Maybe we should defund the police

When I first heard about the “defund the police” slogan, I thought it sounded ridiculous. Now I’m not so sure.

Although I don’t agree with the underlying motive of the architects of the slogan, that defunding the police would ensure what happened to George Floyd will never happen again, there’s no denying the police routinely engage in brutality and more importantly, fail to do their duty. I say failure to do their duty is more important because when one cop engages in brutality, the other cops do nothing to stop them. For example, the three police officers who watched Derek Chauvin place his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. These three other officers had the duty to protect Floyd. They failed to do their duty.

For too long now, the police have been able to pick and choose which laws they will enforce and who they will enforce them on.

Case in point, the executive order here in Maryland to wear a face covering and to practice social distancing. Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order number 20-04-15-01  includes the following:

IV. General Provisions.

a. Each law enforcement officer of the State or a political subdivision shall execute and enforce this Order.

b. A person who knowingly and willfully violates this Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

The above verbiage seems crystal clear to me. It’s the duty of law enforcement to enforce the executive order on wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing.  The problem is it’s not being enforced. Not even a little bit.

Here in Hagerstown, we have three different law enforcement agencies enforcing the law: Hagerstown Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland State Police. All three agencies enforce the law in and around Hagerstown. None of the three are enforcing executive order number 20-04-15-01.

I don’t understand it.

We went to our local Target late yesterday afternoon. We needed a few things. Target is a good place to go during this pandemic because the aisles are not long. There’s also more open space compared to Walmart or any of the area’s grocery stores. It makes it easy to avoid other people.

That’s a good thing too. Almost immediately, we spotted a brave culture warrior with his ineffective neck gaiter pulled all the way down under his chin leaving his mouth and nose fully exposed. If he had COVID-19, he was spewing virus-laden droplets into the air for others to breathe. If he wasn’t infected, he was just spewing regular droplets into the air for others to breathe.

If law enforcement was actively doing what it was tasked with doing, they’d be getting out of their SUVs and walking around area businesses, ensuring people were in compliance with Governor Hogan’s executive requiring people to properly wear a face covering and to practice social distancing.

If we defund the police, it will have no effect on the fight against COVID-19

If law enforcement was doing its duty during this pandemic, we would be in a far better position than we are now. I haven’t been able to resume rideshare driving because I know people will get into my vehicle without wearing a face covering. It’s what people in the Hagerstown area do.

Even if they were wearing a face covering and wearing it correctly when they entered my vehicle, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t pull it down during the ride. I would be eyeballing the rearview mirror the entire trip to make sure the rider wasn’t expelling droplets my way. No thanks. The risk is just too great.

law enforcement has done nothing in the fight against COVID-19

If the police in all of its various forms had been active early in the pandemic, things wouldn’t be as bad as they are now. If they walked a beat in grocery stores and other essential businesses in the beginning, writing citations for people breaking the law, people wouldn’t be acting like idiots now.

Our economy now suffers because the police refuse to police. Before the pandemic, we would routinely go to the Valley Mall on the weekend and spend money. We cannot do that now, not during the weekend. There are too many people there not wearing face coverings or staying at least six feet from others.

In conclusion

If we defund the police, it will have little to no effect on my family or me. It will have zero effect on the pandemic, the most important issue facing this county. Since the police have decided to take the pandemic off and just sit by while people spread the virus, what’s the point of funding them?

Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe defunding the police is the wrong thing to do. All I know is what we are doing now is not working. The police are not doing what they are supposed to do.

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