The remedy is worse than the disease – Francis Bacon
After an Elgin police officer returning from medical leave and posted he was ready to show, “How cops should truly be and not this political crap. Quiet long enough,” on social media, all flippin’ hell broke loose. By the general Elgin progressive reaction, you’d a thunk Councilman Dixon just cancelled another one of his vote buying…I mean “free giveaway” events.
My first thought upon reading that story was, “Please don’t let it be a white cop, please don’t let it be a white cop!,” which, when you consider Kevin Hart’s bit on black folks’ reaction to any major crime story, may well indicate that racial equality is a little closer than we thought.
Though the fact it turned out to be an Hispanic officer didn’t put the slightest dent in this most recent over-the-top reaction to what was clearly case of blowing off a little steam.
So, for the 3,796th time I’m gonna have to insist that every police officer within the sound of my voice DELETE their social media accounts NOW, because absolutely no good can come of that perilous proposition. If it weren’t for my journalistic efforts I wouldn’t touch Facebook with a ten-foot Pole – or Russian for that matter.
The problem with public officials posting on social media is, just as it is with the Cancel Culture, those sitting-at-their-keyboard-in-their-parent’s-basement-eating-hot-pockets progressives desperately trying to prove their ideological purity are poised to pounce on any perceived disturbance in their intolerant and fragile force. And Elgin’s “Community Task Force on Policing,” led by none other than City Councilman Tish Powel, proved that very point by demonstrating their proposed “cure” is far worse than the disease.
As is par for the course, Powell said that post speaks to “the culture of policing not only in Elgin but the culture of policing in America. It’s part of why we are here. It’s going to be tough to tackle, but I’m hopeful. I think this group is going to have the ability to make some meaningful change.”
NO IT DOESN’T! It speaks to one officer having a bad day, and if the Task Force can’t – or refuses – to see the distinction between venting and bad policing they’re not going to get very far. And Powell’s bullshit statement is particularly disingenuous when you consider the latitude the Elgin Police Department have bestowed on Powell, and particularly her son.
To make matters so much worse, Task Force member Kevin Zaldivar just had to add that he wants the group “to be a catalyst to many other things in Elgin and redefining Elgin’s definition of public safety and even redefining the idea of public safety for other cities.” That horse manure is just another perfect example of the prevailing grandiose and self-aggrandizing progressive mindset that always gets in the way of any meaningful results. I don’t know about you, but whatever happened to the thought of minor victories leading to major ones?
And any purportedly rational individual who believes in the bullshit notion of defunding the police, as Zaldivar has publicly declared, shouldn’t be sitting on a law enforcement panel of any kind. Call me crazy, but might I humbly suggest more reasonable goals like starting with the situation as it stands in Elgin, choosing you’re battles a lot more wisely, and building a bridge with the EPD before making any glorious public proclamations.
Other Task Force members made other unhelpful comments, but since I don’t want to dissuade anyone from coming forward when there’s a real issue, I won’t repeat them here.
Look! The basic concept of a Community Task Force on Policing is a good one, but when you consider some of the hyper-liberals on that panel, it’s bound to fail. Please explain how this group can provide any real perspective, much less be successful, without at least two retired law enforcement officers in the mix?
And they’re certainly off to the kind of start that indicates they’ll be creating far more problems than they solve. And the worst of those hoist-by-your-own-petard issues will be the kind of diminished police officer recruiting pool that will inevitably lead to the kind of policing problems the Task Force is desperately trying to address.
Think about it! What self-respecting candidate with half a brain would see this so-far-stilted Elgin dynamic and say to themselves, “I just gotta work for that city!” Being a 2021 police officer is hard enough without having to deal with a commission that just sits there and salivates at the mere thought of you making a mistake. Really? An officer can’t have a bad social media day without a series Task Force members pouncing on them like a wounded wildebeest?
All that does is “encourage” them is to shut up and act on those thoughts instead.
But the incomprehensibly vast irony in this “hang ‘em high” partisan groupthink mentality is this is EXACTLY the kind of thing some of the overly self-important Task Force members regularly accuse the Elgin police of doing. So much for making an effort to avoid becoming what you loathe, right?
Should the officer’s superiors have been made aware of the post? Of course! But were I advising this gaggle, my suggestion would’ve been to have ONE designated Task Force member issue the following statement:
“The slew of recent EPD retirements makes it abundantly clear just how difficult it is to be a police officer these days. So, while that social media comment makes us nervous, it hardly rises to the level of the serious issues the Task Force hopes to address. Our goal is to work with the Elgin Police Department to make our community a better place, not work against them. We trust the officer was simply blowing off steam and he will continue to serve the people of Elgin in the exemplary manner he always has.”
That wasn’t so difficult, now was it?
There are some intelligent, wise, and well-intentioned folks on that Task Force, but until and unless they get a handle on their wackier self-righteous overly progressive peers and stop listening to Powell, it’ll be just another case of the “cure” being so much worse than the disease.
As you might image, generally sane Task Force member Marcus Banner and I had a rather lengthy conversation on this rather fascinating subject. And while we may not agree on exactly how to get to the promised land, we do share a propensity to understand what won’t work.
We share a rather fascinating history with law enforcement, too!
To that end, Marcus I plan on recording another hourlong conversation on the Task Force dynamic and posting it here and on YouTube within the next 30 days.