Though October 21 of this year, we have lost 100 officers, deputies and agents in the line of duty. Of those deaths, 38 were by gunfire, 2 by assault and 3 by vehicular assault. One would have to question what that number would look like if our law enforcement community were unarmed, all the time.

That is exactly what a congressional candidate (who is endorsed by the same progressive group that backed Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar in 2018) is proposing to do.

Jamaal Bowman, a New York City congressional candidate endorsed by Justice Democrats, has proposed taking guns from police officers in American cities.

“It’s in the best interest of both law enforcement and communities to implement major policy changes so that the racist institutional biases that led to the use of force against Atatiana Jefferson, Tamir Rice and so many others will never happen again. We need a country with fewer guns and more justice and safety,” Bowman told Fox and Friends.

How do we create a safer society when cops can not only defend themselves against criminals with weapons, but they cannot protect the communities that they serve?

“It’s time to disarm the police,” Jamaal Bowman wrote on Twitter before retweeting one user’s response that police in the United Kingdom “carry no guns” and thus have “killed no citizens.”

It is worth noting that of the 253 British officers killed in the line of duty since 1900, 165, or 65%, died after being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death. Only 20 of those deaths were accidental.  The rest involved vehicle crashes while in pursuit and falling through/from roofs in pursuit of a suspect.

Bowman, who is a Bronx middle school principal, is challenging incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th Congressional District.

If this call is typical of the policies he would try to enact, Bowman may soon join the majority of failed Justice Democrats-endorsed candidates. Bowman’s proposal is “nonsensical,” according to Manhattan Institute legal policy expert Rafael Mangual.

“The proposal itself is something that I don’t think is to be taken seriously,” Mangual said. “This idea that we can disarm police, even in New York, which has now relatively low rates of gun crime, is really nonsensical.”

Despite the media attention they receive, police homicides are rare. Mangual pointed to recent research that found 99.22 percent of arrests did not involve the use of any force. Among cases where force was used, 98 percent resulted in “no or mild injury.”

“This idea that we are suffering an epidemic of police shootings that are unjustified is nonsensical,” Mangual said. “The vast majority of police shootings involve armed suspects that are actively resisting and posing threats to law enforcement.”

According to the Washington Post‘s database of police-use of fatal force, there have been 32 police shootings in New York City and the five boroughs since 2015. Just one of the individuals killed in that time was unarmed. Another was carrying a fake pistol which he had just used to rob a bodega and pointed at the officers who shot him. Both of those cases were part of the 14 deaths in New York in 2019 figures to date.

The statistics do not bode well for Bowman. Since he brought up the UK, we will include numbers from across the pond.

He is likely underestimating the contrast between the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of crime rates. According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, there were roughly 131 homicides in London in 2018, a rate of 1.6 per 100,000 residents. That figure was actually the highest in a decade, thanks to a spate of stabbings that made international news.

In that same time period, London’s homicide rate was less than half New York City’s for that year. According to the NYPD, the city experienced 295 homicides, for a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 population. The Bronx, which lies in the 16th district, had it even worse, with a homicide rate of 6.4 per 100,000 population.

Essentially, Principal Bowman, stop using statistics from the UK to support radical ideas here in the US that will endanger not only law enforcement, but the general public as well.

A quick look at Bowman’s campaign website shows that he is running on a platform of ‘restorative justice.’

He wants to legalize marijuana, end cash bail, solitary confinement and “excessive sentencing.”

While there is no mention of it on the website, being that he labels himself a progressive, we must assume that he is also in support of abolishing the 2ndAmendment.

We have seen most of the Democratic presidential candidates calling for confiscation of our firearms, but few have been so brazen to recommend that same gun ban on cops?

Does he believe that disarming officers is only at the local, city level, or does that include state and federal law enforcement as well?

He is also supportive of the Green New Deal, free public college and elimination of student loan debt. He would like to abolish ICE and even links to the NYC chapter of the ACLU and their Know Your Rights page, which is as anti-police as it comes.

Scanning through some of the items listed there are cause for concern. Some of the Know Your Rights segments include: What to Do If You Are Stopped By Immigrations Officers, What to Do When Interacting With ICE and What to Do If You Are Stopped By Police.

