There are higher standards, then there are double standards.
A year after rioting swept the country’s major cities ostensibly over the death of an accused counterfeiter in police custody in Minneapolis, hundreds of those accused of looting property in New York City are getting off “scot-free,” as a former NYPD chief of patrol put it in an NBC News report.
For cops who were on the other side of the chaos, it’s a different story.
According to the New York Post, 39 police officers are facing departmental discipline under findings from the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.
So, where exactly is the law and order here?
According to a report issued Monday by New York’s CCRB, the complaints found to warrant punishment ranged from one case of “[d]iscourtesy; offensive language” to abuse of authority (the most common) and use of force.
Leaving aside amazement that an accusation of “discourtesy; offensive language” carries any weight in New York City (maybe the CCRB members have never taken a New York taxi), the timing of the two stories — coming within days of each other — could hardly be worse.
The fact that the city is infamously Democratic — its Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday is understood to be electing the next mayor by default — just confirms to the saner parts of the United States just how unhinged the most liberal elements of the country really are.
San Francisco, with its near-daily viral stories of criminal outrage, has been the standard for idiotic responses to aberrant behavior at least since the advent of criminal-coddling District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
But the news that hundreds of rioters who used the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis to raid stores in Manhattan and the Bronx are facing no charges thanks to District Attorneys Darcel Clark in the Bronx and Cyrus Vance Jr. in Manhattan has set up the Big Apple as a serious challenger for the position. And disgraced the city in the process.
As the New York Post put it in an editorial published late Sunday:
“In San Francisco, stores are closing because shoplifters are no longer being arrested. In Minnesota, some businesses are deciding it’s not worth being in the areas that were set aflame last May.
“Here, everyone who stole and vandalized will do it again — because there are no consequences. It’s the small businesses that will suffer the most. It’s the minority owners who will suffer the most. It’s the African American and Hispanic neighborhoods that will suffer the most.
“Safe in their smug perches as judge and jury, the DAs will be welcome at any AOC fundraiser. Justice, and what is right, be damned.”
Meanwhile, the city’s police oversight panel has found time to recommend discipline against the very police officers charged with containing the madness of the George Floyd riots in New York.
Is there a possibility that some or all of the accused police officers actually merit discipline for their actions during the riots? Of course. No institution made up of human beings is perfect, or ever will be. (Though it’s an almost rock-solid bet that the “discourtesy; offensive language” charge is going too far.)
But the message that’s being sent by these two stories is undeniable:
For those who break the law in a cause approved by the liberal establishment, consequences will be few or nonexistent.
For those who labor in service of upholding the law, however, the threat of consequences will be ever-present, particularly if actions involve policing lawbreakers who are sanctioned by the liberal establishment.
Everyone knows police officers are held to a higher standard of behavior, and they should be. They are men and women trusted by society to protect the rest of us. That requires power, weapons and the judgment to wield both.
But allowing hundreds of obvious, unrepentant lawbreakers to walk while disciplining police officers for their behavior isn’t a question of higher standards, it’s a question of double standards.
As Donald Trump Jr. put it memorably in a February interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “If it wasn’t for double standards, Democrats would have no standards at all.”
He was talking about the differences in the mainstream media’s response to the rioting that rampaged across the country for most of 2020 versus the single-day incursion by rioters into the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, but the maxim holds.
The rest of America is seeing that on vivid display in New York now and can still take a lesson.
The midterm elections are only 17 months away.
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