Bashing Critics Of Brutality Betrays Efforts To Reform Police
Last fall an apparently unbalanced survivalist steeped in anti-government paranoia murdered a Pennsylvania State Trooper and seriously wounded another Trooper during a sniper attack. Recently an apparently unbalanced man with a criminal past murdered two New York City policemen as they sat in their patrol car hours after he allegedly shot a former girl friend.
Authorities said Eric Frien, the man now charged with attacking the State Troopers, acted out of anti-government beliefs to “wake people up” because he wanted to make a “change in government.”
Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who executed those two New York City policemen before he shot himself on a subway platform acted out of beliefs opposed to police brutality according to announcements from authorities based on Brinsley’s Internet postings.
Brinsley shot the officers as revenge for the police killings of Eric Garner in the Staten Island section of New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, authorities claimed, based on his internet messages. He reportedly rode a bus from Baltimore to NYC, authorities said. After shooting his former girl friend. In NYC, he then went to Brooklyn, where he randomly shot Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were on a temporary assignment there in a squad car.
The murderous act of the unbalanced Eric Frien, who is white, and the murderous act of the unbalanced Brinsley, who is black, however, have triggered starkly different responses from law enforcement supporters.
Few of those law enforcement supporters publicly berated the entire anti-government movement during or after the 48-day search that ended in the capture of Frien -– a manhunt that cost Pennsylvania over $10-million.
Yet, shortly after those brutal murders by Brinsley, many supporters of law enforcement unleashed a barrage of caustic barbs at the anti-brutality movement and persons targeted by law enforcement supporters for backing anti-brutality protests. Law enforcement supporters have been incensed by the anti-brutality protests that have roiled cities across the country during the past few weeks.
Those law enforcement supporters that linked the lone act of Brinsley to all critics of police brutality significantly did not link the lone act of Frien to all critics who consider government to be the enemy. While anti-brutality protests have been predominately peaceful although sometimes raucous, anti-government activism includes vocal proponents whose adherents have a long history of violent and often murderous attacks police and prosecutors, and even on the public, terrorism actions that have killed dozens, including children.