Squad Members “BREATHE” Fumes of Reform
Squad Members “BREATHE” Fumes of Reform
Yesterday, Squad members Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley announced a new bill aimed at reforming well, pretty much everything that keeps our country safe. The BREATHE Act aims to not only “reform” the police but do away with ICE, the DEA and “establish a reparations program for African Americans and people harmed by the police and the criminal justice system.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
While some police reform is needed, what BREATHE does is basically throw the baby out with the bath water. It assumes all police, or at least the vast majority of them, are corrupt and bent with prejudice. It assumes there will be no issues if no one is enforcing our immigration laws and there is no real penalty for violating them. It assumes these members of the Squad can pull the wool over the eyes of the American public at a time when so many politicians and academics are bending over backwards to show just how much they support the Black Lives Matter movement, whether they really do or not.
Here are some of the specifics from BREATHE and heaven help us if this ever makes its way into law:
It would ban the use of “predictive policing”. In other words, no profiling, something many courts have already ruled is not a valid tool of law enforcement.
It would ban facial recognition technologies and drones. Facial rec has been controversial as a law enforcement tool from its inception. However, it is a tech that is everywhere. Our phones and computers use it. TSA uses it and will be expanding the program in our airports. Businesses use it on a daily basis. But law enforcement isn’t supposed to use it, at least according to Tlaib and company. I guess they don’t want those with outstanding warrants or those who are wanted for questioning by the police to be worried about walking down the street with the law abiding citizens these two so-called congresswomen are supposed to represent.
As for drones, I guess they don’t want law enforcement using them to fly over their backyards or follow them when they are in public. Of course, the problem with the demand to ban drones is that is completely ignores the fact law enforcement officers can surveil someone from helicopters or planes. So what’s the big deal with drones? (Other than the fact they are smaller, easier to overlook and cheaper than either a copter or plane?)
They want to ban the use of “ankle monitors, smartphone applications and any other tool used to track location”. Yes, you read that right. They want law enforcement to have no way of knowing where potentially violent offenders or those who present a flight risk are. So much for protecting the public. Let’s just give the crooks a master key to every home and every business and tell them to take whatever they want.
There’s more what really brought me up short were the proposals to “abolish mandatory minimum sentencing laws, end life sentences, repeal federal laws that criminalize border entry and decriminalize drug offenses.” In other words, let’s forget about punishing people for wrong acts that are in violation of our laws. Forget about locking away the sexual predator who is a repeat offender. Forget about protecting our children from those sons of bitches who would try to hook them on drugs.
And Tlaib has the audacity to claim it will bring in “a new version for public safety — a new vision for public safety, one that protects and affirms black lives.”
We must invest in a new vision of public safety.
Today, I am proud to join the calls coming out of one of the largest movements for justice that my district and our country have ever seen to say unapologetically:
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 7, 2020
Too bad for anyone she represents who isn’t Black. It is clear she is putting their welfare ahead of everyone else, no matter what the circumstances.
This bill would not only defund the police but hamstring them as well as every other law enforcement agency in the nation. It would make it next to impossible not only to enforce our laws but to have anyone take those laws seriously. Someone should tell Tlaib and company that the movie “The Purge” and its sequels aren’t handbooks for what we want the country to become.
Or is that exactly what The Squad and those like them want? We’ve seen over the last few months what happens when law enforcement isn’t allowed to do its job. We’ve seen the destruction of private property and the loss of life when politicians have been too weak or cowardly to stand up to the mob. Tlaib and company don’t want reform, they want revolution.
Fortunately, Tlaib, the other members of The Squad and those like them are the minority, even in the Democratic Party. Nancy Pelosi is not onboard with the feds stepping in to the extent BREATHE would have them do. The Speaker said it was up to local governments to “reallocate police funds”. I am not a fan of Pelosi but on this we are in agreement. We don’t need Big Brother telling our local police departments how to spend their monies. The local departments and local governments best know the needs of the community. Besides, local politicians are more likely to pay attention to what their constituents want, especially in light of recall elections, local media pressure and the fact their friends and neighbors can and will take up residence in their offices if they aren’t satisfied with what’s going on in the town.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a need for a serious discussion about police reform. But it should be reform that 1) doesn’t put those living in our communities at risk and 2) doesn’t hamstring law enforcement to the point there will be no deterrent to crime. When you have city councils for places like Atlanta, which has been ground zero in the current unrest, spending a full day and well into the night listening to what their citizens have to say on the topic, you should take heed. That is especially true of those politicians sititng in their vaunted offices in Washington DC. The city is taking the situation seriosly. It is listening to the concerns of the people who live there. They know what the city needs and what it can handle budgetarily. In other words, it doesn’t need Congress telling it what it can and can’t do.
This bill will not “breathe” life into police reform. It certainly won’t help make our safer tomorrow than it is today. What it will do, if we’re unfortunate for it to become law, is make our country a lot less safe. Don’t believe me? Look at how quickly Seattle’s CHOP zone fell to crime, intimidation and filth. This is the “utopia” Tlaib and other would have all of us enduring.
In fact, the name for the bill gives a whole new meaning to BLM’s rallying cry of “Help! I can’t breathe” because none of us will be able to breathe, at least not easily, if criminals are given a free rein and all the cops are sent home with pink slips.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather breathe easily and work on meaningful police reform than to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater.
Featured Image: Official portrait of Rashida Tlaib. Public domain image.