law enforcement to being in the military. Barr said it took decades after the Vietnam War for troops to earn respect. He said he remembers parades as soldiers left for then returned home from the first Gulf War in the 1990s.
"But when police officers roll out of their precinct every morning, there are no crowds along the highway cheering them on. And when you go home at the end of the day, there's no ticker tape parade."
Barr said Americans, instead, need to focus on "the sacrifice and the service" of law enforcement.
"They have to start showing more than they do – the respect and support that law enforcement deserves," Barr said. "And if communities don't give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need."
Barr did not say what "communities" he was referring to, however critics said they felt the comments were direct at communities of color, where long standing issues of trust over police brutality and racial profiling have persisted.
Barr's comments were met by criticism, according to the Huffington Post:
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification on who specifically Barr was referring to when he mentioned “communities” and what he meant by people finding themselves without police protection.
But American Bridge, a liberal super PAC that first flagged the comments, said the attorney general was referring to communities of color that have historically had a contentious relationship with law enforcement due to police brutality, mass incarceration and racial profiling.
“The Attorney General isn’t being subtle and that shouldn’t surprise us considering this administration’s record,” American Bridge spokesperson Jeb Fain told HuffPost in a statement. “When it comes to communities of color, he sees justice and equal protection under the law as subject to conditions.
“Barr’s words are as revealing as they are disturbing ― flagrantly dismissive of the rights of Americans of color, disrespectful to countless law enforcement officers who work hard to serve their communities, and full of a continuing disregard for the rule of law.”
Speaking to another group of cops in August in New Orleans, Barr said there needs to be "zero tolerance" to those who resist police but some states, like Florida, have laws that allow citizens to resist an unlawful arrest as long as the resisting is done nonviolently.
In 2018, Snopes compiled a list of state laws on this issue and determined only North Dakota gave citizens the right to protect themselves physically from an unlawful arrest but only if the cop knowingly made an unlawful arrest.
While some in the press are treating this as a partisan issue, it should send chills down the spines of every American because Barr's comments encourage cops to treat their jobs like a Blue Mafia protection racket.The first video below is the segment showing Barr making his comments about not protecting people who criticize cops. The second video is his entire speech.