Erasing The Thin Blue Line

Sir Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel

In 1829 Sir Robert Peel organized the London Metropolitan Police, the first organized police service in England’s capital.  The Bobbies, affectionately named after their founder, are known throughout the world as an exemplary model of the modern police function.  I had the good fortune to spend time with many of them, including some rather distinguished detectives from New Scotland Yard, in 1984.  During the two weeks I spent in London as a part of a graduate seminar through the University of Colorado, I was very much impressed with the way they do their work.

The Thin Blue Line is a phrase which signifies the very narrow barrier our present-day law enforcement officers provide us between civilized order and barbaric chaos.  They do risk their very lives every day in the performance of that solemn duty.  As citizens, we have a duty to cooperate with our police officers, even if we think we don’t deserve that damned speeding ticket, and allow the cops to do their work.  The place to fight against the police, if a fight be justified, is not on the street, but in a Court of Law, with the assistance of legal counsel.  This system of laws we have and the police/court function are what keep us civilized.

One item on a long list of tasks which must be accomplished in order to plunge a society into chaos and barbaric anarchy is to delegitimize the lawful authority of the nation’s local police services – to render them ineffective and impotent – to make them easy targets for defiance and physical disobedience.  Today, we are witnessing the deliberate destruction of our nation’s police officers’ reputations and lawful authority.   Tragically, some of the destruction is coming directly from the Oval Office and from the United States Department of Justice.  The American Press Corps is in on it, too.

Thanks to Drudge today, I found two news reports which work hand in hand to delegitimize our police.  From the St. Louis Post Dispatch, there was this:

FERGUSON • The memorial to Michael Brown on Canfield Drive has been removed and will replaced by a plaque, Mayor James Knowles III and Michael Brown Sr. announced Wednesday.

Knowles said the Urban League will store the stuffed animals and other items that have formed the temporary memorial down the center of Canfield Drive since Aug. 9, when Michael Brown was shot and killed there by a Ferguson police officer

…“We understand this situation is not easy for all parties involved,” Knowles said in a news release. “This event will forever be a part of Ferguson’s history — but it is important that the community moves forward.”…

Michael Brown, who committed a video-recorded strong-arm robbery shortly before he assaulted a Ferguson Police Officer who had been dispatched to the robbery call, and was shot to death during the violent confrontation – is now a hero.  The officer who killed him, Darren Wilson, is no longer a cop.  He is consigned to oblivion as a villain, his exoneration of any wrongdoing by a grand jury notwithstanding.  And the rest of the Ferguson Police Department?  Well, how would you like to be telling your wife and kids goodbye and going to work tonight in that environment?

From the AP comes this one, to reinforce the big lie that the nation and the nation’s cops are racially bigoted:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests – carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cellphones.

The firefight in Waco is raising questions about perceptions and portrayals of crime in America, considering the vehement reaction that the earlier protests got from police, politicians and some members of the public.

Unlike in Ferguson and Baltimore, where protests went on for days, there was no live news coverage of the Waco shootout. And yet the incident at a Texas restaurant hasn’t been used as a bridge to discuss other issues about families, poverty and crime, media critics, columnists and civil rights activists say…

There were no deaths during the Baltimore and Ferguson protests, yet people immediately stereotyped all of the protesters as criminals, said Nicole Lee, a human rights lawyer who worked with protesters in both cities.

How many cops had their faces broken by bricks and bottles thrown at them by the rioting non-criminals, Ms Lee?  How many businesses and lives were ruined by the rioting non-criminals, Ms. Lee?

“Nine people were killed in Waco, and yet you have not heard the level of disgust and dismay as you did over fires burning in Ferguson and in Baltimore,” Lee said. “One of the things the protesters always said was that while many of them disagreed with the property destruction, that you can rebuild property. But you can’t bring back people, and yet you’re not hearing an equal amount of disgust from the media and from people over what happened in Waco.”

Civil rights attorney Charles F. Coleman Jr. said only minority communities get blamed for violence, while no one blames white families or white communities for fatal violence by white men, characterizing such events instead as “isolated incidents.”

Coleman noted that protests, some violent, that flared up around the police killings of black men, most of which involved an overwhelmingly black crowd, were called “riots” while college and professional sports championship celebrations and losses that turned violent, most of which involved an overwhelmingly white crowd, are not…

All of which will go to reinforce the growing notion that men and women of color – Americans all – should not have to cooperate with or obey their police officers.  This is right out of Karl Marx.  Race against race.  Class against class.  Child against parents.  Break it all apart until there is no more order and the cops are overwhelmed.

There will be a terrible price to pay for all of us when the Thin Blue Line has been entirely erased.


About John L. Work

John Lloyd Work has taken the detective thriller genre and woven an occasional political thread throughout his books, morphing what was once considered an arena reserved for pure fiction into believable, terrifying, futuristic, true-to-life “faction”. He traveled the uniformed patrolman’s path, answering brutal domestic violence calls, high speed chases, homicides, suicides, armed robberies, breaking up bar fights, and the accompanying sporadic unpredictable moments of terror - which eventually come to all police officers, sometimes when least expected. He gradually absorbed the hard fact that the greatest danger a cop faces comes in the form of day-to-day encounters with emotionally disturbed, highly intoxicated people. Those experiences can wear a cop down, grinding on his own emotions and psyche. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. That police officer’s reality is a common thread throughout Work’s crime fiction books. Following his graduation from high school, Work studied music and became a professional performer, conductor and teacher. Life made a sudden, unexpected turn when, one afternoon in 1976, his cousin, who eventually became the Chief of the Ontario, California, Police Department, talked him into riding along during a patrol shift. The musician was hooked into becoming a police officer. After working for two years as a reserve officer in Southern California and in Boulder, Colorado, he joined the Longmont, Colorado Police Department. Work served there for seven years, investigating crimes as a patrolman, detective and patrol sergeant. In 1989 he joined the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office, where he soon learned that locking a criminal up inside a jail or prison does not put him out of business. As a sheriff’s detective he investigated hundreds of crimes, including eleven contract murder conspiracies which originated “inside the walls”. While serving on the Adams County North Metro Gang Task Force and as a member of the Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group (STING), Work designed a seminar on how a criminal’s mind formulates his victim selection strategy. Over a period of six years he taught that class in sheriff’s academies and colleges throughout Colorado. He saw the world of crime both inside the walls and out on the streets. His final experiences in the criminal law field were with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where for nearly two years he investigated felonies from the defense side of the Courtroom. Twenty-two years of observing human nature at its worst, combined with watching some profound changes in America’s culture and political institutions, provided plenty of material for his first three books. A self-published author, he just finished writing his tenth thriller.
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3 Responses to Erasing The Thin Blue Line

  1. Pingback: Are Baltimore Officials Baffled By Spike In Chaos, Crime and Murder – Really? | Here's The Right Side Of It

  2. Billy Acab says:

    Why did you start this off talking about Robert Peel when you quite explicitly reject all nine of his principles of policing in the article?

    • John L. Work says:

      Dear Mr. Acab,

      I’m sorry to tell your comment has me at a terrible loss to understand where I rejected Robert Peel’s principles. I’ve re-read my essay and I can’t find what you’re getting at. The thrust of my essay is that the thin blue line of law enforcement which Mr. Peel gave us is currently under assault and that if the line is erased by the assault, civilization is in grave danger.

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