I’ve been a cop for nearly 40 years. For the last 20 of them, I’ve had the good fortune of being granted the platform, first at National Review Online, later at City Journal, Ricochet, and here at PJ Media, to write on behalf of my fellow police officers when their actions came under what I considered to be unfair criticism. Police work has grown more difficult since I began, all the more so when cops’ split-second decisions are scrutinized by an uninformed public after having been mischaracterized in the media, sometimes deliberately.
So it saddens me to observe some of the asininity on display among some of my fellow police officers in recent days as fear of the coronavirus pandemic brings the country to its knees. Reason and common sense have in some places been abandoned in favor of a level of social control rarely seen in any country that calls itself free, much less in the United States of America. Here in Southern California, we have seen police officers ticketing a surfer on an otherwise empty beach, citing people for sitting in parked cars while watching a sunset, and, in what may be the most farcical display of them all, using not just one but two boats to corral and arrest a lone paddleboarder off the coast of Malibu.