Email Ken Stallings   Law Enforcement Must Remain Lawful

  General Aviation


  Ferret Chronicles

  Flight Sim downloads


In a Constitutional Republic, law enforcement exists at the pleasure of the people.  If the people start to regard law enforcement officers as no longer serving in their interest, then not only do the people have the right to destroy said law enforcement organizations, but indeed the duty to destroy them.  This is not a radical idea, but instead the natural rights of the people expressed in the most vital way.

Central to this tenet is that law enforcement must remain lawful.  All citizens either overtly swear allegiance to the law, or implicitly agree to obey the law.  But, in a very public way all law enforcement officials take oaths of office, most swearing the same allegiance to the Constitution and the rule of law as do our military personnel.

It's no accident that the core part of these oaths contain an almost verbatim phraseology about supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and bearing true faith and allegiance to the same.  State law enforcement officers vary their oaths to include the same allegiance to the Constitution of their respective states.

Yet, we have seen a troubling rise in actions by law enforcement that fail to maintain the obligations of these oaths.  Our FBI and national intelligence agencies violated the law in carrying out an illegal domestic espionage campaign against the Trump campaign.  Bad enough as that is, and worthy of determined investigation and criminal prosecution, a more troubling series of actions is present.

The criminal actions of four Minneapolis police officers, with one murdering a citizen already handcuffed and clearly subdued, and three others standing idle and refusing to intercede to protect the life of the arrested man, are a travesty of all justice and oaths of office.  Few will disagree with that, and rightfully it appears that both state and federal investigations are underway, likely followed by a series of criminal indictments.

Police across America are revealing a wholesale outrage and bitter disappointment over the conduct of these former police officers, who were fired soon after video of the action was made public.  This outrage is genuine and acutely painful, as these law enforcement officers add betrayal to the long list of offenses these four are guilty of.

The worry is also that Americans with a more sinister purpose are already leveraging the murder to carry out campaigns of violence, rioting, looting, arson, and mass theft.  People by the thousands are in public wearing masks, not to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines, but instead to hide their identities to aid in these illegal actions.

These thugs are who they are, worthy of sharing the same prison cells these four former cops shall soon occupy.

More worrisome for the good police officers are the many more Americans who are simply protesting in outrage, but doing so in accordance with the laws.  These Americans have lost faith in law enforcement.  And it is to this point that law enforcement officers at all levels would do very well to soberly consider something profound. 

Existing at the pleasure of the people, police officers cannot ever become too comfortable with the notion that the public has an inexhaustible supply of patience for bad cops.  Too many good people already have had their patience exceeded, and no longer support cops.  Epidemic crime in many urban areas is aided by a public increasingly alien to cooperating with law enforcement, nor even regarding police as their friends and servants.

We've gone a long way from the public examples of Adam-12 and Dragnet.  In the late sixties, there may have been a cultural counter-revolution segment, but most Americans knew who the good guys were.  Today, there is such a schism that one cannot feel comfortable making any sweeping conclusions about where we stand as a nation.

Who doesn't now have a degree of uncertainty in the integrity of federal law enforcement after the cumulative actions of Ruby Ridge, Waco, the frame up of Richard Jewell, and most recently Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the attempt to lie to the foreign surveillance court, obtain illegal warrants, unmask Americans for purely political purposes, and carry out false criminal investigations merely out of political motivations vice any real violations of law.

It's a delicate balance, and one that too many have for too long taken for granted, as they selfishly abused their offices to curry political favoritism, and had the 2016 election gone the way the mainstream media told everyone it was sure to go, these corrupt officials would have had their dirty deeds go without investigation.  That's the thin margin between America remaining a nation of laws, and truly descending into a nation of banana republic mob rule.

Nor are we dealing with the overzealous loyalty of those who rise to take the challenge of a head of state overcome by tempestuous outburst.  No, these acts were well conceived over many years, reviewed and considered.  Thomas Beckett was murdered by four knights because King Henry II, in a fit of rage, exclaimed, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?"  It's an object lesson for all good men in positions of great power to temper their emotions and beware of people too eager to destroy their integrity in the pursuit of personal power and riches.

Add in all too frequent examples of police brutality, and we have a corrosive mixture at work, with too many selfish people quite willing to extrapolate the rare corrupt act and twist it into a false narrative of general malice and dishonor.  Fair minded people listen to the angry statements of former and current police, who condemn all the corrupt acts, and conclude that most cops maintain the core of their oaths.

But, it only takes a small minority to undo an entire organization.  What we have today is too much of a minority, and we must focus intense effort into cleansing that corrupt minority from the ranks of all law enforcement.

-- Ken Stallings

This column is copyrighted under provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and all rights are reserved.  Please do not re-transmit, host, or download these columns without my written permission.