I recently watched the news reports of London riots and couldn’t believe my eyes.
I’ll never forget the frightful feeling working in the midst of urban riots. Not fun. I was in Miami during four of them. Fortunately, I was never injured, nor did I injure anyone. I was one of the lucky cops.
It’s when you see the worst of people. It’s when you see the unseeable; violence for the sake of violence, a society out of control and fear gripping every human being in its path. A normal community suddenly becomes abnormal and all sanity disappears.
We in law enforcement, learned from it.
We learned that violence in a breath away in the minds and hearts of people on-the-edge who have developed hatred in their hearts. All that’s needed is a spark, a contrived reason, an excuse.
It really only takes a few to get it started. Then, it spreads like wildfire. It’s contagious to the young males who have little else and are saturated with drugs, alcohol and testosterone. Perhaps one or two dozen core insurgents start it off, knowing that followers and young radicals will jump into the fray for the sheer fun of it, looting stores, destroying property, being part of the fracas, exerting a surge of power, however temporary, because it — well — feels good.
In May of 1980 in Miami, the excuse was the acquittal of five police officers who were tried for killing an unarmed black man with night sticks. The same happened in 1992 when cops were acquitted of unnecessary brutality on Rodney King in Los Angeles.
Perhaps they should not have been acquitted. But they were. And the rioters went about burning, overturning cars, smashing businesses, torturing innocents, killing people and bringing a lot of attention to their “cause.” But their outrage only ravaged their own communities as they burned and maimed and killed among their own people, causing pain and suffering to black-owned business, schools, streets and children.
Perhaps O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony should not have been acquitted either. But they were. Many folks were certainly upset, but they did not storm the communities en masse to kill, maim, burn and destroy.
Thirsting for news, the media invades the hood in search of human interest stories. The spin draws sympathy for the rioters and their plight of seeking justice for injustice. Meanwhile, less attention is paid to the truly innocent people who suffered and had nothing to do with the “issue” being protested. Despite the violence, police officers are ever-so-careful to avoid any action that could be remotely interpreted as “unnecessary,” to the point of taking no action at all. Timidity is seen as weakness, and the insurgents are emboldened further to carry out their terror.
It’s worse overseas. London rioters recently made international news when a man was shot by a police officer and the streets around England went into chaos. These kinds of shootings are not folly. In my thirty years, I’ve never ever known a cop that went to work wanting to shoot any man or woman, unless he/she was life-threatened. In London, the police were almost powerless to contain the situation, partly because there were so few of them and because they were under orders to avoid confrontation. Basically, police were overrun, over powered and embarrassed. The real losers were the citizens of England, because they saw that their country was vulnerable to sheer anarchy and their protectors were treated like wimps.
When the representatives (enforcers) of law and order are usurped by anarchy, a society will ultimately break down. From there, the purveyors of evil and power have Carte Blanche to impose their will, almost unrestrained. Eventually, freedoms of press, religion, and especially, speech, will go the way of the Dodo bird. That’s when folks will scratch their heads: Huh? What happened?
No one says it better than British writer/comic, Pat Condell, who is well known for his biting video monologues on sensitive issues. Please take four minutes to watch this one:
Two years ago, unhappy Islamists demonstrated in the streets of London, and when laws were being broken, the police tried to step in. Instead of maintaining order, the lawless demonstrators chased the London police who acted like wimps, scattering like frightened sheep. Obviously, they were under orders to run, not fight. That really made people feel protected. Check it out:
Can this come to America? Absolutely.
It’s only a matter of time.