No one wants to be the next YouTube star.

White House won't back its own FBI director, denies 'Ferguson effect' has cops overly cautious

By —— Bio and Archives October 27, 2015

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If you know any cops at all, ask them. They’ll tell you. Every time it becomes necessary to deal with a potential lawbreaker - whether we’re talking about a simple traffic stop or someone getting violent with the cop or with someone else - it’s always in their back of their minds that the slightest aggressive move could result in the media showing up and completely misrepresenting the situation, or worse, someone shooting a video with their phone, then editing the footage so they can upload it to YouTube and further the fashionable narrative of thuggish cops preying on the citizenry.

And you bet it affects their performance. One cop friend of mine in California told me they won’t chase suspects, at all, because, “if I catch you, I will have to do something that hurts you - that’s my training, and its for my own protection - and these days that’s just when the media shows up.”

So it should hardly seem remarkable that FBI Director James Comey has recognized what’s going on:

“In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?” he asked in his Friday remarks. “I don’t know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior.”

  Ray Kelly, the former commissioner of the New York Police Department, said Monday that police are no longer “taking the initiative,” which he said accounts for some of the rise in crime.

  “I commend Jim Comey for telling it like it is,” Kelly told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “Officers are not engaging in proactive policing, not engaging in the levels they engaged in the recent past.”

  White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday there was no evidence that police officers were “shirking” their duties given increased scrutiny on law enforcement, seeming to rebut FBI Director James Comey’s assertion last week.

  “The available evidence at this point does not support the notion that law enforcement officers are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities,” Earnest said at the daily briefing.

  He cited national law enforcement leaders saying that there’s little proof that police forces are relaxing their practices after high profile incidents of videotaped police brutality.

  “The evidence we’ve seen so far doesn’t support the contention that law enforcement officials are somehow shirking their responsibility, and in fact you’ve seen law enforcement leaders across the country indicating that’s not what’s taking place,” he said.

I love how the Obama White House uses the word “somehow” to make it seem ridiculous when people point out obvious situations that are going wrong. Oh, you think cops are somehow not doing their jobs?

There’s no “somehow” about it, champ. Cops have been trained to do their jobs in a certain way, but because the media and left-wing politicians are now on the lookout for racist-thug-cop stories, the actually use of that training is putting them in the crosshairs. A violent suspect comes at you, and your best protection is your weapon! Don’t use it! The media will report that you “shot an unarmed man” and politicians will denounce you as a civil rights villain. All you did was protect your own life in a situation that was totally created by the suspect, but it won’t matter. You don’t want to be the next Darren Wilson, who had to give up his job and face non-stop harassment for having done nothing wrong.

And the White House won’t even acknowledge the problem, for an obvious reason: They’ve been one of the biggest contributors to it. Obama has encouraged this nonsense at every turn, and if Josh Earnest admits that Comey’s fairly obvious observation is in fact accurate, then he’s admitting that police officers are in a very difficult situation in this country in part because of his boss.

Of course, some might consider doing the right thing and backing the nation’s police officers rather than worrying about the political viability of a certain president, but no one would expect anyone in this administration to do that. I wonder how long Comey will last now that he’s publicly speaking truth in an administration that has never had any interest in truth if it makes Obama look bad. Which, by the way, it always does.

Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by, which can be found at

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