Police today are working in a new reality

This week Minneapolis police officer Jordan Davis was shot in the line of duty while responding to a report of a burglary in a high crime area of the city. Thankfully, Officer Davis is reported to be in fair condition and the prognosis is for a full recovery. At first glance this might sound like a sad, but unfortunately routine example of a first responder going up against a crook and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But this story has a much more sinister twist. Davis was not confronting the burglar when the attempt on his life took place. He was outside taking a witness statement when he was ambushed in what could only be described as an attempted assassination.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau met with the injured officer and his family at the hospital. She said she believes the officer was ­targeted.

“There is little doubt that an officer was the intended target of this shooting and that this officer just happened to be the one who was there,” Harteau said in a statement…

“This is an example of what can happen so fast in a cop’s job,’’ said police union chief John Delmonico. “They believe that law enforcement was the target — not this specific cop — and he never saw it coming.”

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting “a cowardly act.”

This “local story” wouldn’t have even caught my attention had it not been picked up by Rick Moran at The American Thinker. And he sees a more sinister pattern in what’s happening out in the streets today.

Ferguson may be a distant memory for some, but the impact of the demonstrations that demonized and called for action against the police is still being felt. The impunity of criminals who feel that cops are fair game is a direct result of protestors who were calling for blood across the country and who have enabled this dangerous mindset.

I’m glad the officer was not seriously injured. But we’re kidding ourselves if we ignore the fact that the game has changed for police, putting all of us in greater danger.

The game has changed, and Rick is correct to point this out. For quite a few generations we lived in a time where the childhood game of cops and robbers was, for the most part, a reflection of reality on our streets. There was always crime, but when the police caught up with somebody, any shooting which took place was most likely an act of desperation on the part of those seeking to avoid a lengthy jail term. If escape was an option, most criminals would flee. There are legendary tales of the “game” which took place between mafia families and the authorities. For the most part, the criminals kept to themselves and avoided engaging the police. If they were caught, they would rely on crooked judges and bribes to set them free, or at least an equally corrupt prison system to ensure they were at least somewhat comfortable while they did their time. Gang wars against the cops were against the code.

While there were obviously exceptions, this seemed to keep civilization on a relatively even keel. As long as the majority of the citizens were not only honest, but on the side of the cops, law enforcement could remain effective. It was the system which maintained the thin veneer of civilization upon which we all rely. But as Moran writes, the times they are a changing. When people brazenly march down the avenues of cities calling for the death of law enforcement officers and police are slaughtered in ambush scenarios, making temporary “heroes” of their killers in the media, the world becomes a more dangerous place.

Sadly, this is not some hyperbolic warning about a possible future. The bell has already been rung and police are being hunted for sport. And we can’t reverse this tide by chasing individual criminals or hearing pontifications from politicians. If we want to restore and maintain order there needs to be a renewal of community support for the police, not just as individuals, but for what they represent.

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