Dear Editor – Other Cities Offer Poor Examples for Police Reform

Dear Editor,

To: The Culver City Council
Re: CCAN’s call to defund the police
The Culver City Action Network elevates the cities of San Francisco and Seattle as models to emulate, for policing in Culver City, at the same time calling for defunding the CCPD by 50%. Think twice.
”Seattle Is Dying”. I thought that the video’s title referred to the recent savaging of downtown Seattle, and the capitulation of the Mayor and City Council to anarchists and domestic terrorists, black and white. But it did not.
The video was, actually, produced a year ago, and focuses on the increasing numbers of people camping out on the streets and the effect that that is having on criminality, drug abuse and sales, the destruction of businesses and other private property and the demoralization of the public at large, all of that disruption made possible by the incompetence of the same public officials who recently turned Seattle over to an armed mob, in the name of compassion and social justice, and who facilitated that act by hamstringing the police. As a result of that gross negligence, three people were murdered in CHOP, and millions of dollars of private and public property were destroyed.
San Francisco is, of course, experiencing similar problems.
“San Francisco is the nation’s leader in property crime. Burglary, larceny, shoplifting, and vandalism are included under this ugly umbrella. The rate of car break-ins is particularly striking: in 2017 over 30,000 reports were filed, and the current average is 51 per day. Other low-level offenses… drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.
Many in law enforcement blame the crime wave on Proposition 47, which in 2014 downgraded possession of illegal narcotics for personal use and theft of anything under $950 in value from felonies to misdemeanors. Anti-incarceration advocates disagree with that argument, but theft is indisputably booming,…narcotics activity is exploding on sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds. … compounded with other troubles for which the city is now infamous (human feces, filth, and homelessness, which is up 17 percent since 2017), San Franciscans find themselves surrounded by squalor and disorder” https://www.city-journal.org/san-francisco-crime.
Two formerly beautiful cities are now in decay. But this did not happen because of some single massive disruptive event. It came at a slow and steady pace. Compassion for the abandonment of common decency opened the door. Toxic tolerance for petit criminal and deviant behavior, followed. It was not “broken windows” but the abandonment of basic societal norms and the cooperation of government that laid the groundwork for violent crimes and these cities’ destruction. And New York is, apparently, not far behind. Do you really want to adopt their strategies for governance and policing for our city?
Defunding the police deprives the groups in greatest need, poor people of all colors, of the safety and security that they need and deserve in a civil society. CCAN calls for “reimagining” the police. But it doesn’t take much imagination to see what happens when the police are defunded or told to stand down. Violent crime, including murder, is surging in all of the major metropolitan areas where CCAN’s approach to public safety is being experimented with.
CCAN affiliates with the “Black Lives Matter Movement” organizations, like #Black Lives Matter Movement and the Movement for Black Lives, whose aim is to abolish the police, altogether.
To the extent that the riots across the country have destroyed and disrupted the lives of people of all colors, the Neo-Marxist ideology that animates these organizations is not about improvement in race relations or building better families for any group.
If these organizations were really dedicated to black lives, then why have their operatives, in the name of “BLM”, torn down or defaced monuments to abolitionists or statues of Catholic Saints, or defaced a ”Black Madonna” or images of Miguel de Cervantes, himself a slave for 5 years? Why destroy Jewish businesses and deface synagogues ?

These organizations’ aims and proposals are theoretical and political. But the 7,000 black men, women and children who die each year in America, at the hands of other black people are not theoretically dead. Further, there is no evidence that the pursuit or acquisition of political power by any racial group has improved the lives of that group, especially the poor. For decades, some of the most dangerous and dysfunctional big cites in America, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo, and Philadelphia have been governed by liberal Democrats, many of whom are black. Over the same period, other groups, who have little political sway, have prospered socially, academically and economically.

The organizations behind the BLM Movement, with the backing of the Democrat Party, offer more of the same sorts of policy-making that created the welfare state in the 1960’s. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, (what) Jim Crow and the harshest racism could not have done, namely to destroy the black family.” Walter Williams, PhD. “Suffer No Fools”
“We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison… more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it…
…we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.” Senator Barack Obama’s Father’s Day Address 2008 at the Apostolic Church of God In Chicago, Il.
Are the police really the problem?
You, Council Members, are left with a conflict of visions. One vision sees that people, all people, are fundamentally flawed, often compelled by their own worst impulses, resulting in actions that require laws and law enforcement to help maintain a civil society. The other vision sees people as victims of their circumstances. That any act, no matter how extreme, is not only understandable but excusable. And if only all external circumstances could be made right by enough money and the right social programs, there would be no reason for anyone to act out, violently or otherwise. The latter vision is Utopian. It denies human nature. And the attempts to realize that vision routinely fail with catastrophic results.
The best social programs available, with a proven track record, are an intact family with a father in the home, schools that leave students prepared for life in the outside world, and religious communities that teach, first, the importance of personal responsibility and morality. To the extent that government encourages these proven programs, crime decreases and the communities flourish. But if governments facilitate or encourage, sometimes with the best of intentions, the disruption or destruction of these institutions, they rend the social fabric and increase criminality concomitantly.
Ask yourself what you teach your own children. All of the great disciplines, East and West, focus on self-mastery; that the one person that you can and must learn to exert control over is yourself.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor E. Frankl, Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor
“There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” Viktor E. Frankl

I thank you for your time and your careful consideration.

Tom O’Neill


“There is nothing so stubborn as a strongly held misbelief.” (Anon)

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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