Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021
News Every Day |

The Capitol Rioters Attacked Police. Why Isn't the FOP Outraged?

On Tuesday, the National Fraternal Order of Police decided to “clear up confusion” about its position on the January 6 assault on the Capitol by enraged Donald Trump supporters. “Those who participated in the assaults, looting, and trespassing must be arrested and held to account,” it said in a statement. “We continue to offer our support, gratitude, and love to our brothers and sisters in law enforcement who successfully fought off the rioters, and we will be with them as they grieve and recover, however long that may take.”

The FOP does not often have to clarify its position on matters of public concern; the organization is usually rather strident in expressing its views. For example, in 2016, the FOP demanded that Walmart cease selling Black Lives Matter T-shirts. It denounced Nike for its ad campaign involving Colin Kaepernick, who was purged from the NFL for protesting police misconduct. If you go to the FOP’s Twitter feed, you can find a steady stream of clips from conservative outlets such as Newsmax and Fox News showing FOP representatives attacking policies like bail reform, slamming Democratic elected officials, and blaming Black-rights activists for the recent rise in homicides. These posts are interspersed with tributes to homicide victims, attacking “rogue prosecutors,” “activist judges,” and “progressive policies” for their deaths.

[From the July/August 2021 issue: The authoritarian instincts of police unions]

Local FOP chapters, meanwhile, are also not exactly known for being demure. The former head of the Houston FOP, now the vice president of the national FOP, dismissed a woman and a disabled Navy veteran who were killed in a botched drug raid by officers seeking heroin as “dirtbags.” (No heroin was found.) The Miami FOP boycotted a Beyoncé concert, charging that she had used her Super Bowl halftime show in 2016 “to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers.” In Chicago, the local FOP president defended the rioters who stormed the Capitol. “You’re not going to convince me that that many people voted for Joe Biden,” he said. “Never for the rest of my life will you ever convince me of that. But, again, it still comes down to proof.” He later apologized.

What you won’t find on the national FOP Twitter feed, however, are condemnations of the Capitol rioters who attacked police officers on January 6 deploying this sort of unrestrained bombast. You won’t find any clips of FOP members on Fox News confronting its prime-time hosts for mocking the testimony of police officers who faced the mob that day. You won’t even find the FOP highlighting the compelling testimony of those officers, whose recollections paint a vivid picture of the rioters and their motives. You will find only the FOP’s careful statement seeking to clear up “confusion” about its position, a deeply unusual situation for the FOP to be in.

Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, testified that he was called the N-word by rioters who were infuriated that he had mentioned voting for Joe Biden. Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, an Army veteran and immigrant, testified that he was called a “traitor” and said that, “for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than during my entire Army deployment to Iraq.” By contrast, D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, who is white and who can be seen on video bloodied and being crushed by rioters, said that some of them tried to “recruit” him, with one asking, “Are you my brother?”

The catalyst for the Capitol riot was the fact that Trump, the sitting president of the United States, had engaged in a months-long propaganda campaign to convince his supporters that Biden had been illegitimately elected, and indulged a series of hare-brained schemes to cling to power even after being defeated including pressuring Republican legislators to void the results in their states, imposing on the Justice Department to declare the results fraudulent, demanding the Supreme Court declare him winner by fiat, and telling state election officials to “find” fraudulent votes as pretext for him to contest the outcome. The behavior of the mob on January 6, however, is difficult to comprehend without grasping how Trump and the rioters understand the role of police.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed formal segregation, police in Jim Crow states enforced the color line. Even where the law didn’t explicitly mandate discrimination, police were tacitly, if not explicitly, expected to enforce a de facto color line by local and state political leadership. “I feel just as strongly about what has happened to law and order in this country as does George Wallace,” Richard Nixon told an interviewer while running for president in 1968.

The laws have changed, but many Americans have never abandoned the belief that police are obligated to enforce America’s racial hierarchies. The role of American policing, in their view, is less to uphold the law than to act as a kind of sectarian militia for “real Americans,” which is to say, Trumpist Republicans. Trump encouraged police to abuse people of color, but when he and those around him came under investigation, he turned his anger on law enforcement. As Chris Hayes wrote in 2018, “If a young black man grabs a white woman by the crotch, he’s a thug and deserves to be roughed up by police officers. But if Donald Trump grabs a white woman by the crotch in a nightclub (as he’s accused of doing, and denies), it’s locker-room high jinks.” On January 6, Hodges testified, a rioter shouted, “‘Do not attack us. We’re not Black Lives Matter’ as if political affiliation is how we determine when to use force.” Well, yes. That’s exactly what they think.

[From the September 2020 issue: Incremental change is moral failure]

The officers at the Capitol who fulfilled their oath by protecting lawmakers from a mob in thrall to a dangerous fantasy—that they could change the outcome of the 2020 election through violence—are now being attacked as traitors. “To my perpetual confusion,” Hodges testified, “I saw the ‘thin blue line flag,’ a symbol of support for law enforcement, more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us.” One Trump supporter accused of assaulting officers during the riot was photographed that day wearing a patch with a symbol of the murderous Marvel Comics vigilante the Punisher, decorated with the colors of the “thin blue line” flag.  

