“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
That was the immortal question posed by the ancient Roman poet Juvenal. Translation: “Who will guard the guards themselves?” In other words, who’ll provide oversight to those whose job it is to oversee us?
Well, Los Angeles residents can sleep tight, anyway. It turns out that that oversight is provided by none other than Rep. Maxine Waters.
According to a TMZ report, the California Democrat was cruising around her Southern California district — which includes parts of Los Angeles — this past weekend when she noticed Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies detaining an individual.
That individual was black and politicians are always in need of a bit of attention.
So naturally, Waters stopped to see whether or not the stop was legit.
“They stopped a brother, so I stopped to see what they were doing,” Waters said in a video of the incident posted by TMZ.
KCBS-TV reported deputies were investigating a burglary at the time.
I mean, Waters parked illegally when she did it, but as long as she’s keeping them honest.
“They said I’m in the wrong place and that they’re going to give me a ticket,” she said in the video. “That’s OK as long as I watch them.”
“Gotta do what you gotta do! Make sure!” one individual is heard saying
“Bye, Maxine!” another says.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA 43) making sure the brother pulled over is having his rights protected! Queen! pic.twitter.com/sT9Mk3Tz7X
— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) July 19, 2020
Publicity stunt or the sign of a politically febrile individual? You make the call.
It’s not exactly like we’re talking mutual exclusivity here, but I’m going with the latter. Waters has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts during the Trump administration, if just because the 81-year-old has no ambitions to higher office, no chance of losing her seat and nothing to lose.
Thus, if you want the most extreme left-wing take you can get from anyone in federal elected office, just see Maxine Waters.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in May, Waters told TMZ that “I believe sometimes some of these officers leave home thinking, ‘I’m going to get me one today.’ And I think this is his one.”
“He didn’t care whether or not anybody was photographing him,” she added. “He did what he was doing and the officers who stood there and watched him are just as guilty as he is.”
Never mind that the statistics don’t bear this view of American policing out, it’s absurd on its face. Just picture it: In law enforcement households across the fruited plain, the men and women who protect and serve put on their uniform and affix their badge. They take a look in the mirror, making sure everything is in its right place.
“I’m going to get me one today,” they say to themselves. With a satisfied smile, they turn and leave.
This view of the cop-as-sociopath isn’t uncommon among angry leftists on Twitter, but elected officials should be a bit more delicate — and much more sane. Maxine “Reclaiming My Time” Waters doesn’t play that game, however. She calls it like she thinks it is, even when that’s how it isn’t.
My assumption is that the deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office didn’t “get them one” that day, nor do I think Rep. Waters managed to prevent it. She didn’t know what the man in custody had done or what kind of treatment he was receiving from law enforcement. Her only problem, at least from what we can gather from the context of the video, was that the individual the deputies were detaining happened to be black.
Amazingly, this has been greeted with a laugh and a shrug in most quarters. I have to admit that was my take, too. That’s Maxine for you!
However, at some point, maybe someone ought to have considered that the last thing we need is anyone getting out of their cars to check on what they assume to be perfidious law enforcement — it could only make an already unpleasant situation even more so, for all involved. This applies even if you’re a politician.
Not only is this self-important, it’s also dangerous. You don’t know who you’re dealing with or what you’re getting into when you insert yourself into a potential arrest. You could put yourself in a position where you or someone else could be seriously injured. So no, it’s not “OK as long as I watch them.”
Yes, someone needs to guard the guards themselves. No, it’s definitely not Maxine Waters.
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