We’ve Entered the Hug-a-Criminal Era
For law enforcement, political correctness has morphed into treating criminals as victims of the police.
Some years ago, we used to complain that the courts have handcuffed the police. Of course, the courts didn’t really, they just made police work a little harder and probably better. Today law enforcement is confronted with a much bigger problem. We’ve entered the Hug-a-Criminal era. Political correctness has morphed into treating criminals as victims of the police. Here are some examples.
Blacks and white liberals have long complained that our prisons are filled with the black victims of the war on drugs. They claim that a disproportionate number of blacks are in prison for the non-violent offense of possessing small amounts of crack cocaine and marijuana. So, in December 2018, Congress passed a criminal justice reform act, which President Trump signed with fanfare.
The new law gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders, reduces the life sentence for some drug offenders with three convictions, or ‘three strikes,’ to 25 years, and allows about 2,600 federal prisoners sentenced for crack cocaine offenses before August 2010 the opportunity to petition for a reduced penalty. As a result, more criminals will soon be on the streets.
Surprisingly, conservatives have been just as firm as liberals behind efforts to reduce prison populations. They do so in the interest of reducing government spending. They conveniently ignore the increased costs crime victims will bear with more criminals running loose on the streets.
The truth is that prisons are not filled with a disproportionate number of blacks because they are victims of the war on drugs. The number of blacks is high because they commit a disproportionate amount of crime. And the claim they are serving time for possessing small amounts of pot or crack cocaine is a load of crap too. Most of those inmates had chargers for the sales of those drugs plea-bargained down to possession.
California’s Proposition 47 downgraded “non-serious, nonviolent crimes” such a shoplifting, grand theft, car burglaries, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, and writing bad checks from felonies to misdemeanors as long as the total value of the stolen property is under $950. Prop. 47 has resulted in a noticeable uptick in those crimes. The actual increase in those crimes is unknown because many victims no longer bother to report them to the police.
And the public is being fooled with that ‘non-violent’ crap. An offender may be released early if his conviction does not consist of a violent crime, but that fails to take into account that the offender may have committed some prior crimes of violence. I have a saying: A ‘non-violent’ criminal in jail is one less criminal on the streets!
Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, prohibited the DEA from to arresting the growers and distributors of marijuana in those states, which have legalized pot. Never mind that federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 illegal drug along with heroin and cocaine. Seems like I remember Trump promising to turn the DEA loose during his presidential campaign. And Jeff Sessions said he would do the same thing when he became Trump’s attorney general. Neither one of them kept that promise.
California has declared itself to be a sanctuary state and cities throughout the U.S. have become sanctuary cities to protect illegal immigrants from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an illegal immigrant, shot dead a California town of Newman police officer last December during an attempted DUI traffic stop. Despite 2 prior DUI arrests, authorities were prohibited by California’s sanctuary state law from turning Arriaga over to ICE for deportation back to Mexico. Had the thug been turned over to ICE, Officer Ronil “Ron” Singh, who leaves behind his wife and 5-month-old son, would still be alive today.
White cops better be extremely careful in the shooting of black men. Even when the black man was armed, outcries by black activists and their white liberal supporters have led district attorneys to drop the shooting officers into the grease by filing criminal charges against them.
And district attorneys have started refusing to accept charges against offenders who committed low-level misdemeanors. The district attorney in Boston has published a list of 15 crimes for which her office will not accept charges. Kim Ogg – I call her Odd – the district attorney in Houston will not prosecute offenders possessing less than four ounces of marijuana if they take a four-hour course in Decision Making.
Cops have been getting fired for things they have emailed each other or posted on social media if what they said was the least bit offensive to minorities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. No more queer jokes, fellows! No speaking ill of Black Lives Matter! Better yet, fellows, stay the hell off of social media.
Spineless police administrators have caved into political correctness and can no longer be counted on to back their officers who come under fire by civil rights activists or local politicians.
So, for today’s cops, this is not your father’s era in policing. It sure looks like the good old days when you could do righteous police work without fear of retribution are gone forever.
Howie Katz is a former law enforcement officer and retired criminal justice professor. He is a life member of the California Peace Officers Association and the California Narcotic Officers Association. In 1969 he founded the Texas Narcotic Officers Association. He currently resides in Houston, Texas. You can see more of his writing at http://barkgrowlbite.blogspot.com.