  • Police may stop and briefly detain you only if there is reasonable suspicion that you committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime.
  • You should ask if you are under arrest or free to leave.
  • In New York, you are not required to carry ID, and you don’t have to show ID to a police officer. If you are issued a summons or arrested, however, and you refuse to produce ID or tell officers who you are, the police may detain you until you can be positively identified.
  • In New York City, if officers are investigating criminal activity, they’re required to identify themselves and let you know the reason for the interaction. If they don’t arrest or ticket you, officers are required to give you a business card at the end of the encounter. Regardless of the circumstances, unless an officer is responding to an emergency situation, local law requires any officer to provide their identification and a business card upon request.
  • Don’t bad-mouth a police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.

They also gave some good advice.

  • Stay calm and in control of your words, body language, and emotions.
  • Don’t get into an argument with the police.
  • Never bad-mouth a police officer.
  • Remember that anything you say or do can be used against you.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Don’t run.
  • Don’t touch any police officer.
  • Don’t resist, even if you believe you are innocent.
  • If you complain at the scene or tell the police they’re wrong, do so in a non-confrontational way that will not escalate the situation.
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  • If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately.
  • Remember officers’ badge numbers, patrol car numbers, and physical descriptions.
  • Write down everything you remember as soon as possible.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, take photos of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you get medical attention first. Ask for copies of your medical treatment files.

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It’s not just happening in New York City.

A city councilor in Burlington, Vermont is pushing to disarm police officers in the Queen City.

“How much is the lethal force — is it really causing at the end of the day, more harm than benefit?” said Perri Freeman, a self-proclaimed progressive representing the city.

She floated the idea at a recent council meeting.  Her suggestion was that communities should be thinking about new ways of policing in the United States.

According to Freeman, she spent lots of time in Iceland and police are unarmed there.

Where is the “eyeroll” emoji when you need one?

She tries to make the argument that there are only a few times that police need weapons.

You know, like the recent “mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso and such”.

She also added that “the day in and day out of police work is not engaging with that”, and so they apparently don’t need guns.

She argues it’s time to change the culture of policing.  She argues that current policing a reaction to “systemic problems like inequality”.

Here’s the good news.

Right now, it’s only conversations she’s having with other local politicians or police leaders – but apparently she’s trying to gauge support from the Burlington community.

According to the head of Burlington’s police officers union, such a plan “wouldn’t fit” in any American city.

“There are a lot of guns around, and we as the police try to put ourselves in the position of advantage all the time, and to show up to an armed incident unarmed? I can’t think of anything more disadvantaged than that,” said Dan Gilligan, president of the Burlington Police Officer’s Association.

Translation: go back under the rock you’ve been hiding under.

Don’t take it personally, Freeman wants cops to know.  Her goal is simply to “keep everyone safe”.

“It’s not an overnight thing. It’s a gradual program. It’s talking about how to we really shift and talk about doing things maybe differently in a way that might be better in the long run,” she said.

She’s not the first genius to push for unarmed police officers.

Last year in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler pushed for unarmed police officers.  They’d be “Public Safety Support Specialists”, or PS3s, who would be non-sworn officers who do not carry guns. 

“They will be engaged in the community in non-emergency calls, so that’s things like property crimes, break-ins,” Wheeler tells WW.

The concept came from a proposal in the 2016 police union contract approved under then-Mayor Charlie Hales.  The idea was to create Community Service Officers who would respond to minor property crimes and nuisance calls, among other things.

K9 Mick

K9 Rico and handler, Officer Jeff Dorn. (Courtesy Portland Police Bureau)

So where did they find the money?  By cutting the Mounted Patrol – or cops on horseback – from the 2018-2018 city budget.

The actual deadline was set for January 1, 2019 to implement the PS3s – but it was a date that they didn’t anticipate having the PS3s hired by.

The Portland Police Bureau says it would begin processing some background checks for potential hires in January.

But there remained a dispute about how autonomous the unarmed officers will be.

Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner, a police officer and staunch supporter of law and order, says the PS3s will not respond to calls for service without a sworn officer. That said… they might provide support by manning the front desks at precincts or waiting for tow trucks at car accidents.

It’s a much smaller and less public role than what Portland mayors have pledged.

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