Known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio had a long and decorated career in law enforcement before being elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1992. He is now a Special Contributor to The Western Journal.
I began my law enforcement career as a bright-eyed 21-year-old in 1957. I worked a tough D.C. beat back then.
Suffice to say, it was a tough job. I never shot anyone during my time in Washington, but I had to be very aggressive in my job. When dealing with criminals, aggression was often a necessity.
The job was difficult in 1957.
In 2018? It’s almost impossible.
The primary culprit for making cops’ lives so miserable today is a familiar one. Leftists and the mainstream media are waging a war on cops, and it needs to stop. The left’s passion for anti-cop sentiments has reached a zealous level.
But, in turn, I cannot possibly feel any more passionate about my crusade to defend police officers.
Back in 1957, race was never an issue when it came to police officers. Cops were good men and women looking to protect us. Criminals were bad people looking to harm us. It was so simple.
Today, you can’t find a story involving a police officer that doesn’t inject race into it. Thanks to the media, race has become inextricably linked to law enforcement.
Case in point, look at the amount of coverage that Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke has received versus the terrible story of seven police officers being shot, one of them fatally, in Florence, South Carolina.
Van Dyke’s case involves a white cop shooting a black person. It’s gotten endless coverage from the media. The seven officers shot in South Carolina have gotten a pittance of coverage in comparison to Van Dyke.
It’s this brazen manipulation by the media that makes organizations like the National Center for Police Defense so important in today’s political landscape. Political hitjobs against police officers have no end in sight. Nonprofit, pro-cop groups are more important than they’ve ever been with the mainstream narrative being so decidedly against the police.
Full disclosure: The National Center for Police Defense helped me when I was charged with contempt of court.
Perhaps the worst part of the narrative that the media are crafting is how it affects children.
It wasn’t that long ago that children were raised to treat authority with respect and reverence.
Today, I can’t even attend a rally or give a speech without demonstrators coming out against me. Among those demonstrators, sadly, there are often a number of children. These are children who are being taught to hate police and told police are bad.
How sad is that?
Whether it’s former President Barack Obama or former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, it’s sad and disturbing to see how many children look up to their anti-police rhetoric.
Obama set the tempo of bringing race into police interactions when he infamously quibbled over a white Massachusetts cop arresting a black professor in 2009. Kaepernick exacerbated it with his anthem kneeling and the time he wore socks depicting police officers as pigs. It’s disgusting, and I can’t condemn those types of actions harshly enough.
What have we come to when sports stars and presidents are telling the youths who look up to them that police are bad?
When those youths grow up, they might have the same mentality as the despicable person in South Carolina who shot seven police officers.
That type of nonsense is why President Donald Trump has been such a revelation. I’ve met the man, and I can honestly say that Trump’s pro-cop attitudes come from his heart.
Being a police officer has never been an easy job, but until recently, it’s never been an impossible job either. When you have the media vitriol, widespread cameras and cowardly police chiefs who refuse to support some of their officers, why would anyone want to be a cop?
The answer is because it is an honorable and important profession in keeping America safe. Children need to be taught this, and not whatever the media are peddling.
I’ve lived the police life. It’s high time that the media and leftists let other police officers live theirs.
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