Because these sorts of posts inevitably result in accusations that I hate all police, I want to preface this post by reiterating that I am the granddaughter of an NYPD detective, whom I loved and admired more than I can say. And he was one of the key people in my life who taught me to expect more of myself and of others, so, if you're inclined to accuse me of hating police officers, how about you instead just keep that shit to yourself and chew on the irony that it was a cop who taught me to expect more.
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In September, Illinois police officer Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed, and quickly became the martyred saint of the "Blue Lives Matter" crusade, which is rooted in the fallacy that police are under greater threat of being killed than ever, even though, according to FBI data, assaults on police officers "are down sharply" and "at their lowest point since 1996 and have been dropping consistently since 2008."
But investigators have concluded that Gliniewicz, who reported "that he was pursuing two white males and a black male on foot" before he was found dying from a gunshot wound, killed himself.
On Wednesday morning, however, officials are expected to shatter that image of Gliniewicz as a heroic officer cut down in the line of duty. Instead, they will announce that the veteran cop killed himself in an elaborately staged suicide...As well it should. Because that argument is a lie.
At the news conference, authorities will announce that Gliniewicz actually took his own life, multiple law enforcement individuals told the newspapers.
The revelation could alter public perception of not only Gliniewicz but also the argument that cops are increasingly under attack in America.
In a similar case, Arkansas police officer David Houser has been charged with filing a false police report, after claiming "that he was shot in his bulletproof vest during an Oct. 24 traffic stop."
"Houser told local and state law enforcement officers that while on patrol that he had exchanged gunfire with a suspect who fled from him driving a sport utility vehicle south of England along state Highway 15," Arkansas State Police said in a press release obtained by the local TV station. "Houser also reported he had been shot by the suspect."In each case, a white police officer, inventing a story of being shot, and, in each case, an invented suspect who is a man of color. Gliniewicz blamed an imaginary black man (and two imaginary white men), and Houser blamed an imaginary Latino man.
As in Fox Lake, Houser's claim sparked a massive manhunt as officials searched the state for a Hispanic man in a silver SUV.
"We went after it as if we were going after someone who had just tried to kill a police officer," England Police Chief Nathan Cook told KTHV-TV. "The more we investigated, the more it became clear that the details of his story were inconsistent."
That is not a coincidence.
Because what underwrites the "Blue Lives Matter" crusade is a narrative that paints police (especially white, male police) as targets and victims of dangerous, criminal people of color.
Yet Houser's chief is mystified as to why Houser would invent such a tale:
Cook, who said he fired Houser on Monday, was at a loss why his officer had invented the incident.What would he gain from that? Well, Gliniewicz was nationally hailed as a hero, in no small part because the (invented) details of his death perfectly fit the narrative that police are in more danger than ever, and conveniently gave cover to every cop who shoots a person of color, because, you know, we're at war with them, and handed to people inclined to reflexively defend cops a perfect story about a fallen hero cop, one of us who was killed by one of them. Maybe that has something to do with it.
"He was a good officer," the police chief said. "I'm not a doctor, so I can't speculate why this happened. I know he's had some personal losses lately. We just hope he gets the help he needs."
"Why would you ever make that up?" added Lonoke Sheriff John Staley. "What would he gain from that? It's just amazing to me."
Maybe it's tempting to be a lying, racist cop when lying, racist cops are made into heroes.
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In other lying, racist cop news: Daniel Holtzclaw, the Oklahoma City police officer who was arrested following allegations he sexually assaulted 13 black women while on duty, is now on trial. He faces an all-white jury.
Holtzclaw specifically targeted vulnerable black women for sexual assault, and his defense is now trying to discredit those victims—using the very same reasons for which Holtzclaw targeted them—in order to secure his freedom from the all-white jury tasked with assessing his guilt.
[Defense attorney Scott Adams] foreshadowed an argument Holtzclaw's defenders have been making since the allegations became public: that these women are not to be trusted. The attorney told the jury that Holtzclaw's alleged victims have "street smarts" — "street smarts like you can't imagine." He said the woman who first reported Holtzclaw's alleged abuse smoked a joint on the night she was pulled over by the officer. (The woman later confirmed this when she briefly took the stand following opening statements.)Adams' strategy is two-fold: Demonize the black women who Holtzclaw victimized, and lionize the good officer himself: In his opening statement, Adams "sought to rehabilitate Holtzclaw's reputation...and characterized Holtzclaw as an 'all American good guy.'"
In a statement to BuzzFeed News last year following Holtzclaw's bond hearing, his family said the "witness and officer testimony presented by the prosecution … is based on solicited testimony by the police department of felons, prostitutes and others who would have personal motives beyond the basic truth to fabricate their stories."
Of course he is. Aren't they all?