How Could that Be? US Confidence in Police is Lowest in 22 Years

Matt Agorist | FreeThoughtProject

The question burning among many Americans is this, are there more instances of police abuse now than in the past, or, is modern technology allowing us to see it, record it, and disseminate now, more than ever?

The answer to that question is a tricky one as the Free Thought Project has reported, the official means of keeping up with police misconduct, was all but non-existent. Luckily multiple citizen watchdog groups have stepped up to the plate and began their own database of police shootings and misconduct.

While finding out just how violent police have been in the past may be a tedious and nearly impossible task to undertake, Americans have quite a clear picture of the last 2 years.

In the last 2 years, America has seen police murder unarmed people on camera and get away with it. What used to shock the conscience, such as cops shooting leashed dogs, or children being shot by police, or the elderly being beaten down by cops, has sadly become commonplace in the news feeds of many Americans.

These “isolated incidents” have become the norm.

A recent Gallop poll taken earlier this month is reflecting how people feel.

Throughout the past decades, American police have ranked among the most trusted institutions in the country. This is despite their long history of enforcing immoral laws that deprive people of their freedoms for their choice of lifestyle. Somehow, people still maintain trust an institution that will kidnap, cage and kill you for possessing a plant!

Despite this long history of trust, Americans seem to be breaking free from their hypnotic curtseying.

According to Gallup,

Overall, 25% of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in the police, 27% quite a lot, 30% “some,” 16% “very little” and 2% “none.” The combined 18% who have very little or no confidence in police is the highest Gallup has measured to date.

Cellphone video, body cam footage, and dashcams are proving to be quite detrimental to America’s faith in police. After all, how man times can Americans witness a non-violent man being strangled to death over selling loose cigarettes, or a man being shot in the back over a tail light, before they say enough is enough?

Gallup contributes the decline in police confidence to numerous factors:

The actions of police in certain U.S. cities — including Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; and North Charleston, South Carolina — have recently come under scrutiny after black men were killed while being apprehended by white police officers. These events likely contributed to the decline in confidence in police, although it is important to note that Americans’ trust in police has not been fundamentally shaken — it remains high in an absolute sense, despite being at a historical low.

Americans’ confidence in the police was last at 52% in 1993, the first time Gallup included police in the list of institutions. That poll was conducted as four white Los Angeles police officers were being tried in federal court for violating Rodney King’s civil rights in the 1991 beating of King. The four had earlier been acquitted of criminal charges in state court, which provoked riots in 1992. Two of the four officers were later found guilty of violating King’s civil rights.

The results of the Gallup poll were based upon telephone interviews conducted from June 2 to June 7. The random sample consisted of 1,527 adults aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Those of us who hold police accountable are often referred to as “cop haters” and “anti-cop.” However, police officers are human beings, they are our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, and sons and daughters. To blindly hate a person because of a badge is irresponsible and dangerous as people should always be given the chance to change. However, equally irresponsible and dangerous is to blindly apologize for criminals and psychopaths because of that same badge.

Robert Higgs, an American economic historian and economist, sums up the current problem with police in America.

The whole Good Cop / Bad Cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop.

We need only consider the following:

(1) A cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them;
(2) Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked;
(3) Therefore every cop has to agree to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked.

There are no good cops.

The solution to the divide being created in this country between police and the citizens is an easy one. If the police want to boost their numbers in the polls, they need to stop agreeing to enforce cruel and unjust laws and become actual good cops.


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