Calls for ‘police reform’ belie the need for societal reform

Author and Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald has offered a brilliant piece in The Spectator on the death of Tyre Nichols, and the renewed calls for massive police reform. 

Read the article here.

No one, including Mac Donald, is excusing or justifying the actions by the Memphis police who arrested and assaulted Nichols in early January, leading to his death three days later. But Mac Donald offers important information that pushes back against the dangerous and damaging narrative perpetuated by President Biden on down, that 1) police are the single biggest threat to people of color, and 2) the only solution is massive police reform, and even less police enforcement. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The risks in policing are the opposite of the ones portrayed by race activists.  And the risks in the black community are also the opposite of the ones portrayed by race activists.  It is criminals, not the police, who are the oppressors, and when the police back off, as they did after the Floyd race riots, more black lives are lost.  Biden, Benjamin Crump, Al Sharpton and others have nothing to say about those casualties.”

Mac Donald makes this concluding prediction — one that is both accurate and depressing:

“The country will take the wrong lessons from the Nichols death. All of policing will be condemned as a blight upon black men. Already calls for the abolition of the police are on the rise.  Expect proactive policing to drop further in the renewed climate of anti-cop rhetoric.  The current recruitment and retention crisis will worsen.”  

And sadly, the reaction to these lessons learned will continue to disproportionately harm the very communities police reformists claim to be looking out for.

We will be far better off as a nation when we finally acknowledge what we truly need — massive societal reform. All else can begin to come together when and if we do and can’t if we don’t.