The apparent discrepancy is simple to explain. The officers were seen as treasonous by the rioters because they were supposed to join the mob in overthrowing the constitutional order and casting down the liberal usurpers, as well as the illegitimate multiracial coalition that brought Democrats to power. They viewed the officers holding to their vow to defend the Constitution as betraying their true obligations, as Trump and the mob understood them.

Because the right hold the police in such high regard, the Fraternal Order of Police is uniquely positioned to disabuse conservatives of the idea that the rioters were heroic or that the riot itself was carried out by leftists, and any other manner of conspiracy theories deployed to obfuscate what happened on January 6. The organization is ideally suited to pressure Republican lawmakers to support the commission examining the incident, and to criticize those who seek to turn that process into a circus or rewrite the events of the day. The union could use its stature to attack the legitimacy of right-wing political violence, and to reject the harmful notion that the role of American police is to act as a partisan militia, rather than to impartially enforce the law.

The FOP has chosen instead to remain meekly silent on the Capitol riot, in effect reserving harsher language for protesters against police brutality than for a mob that brutalized police. When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper why the FOP was not more forcefully defending the Capitol Police officers, FOP President Patrick Yoes offered a tame paraphrase of the group’s press release, and insisted that he had not seen Fox News hosts maligning these officers as emotionally weak cowards on the network that he and his subordinates frequently appear on for friendly interviews. (The FOP did not respond to a detailed list of queries from The Atlantic.)

The FOP has many reasons to remain quiet. Much of its rank-and-file membership is strongly supportive of Trump, whom the organization endorsed and worked to elect in 2016 and 2020. FOP leaders also know that some off-duty officers were in the mob, and might not want to suggest that they should be fired or prosecuted. And they probably also do not want to antagonize right-wing voters who will reflexively support their members as long as any police  abuses are aimed at the communities those voters hate and fear.

All of these reasons, however, are a tremendous indictment of police unions in general and the FOP in particular. The group has placed its parochial interests ahead of the needs of the public, from whom police derive their authority, and ahead of its sworn brothers and sisters in Washington, who drew the wrath of a political constituency that police unions would prefer not to antagonize. If a commitment to “law and order” does not include support for the peaceful and democratic transition of power, it is meaningless.

The officers who defended the Capitol have noticed the FOP’s relative silence. Officer Michael Fanone, who also testified this week, told CNN that he spoke with Yoes. “I asked him to publicly denounce any active-duty or retired law-enforcement officer that participated in an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 and in doing so betrayed their oath of honor,” Fanone said. Yoes, he added, would not commit to doing so.

Perhaps the nation’s largest police union simply does not see trying to overthrow an election in the name of Donald Trump as such a betrayal. But a commitment to democracy is not a position that an organization representing armed agents of the state should ever have to “clarify.” That it did so only through gritted teeth gives the public little reason to trust its sincerity.

Read also

Brielle Biermann shows off her ‘side profile’ in a new clip after having double jaw surgery & sharing shocking pics

Anthony Joshua could not see out of right-eye from round nine after brutal Oleksandr Usyk battering

China's Xi Warns of 'Grim' Taiwan Situation in Letter to Opposition

Слот 7

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Collagen Peptides Market Projected to Deliver Greater Revenues By 2027

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


Умные часы Amazfit появятся на подиуме в Париже

Новости России
Game News

Авторы Marvel's Avengers помогут перезапустить Perfect Dark


Володин отметил влияние выбора россиян на формирование правительства

Губернаторы России
Ильхам Алиев

Алиев: Путин сыграл активную роль в урегулировании конфликта в Карабахе


Путин назвал примером для молодежи отмечающую юбилей школу «Самбо-70»

Если вы умеете так делать, значит, вы один на миллион

В Подмосковье прошли инженерно-спортивные соревнования «Формула Студент Россия 2021»

Валерий Леонтьев рассказал о главной трудности в судействе шоу «Голос 60+»

Поклонники позавидовали Моргенштерну после пикантной фотосессии его жены

Мацуев выразил надежду на то, что «Спартак» не вылетит в ФНЛ в юбилейный сезон

«Все основано на русской классике»: Цискаридзе высказался о западном балете

Победитель US Open Медведев может не сыграть на Кубке Кремля

Воры вернули Весниной олимпийскую золотую медаль и оставили подарок с запиской

Рыбакина проиграла 6-й ракетке мира в четвертьфинале турнира WTA в Остраве

Определились имена соперниц казахстанских теннисисток в первом круге турнира серии WTA 250 в Нур-Султане

Как зарабатывать на Wildberries: пример семейной пары

Музыкант Алексей Фомин и его фундамент творческих достижений

Очное участие Путина в саммите G20 будет зависеть от ситуации с коронавирусом

Данила-Мастер” российская фабрика по обработке камня

В Москве заметили семилетнего ребенка за рулем машины

Песков рассказал, как Россия ответит на новые санкции США

Итоги семинара «Планировочное решение квартир и этапы работы над ним»

Песков указал на постоянное обеспечение безопасности Путина

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости