This editorial is brought to you by a former Chief of Police and current staff writer for law enforcement today.
WATERBURY, VT.- Ben and Jerry’s, founded by throwback hippies loves to preach to the little people about all the typical liberal causes.
Even though its founders no longer own the company, it still likes to get involved in the cause of the week.
Recently they waded into the anti-police rhetoric being pushed by Marxist groups and their enablers in the Democrat Party. We think they should stick to making their overpriced crappy ice cream and stay out of politics and law enforcement.
To us, their opinion matters about as much as a bag of dung from the cows they get their milk from. We were inclined to just ignore their preachy, woke blog, however the recent blog post about qualified immunity is so flawed and in contradiction to the truth that it has to be addressed.
First of all, qualified immunity does NOT “shield police officers from punishment for their misconduct.”
That is factually incorrect.
Police officers who commit egregious acts in the performance of their duty are absolutely not indemnified from lawsuits, unlike political officials who do the same thing.
The death of George Floyd was unnecessary and was widely condemned both in and out of law enforcement. While the inflammatory language of the post claims that Mr. Floyd was “murdered” by Minneapolis police, that is subject to interpretation based on the conflicting autopsy reports and the fact that Floyd had underlying medical conditions which likely contributed to his death.
Nonetheless, we condemn the tactics used by the Minneapolis police officer, which were clearly excessive.
We are so “heartened” to see that “everyday Americans to activists, athletes, experts and lawmakers” are looking to end qualified immunity.
We are curious however what the positions of some of these athletes and Ben and Jerry’s for that matter are about Chinese suppression of free thought, putting people in concentration camps, and supporting a companies like Apple and Nike that use Chinese slave labor to produce their products? In particular, we are curious what the NBA athletes feel about systemic racism in China.
We aren’t hearing much about that.
It is interesting that for a company as “woke” as Ben and Jerry’s, they have their headquarters in very white Waterbury, Vermont with a primarily white workforce. Yet they lecture the rest of the country, and police in particular on alleged “systemic racism.”
Quite evidently, Ben and Jerry’s seems to employ the very same racism they accuse others of employing.
Let’s examine statements made in the blog:
“Qualified immunity allows police officers, while on duty, to do pretty much anything to anybody, without fear of punishment.” That is a lie.
From Lawfare blog: “Qualified immunity is a judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations—like the right to be free from excessive police force—for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate ‘clearly established law’” Nowhere in that legal definition is it implied or stated that officers can “do pretty much anything to anybody without fear of punishment.”
The next paragraph:
“Anyone who’s seen the videos of police violence during these protests is probably thinking exactly what we’re thinking, so let’s all say it out loud: Qualified immunity has to go.”
This paragraph is probably the most tone deaf in the blog. Clearly, Ben and Jerry’s has not been privy to a television these past two months, which have shown police officers being mowed down by cars, shot, beaten, stabbed, had any number of dangerous objects hurled at them, and been the targets of commercial grade fireworks, including mortars.
Here are some of those “peaceful protests”:
Ben and Jerry’s is implying that police are not permitted to use force against those who are trying to seriously injure or even kill them. Talk about ignorant.
We would like to call attention to three federal police officers in Portland who have likely lost their sight because of being targeted with lasers. The biggest risk Ben and Jerry’s employees take is freezer burn.
The blog then goes on to give a convoluted definition of qualified immunity and claims that the Supreme Court has ruled that public officials including police can pretty much do anything they want, which is clearly a lie.
The United States Supreme Court has said that in order for a claim to be valid under qualified immunity, the officer’s conduct must have violated established case law.
There are innumerable cases that have been decided by the Court which provide a basis to determine egregiousness of an incident.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
The blog says that “an officer can escape punishment if a court hasn’t already ruled that “his or her exact action was unconstitutional.” This particular standard doesn’t only apply to qualified immunity, as the blog alleges but is a standard that applies to any number of possible cases that could come before the Court.
There are innumerable checks and balances in place which makes qualified immunity an impossible defense under egregious circumstances. Clearly the Floyd case falls under that standard.
Then we get to a section called “A Crisis of Police Violence.” This is fraught with falsehoods or at the very least incomplete information.
Claim: “As of this writing, police have killed 598 people in 2020. Police have killed, on average about 1000 people per year since 2015.”
