Arresting the police’s ability to enforce the law
Last Thursday, the City Council of Providence unanimously passed a new public safety ordinance called the “Community Safety Act (CSA).” After a an Attorney General review and a second council vote, the ordinance will land on the desk of Mayor Jorge Elorza who will undoubtedly sign the measure into law. Besides defects in the proposal, which will hamstring law enforcement professionals from executing their duties, the ordinance is a conspicuous example of appeasement to far left social liberals.
In bluer than blue Rhode Island, the CSA is yet another step toward allowing the underbelly elements in our society to have Carte Blanche ability to do as they wish without scrutiny or penalty. Providence has already yielded to pervasive beggary and public urination with the mayor’s order not to enforce anti-solicitation and anti-loitering statutes. Adding insult to injury, Providence also neglects to enforce illegal immigrant laws. As a result, Providence is known as New England’s destination sanctuary city due to the lack of requirement of compliance and its easy social services policies.
Our capital city is in descent under the socialist policies of the leftist law professor mayor who oxymoronically believes a society’s laws are preserved by ignoring their enforcement.
What is happening in Providence is emblematic of what has happened in both New York City and Chicago. When far left liberal mayors changed policy and ordered their police departments not to enforce statutes that preserved the quality of life of the majority of the populous in favor of some socialist political agenda. By doing so, they have galvanized lawbreakers who not longer fear punishment or retribution. Simultaneously, Providence is falling into decrepitude and regaining a reputation it held years ago prior to its renaissance era as a decaying mill city flooded with the downtrodden and aimless.
The CSA in Providence along with the ending of “Stop and Frisk” and the “Broken Window Policing Policy” in New York City and the “Stop Sidewalk Interrogation” policy in Chicago have pleased organizations like Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives, Latino Justice and other social justice groups what they perceive as steps towards a more just society. When in reality, these changes have opened the door for reprobates to violate decent standards of behavior.
As a direct result, crimes rates have and will continue to rise if police are constrained or become simply sheepish about fulfilling their duties due to voluminous required paperwork or enduring possible personal punitive penalties.
An officer should not be penalized for simply doing his or her job.
The Community Safety Act is actually a contradiction in terms. This new statute will require patrolmen to record every interaction with the public. Police officers will be subsumed in minutia and thus will have less time to patrol. Equally ridiculous, parts of the crucial gang member database will be subject to examination by a citizen’s review committee and those on the list will be automatically removed if they do not commit any more crimes for a given period of time. Also, the police will be limited on how they can hold suspects for other agencies. This facet of the statute will impede cooperation with Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Thus, fulfilling Mayor Elorza’s beating drum of the city’s total access to illegal immigrants.
Furthermore, the ordinance allows great latitude for public access to video recorded by police body cameras. This aspect could cause patrolmen to think twice about all types of citizens interactions for fear of misinterpretation.
Also, unbiased translators must be readily available through an interpreter hotline in order to question “English as a second language” suspects. If the hotline works insufficiently, patrolmen will be required to learned additional languages, further burdening the police.
The CSA has been brewing within the Providence City Council for years. However, it was not until the original proposal was tweaked to the extent that Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare could embrace it, that the measure moved forward. Of course, Pare keeps his position at the pleasure of the mayor.
Coupled with Mayor Elorza’s previous dictum on not enforcing ordinances in regard to beggary and loitering, the CSA will add to the diminishment of stature of our capital city.
Politically correct city policies have had deleterious effects on other cities already. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio abandoned an appeal by his predecessor to challenge a judicial hold on the practice of “Stop and Frisk.” This police technique afforded patrolmen the ability to remove thousands of illegal firearms from crime suspects. Along with this once successful practice, the “Broken Window” policy of non-toleration of vandalism was also scrubbed. Transporting the indigent out of downtown tourist areas has also been ended, much to the chagrin of business owners. Additionally, questioning potential suspects without “apparent good reason” has impeded a police officer’s ability of knowing who they should easily question and how they should conduct that interview. Actions by de Blasio has subtracted from the feeling of safety for tourists especially in the Times Square area of downtown Manhattan and the popular visitor destination of Broadway.
Mayor de Blasio’s own Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has said that Stop and Frisk should be used “legally, respectfully and less frequently”. Thus, this statement put Bratton at odds with his own boss who wants the practice totally abolished for good. However Bratton knows that the judicious application of the practice leads to a more secure society.
More severely, the City of Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered the lessening of the stringency of policing policies. Most notably, the tool of what the left terms “Sidewalk Interrogation”, which liberal critics say is an instrument of racial profiling. In actuality, this is an example of basic police work, questioning potential suspects and gathering witness information. The result of these fool-hearty changes has been an extraordinary increase in the overall crime rates and most alarmingly the murder rate has skyrocketed.
Social justice groups like Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives and Latino Justice have all rallied behind the liberal progressive policy moves by these mayors. They laud these social changes as positive steps for America and as victories against what has been termed by them to be “systemic racism” by police. Protests against racial profiling, supposed police brutality, racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system have been pervasive across the country in recent years. And the mayors who have embraced their talking points are heralded as champions of their causes.
Whether widespread oppression of the constitutional rights of minorities is fictional or factual has been a long debated question. Although there is no doubt that progressive liberal policing policies lead to higher crime rates. If mayors stifle the policeman’s ability to enforce the law in order to propel some far left liberal social agenda, than society will lose.
By appeasing to a boisterous segment of society and waving the banner of righting social injustice, politicians are appealing to their core electorate. What they are not doing is serving the whole of the population they had sworn to protect. The CSA is a mistake for Providence and should not come to fruition!
Let us take the cuffs of the police officers who protect us and apply those cuffs where they belong, on the criminals.