Issues & Insights
Rosa Pineda

Protests, Riots, Death By Cop: Have We Learned Nothing?

I&I Editorial

A man died tragically after being held in a savage knee-to-neck hold by a policeman. What was the officer thinking? Protests have turned to riots in several of our big cities. Why does this happen? History is a teacher but we ignore its lessons.

The “we” above, however, is more of a “they.” In a nation of about 330 million, those who refuse to learn number only a few thousand: the few law enforcement officers who abuse rather than protect and serve; the elected officials who don’t police the police nor police the riotous, and even tacitly encourage violence; and the rioters themselves who on some instances refuse to govern their own emotions and in others plan to sow societal disorder.

The rest of us, though, say about 329.95 million, who aren’t white supremacists, or bigots, or racists, or feckless politicians pay for their offenses. There’ll be more bad cops until local lawmakers make better hires, and crack the union arrangement that protects the rogues. And another generation of rioters and looters will follow the criminals we have today unless those same policymakers make it clear that outlaw behavior will not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, everyone else just wishes to go about their business in a peaceful society.

But we can’t. We’re interrupted by intermittent societal convulsions, so are confined by curfews, find ourselves hoping violence doesn’t flare up where we are, and watch helplessly as businesses are emptied and burned, their owners assaulted, either while trying to protect their property or in dealing with the financial ruins of a destroyed enterprise.

It’s heartbreaking and infuriating. Just as it was in 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1992, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

We’ve seen these sad and appalling incidents so many times. Can’t we do better? Well, it’s really not up to us. We’re reliant on lawmakers and true community leaders (not the usual agitators who stoke rage and create division rather than bridge gaps). Unfortunately, too many of the former are ill-equipped for the offices of power they occupy, and too few of the latter have the influence necessary to mend the communities that need it the most.

Policymakers can’t fear taking hard lines on violence. Nor can they waste more time pretending that Antifa is not toxic to our civilization and must be treated as an organized crime syndicate.

They can’t continue, either, to endorse divisive figures while decent men and women who can repair the damage done by the self-appointed, media-annointed “leaders” of the black community are marginalized. There are extraordinary Americans out there who can do what Barack Obama was expected to do but had no interest in doing, which is to bring racial healing. Identify and promote them.

Forget that their politics might not fit the leftist narrative that drives the Democrats and the media. Support their efforts and they will achieve in years what others haven’t been able to in decades.

The media could play a role, as well. But there’s little hope there. They are parasites who feed on conflict and disorder. Like the policymakers who pretend it’s not their job to make law enforcement accountable, then act as if they have no choice but to appease the violent, and the community “leaders” whose primary interest is to build their own empires, they have learned nothing.

But this is of course because they don’t want to. So the rest of us have to keep cleaning up behind them.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • The only racists I have ever seen are in the Democrat party, anyone who judges someone by the color of their skin is a racist. Look at the Antisemitism in the Democrat party, look how they treat any one who dares leave the plantation. I until the Democrats take a long hard look in the mirror, nothing will change. Besides without, victims, hate, greed and envy just what does today’s Democrat Party stand for.

  • Since a cop is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black man than an unarmed black man is to be killed by a cop, perhaps your question should be re-phrased?

  • And when the riots and mayhem move into the suburbs what happens then. When Chevy Chase and Silver Springs, Brentwood etc. get looted and homes burned downed what will they say when they learn their multi million dollar home in not insured against civil unrest? Will it still be that it is justified and give them their space. It was never more important than now to exercise your second amendment rights because the government is not there to protect you or your property. The police officer is armed to protect him/her not you. If you are in an anti gun state I am sorry for you. I have moved from two in my lifetime and this time they will have to wheel me out.

  • Police officers likely won’t arrest people in the future.
    There was a “Ferguson effect” on policing, and so likely this latest case will have an even more dramatic effect on policing.
    In California, unless someone steals or shop lifts items more valuable than 950 dollars, the police aren’t going to respond.
    I think there is a similar situation in Texas, although I’m not sure what city.
    Apparently the case in Minnesota involved twenty dollars.
    There are initiative to defund the police, so the community soon will likely have self policing, or a minimal police presence.
    Likely the US will have a similar situation to Europe’s “No Go” zones, if we don’t have them now.
    I expect there will be emergency services such as fire engines, likely ambulances or life support vehicles, but defunding the police is likely to occur in some communities.

  • “There are extraordinary Americans out there who can do what Barack Obama was expected to do but had no interest in doing, which is to bring racial healing.”

    Well said, but there are millions of Americans who still view him as as messianic creature and hang on his every word. He wasted his entire 8 years in office, doing virtually nothing to assist “his people” whose support and votes he counted on. All he would have had to say is “stay in school, get married, don’t have babies out of wedlock, get a job and keep it, look at how Michele and I have succeeded in our lives.” Instead, he continually talked down to the black community, reiterating that they are victims oppressed by whites (especially white cops), cementing their dependency on governmental handouts. What a wasted 8 years.

  • “Law Enforcement” in this country are equal-opportunity murderers. Statistics show they murder AT LEAST as many whites per capita as they do Blacks and Hispanics. Remember Justime Damond???

    The only good cop is a dead cop!!! It ain’t just Federal “Law Enforcement” who are putrid!

  • I want to know when Black Americans are going to grow up and realize you never get to resist a police officer without consequences.

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