Wow, that sounds really bad, especially when no context is provided to explain the shootings. The writer does not say out of those 598 police-involved killings, how many of them were completely justified, because that would detract from their attempted narrative that police are hunting down American people. The source for this number is a left-leaning site called “Mapping Police Violence,” not a reliable source such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Claim: “Black people make up only 13% of the US population but represent 28% of those killed by police since 2013.”
According to the Uniform Crime Report in 2016, 52% of violent crime in the United States was committed by blacks, with whites committing 45% of violent crimes. In murder cases, blacks committed 60.8% of murders, while whites committed 35.9%. So, while the statistics on percentage of population and percentage of blacks killed by police are correct, the fact that blacks commit larger percentage of violent crimes may explain that number. Pesky facts.
Claim: “Black men are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men.” See above
Claim: “Black women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than white women.” See above
Claim: “About 1 in 1000 black men and boys can expect to be killed by police.” See above.
Claim: “How often are police officers arrested and charged for all this ‘unnecessary anti-Black violence and death?’ Hardly ever.”
Again, the writer fails to look into each case to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the police shooting. Every police department in the country save a small minority place officers on administrative duty pending a post-shooting investigation.
A majority of such investigations are conducted not by the police department in question, but by DA’s, states’ attorneys, state investigative task forces and other entities. Qualified immunity has nothing to do with the criminal aspect of officers not being charged, which shows that the author is clueless about what they are writing. This claim is false.
Then, the author goes full “1619 Project,” basically backing the claim of far-left reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, who works for the New York Times. For those who have thankfully been able to avoid being subjected to this bull crap rewriting of American history, Hannah-Jones and the New York Times make the claim that the history of the United States as a country did not start on July 4, 1776 but rather 400 years ago when the first slaves were brought to Virginia. Oh by the way, this nonsense is being taught in some American schools.
The blog writer goes into a litany of America’s history with slavery, conveniently forgetting that we fought a Civil War between the states which cost hundreds of thousands of American lives to end slavery.
And while the Civil War did not end oppression of blacks in some areas of the country, reconstruction ended much of it.
Still pockets of racism remained in the country, primarily in the South which in some cases held on to its Confederate history. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was overwhelmingly opposed by the way by Democrats, led to much needed reforms in the civil rights arena.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equality and today, despite what Ben and Jerry’s and Democratic activists imply, we are in a much better place.
The blog claims that the so-called “Jim Crow” laws morphed into “mass incarceration,” and alleges “deliberate criminalization and over-policing.” Once again, cherry picked statistics are used whereby they claim that blacks constitute 13% of the US population but 40% of incarcerated prisoners.
We once again direct your attention to the above statistics on rate of offending. If you offend at a higher rate, especially for serious crimes, your incarceration rate is going to be higher. It’s simple math.
The blogs then goes on to name the names of the alleged “victims” of “systemic police violence”…the usual…George Floyd (unjustified use of force), Breonna Taylor (killed when her boyfriend shot at police), Ahmaud Arbery (not a police killing), Rayshard Brooks (a justified police killing despite officers being charged by a crooked district attorney), Tony McDade (armed with a handgun), Sandra Bland (committed suicide), Eric Garner (officers were cleared of wrongdoing), Michael Brown (robbed convenience store, fought with officer, attempted to take his gun; officer cleared by US Department of Justice), Rekia Boyd (questionable police shooting), and Tamir Rice (armed with facsimile gun believed to be real by officers).
It’s great to throw a bunch of names at the wall, but out of all of the ones named by the blog, none of them save one were improper uses of deadly force. And it is likely that had any of the above offenders been white, they would have met the same fate. It is simply not possible to prove the case that these individuals were shot due to their race.
The blog then goes on to ask support for the House’s garbage police reform bill, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
We’ve got a great idea. Ben and Jerry’s should stick to gouging people $5.00 a pint for their ice cream, and the founders, who are also down with the anti-police schtick go enjoy the millions of dollars they have earned on the backs of low paid employees and gullible consumers. While some may fall for cute names such as “Chubby Hubby” and “Cherry Garcia,” we do however have suggestions for future ice cream flavors…how about “Choke on Woke?” “Cow Dung?” “Mmmmm…Tastes Like Vomit?”
Might we suggest ice cream such as Haagen Dazs or Dove? They taste better, are probably cheaper, and you’re not supporting a company that supports a Marxist agenda.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.