By Steve Pomper
In many American cities, the leadership—mayors, city councils, and prosecutors—are so aligned with the rioting radicals, there is no way they will ever appoint a police chief in whom rank-and-file officers can have confidence. This has been the case for a while, but it’s gotten worse.
When I was hired back in the early 90s, our chief was the last (in our department) of what officers called a “true chief of police.” He’d come to Seattle from the NYPD, and, love him or hate him, he ran the police department.
This was not the case after that chief, when our mayors with the consent of the city councils began appointing chiefs of mayor rather than chiefs of police. As city politicians began increasing the politicization of the police department, they needed to keep police chiefs under their control.
It was many years before the department got a chief that officers could support. That was Carmen Best. I was retired by then, but, years earlier, she’d been my sergeant. The proof about rank-and-file approval was apparent because Mayor Durkan did not initially select Best for the job. Only after both community organizations and the police union protested (how often does that happen?), did the mayor finally appoint her.
So, what did that get Chief Carmen Best and the officers who tried to support her? Her untimely retirement. During the era of the CHOP/CHAZ, “summer of love” lunacy, the mayor and city council had placed Chief Best in a position where she could no longer protect her city or her officers during the rioting. She felt forced to retire. The city councils defund the police efforts had placed Chief Best in a position where she would, among other distasteful things, have to fire 100 officers. Something she would not do.
Now, let’s travel south to a city that appears to have a chief of mayor rather than a chief of police. In Los Angeles, the LAPD has been suffering under horrendous leadership from a mayor more committed to the violent radicals than to the city’s police officers. Yes, Mayor Eric Garcetti is down with the insurgents’ cause. But, since he is a mayor, and is political by definition, though we can disagree with his politics, he can side with whom he chooses and with whom the voters will tolerate.
According to an L.A. Times article, as reprinted at Police1, LAPD officers are upset with the lack of support they are receiving from city leadership, especially from their police chief (chief of mayor). In a recent study conducted by the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), the union found, “Nearly nine out of 10 Los Angeles Police Department officers did not feel supported by Chief Michel Moore and did not believe he or other commanders provided strong leadership during recent protest and unrest…” (notice the Times won’t use the word, “riots”).
Many officers were dismayed with the chief for “cowering” to Black Lives Matter, a Marxist group that actively calls for killing police officers. This came in the form of Chief Moore kneeling with BLM radicals. As Jennifer Van Lear reported at RedState:
“A cache of text message records from Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore’s phone during the Black Lives Matter protests/riots in early June shows that indeed, as we reported, officers were pressured to ‘take a knee’ by superiors—and that the chief himself was also being pressured, by LA City Council President Nury Martinez.”
According to the L.A. Times article, “officers panned the chief for kneeling with protesters—a sign, to them, that he was capitulating to a violent crowd.” Incidentally, Mayor Garcetti also knelt with BLM, while the activists chanted, “Defund police!”
Garcetti and Moore are not alone. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio infamously abetted a violent organization who painted Marxist graffiti on a city street (without a permit). And NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan also knelt with the radicals in an attempt to “de-escalate the violence.” How did the radicals reward Chief Monahan for his gesture? They called for his resignation, demonstrated at his home, and served him up a couple of knuckle-sandwiches.
During an interview with Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends this past June, one of America’s dwindling true journalists, Lara Logan, addressed this issue head-on. She said, “Take a look at what they’re calling ‘copaganda,’ now. Instead of propaganda, they’re calling it copaganda. And this is all this messaging that’s going out about policemen who are taking a knee. You just showed that on this show, right? That’s called copaganda. This is the grossest, most blatant attempt at copaganda I’ve ever seen. Anyone hugging or kneeling with them is a fool or is doing counterinsurgency.”
Logan validates the sentiments expressed by the LAPD rank and file about their chief of mayor’s actions. The union stopped short of calling for an “official no-confidence vote for Moore.” The union doesn’t feel Mayor Garcetti, whom officers also targeted with their survey’s wrath, “would replace Moore with anyone better.”
Chief Moore sent a letter to the police officers’ union, expressing his feelings about the officers’ rebuke. In the letter, he offered this apology:
“First, I mean to expressly acknowledge that I hear you, see you, and am committed to doing a better job as your Chief,” Moore wrote. “Second, I apologize to those of you who I failed by my actions or words. I believed in my heart each action was the right thing to do. However, there are things that I wish I could go back in time and do over.”
This is fine, and the chief may be sincerely sorry—now. However, his initial actions, kneeling with radicals, reflect his nature. There are many law enforcement leaders, police chiefs and sheriffs across the nation, who would never have knelt with violent anti-cop groups responsible for the prolific nationwide rioting and looting.
With radicals calling for his resignation and no support from the cops, there is one thing you can be sure of. If he is replaced, and the rank-and-file officers prefer a particular candidate for their new chief of police, there is an extremely high likelihood (forgone conclusion, perhaps) the city’s political leadership will not appoint that candidate. They will choose the candidate who will function as the most subservient chief of mayor they can find.