There Is No War on Cops

A new book from a prominent right-wing commentator fails to make the case.


The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, by Heather Mac Donald, Encounter Books, 233 pages, $23.99

Encounter Books

"We have entered an era of intense antipolice activism, led by the federal government in conjunction with agitators like Al Sharpton," Heather Mac Donald claims in her book The War on Cops. Just how many times have we entered this era? Twelve years before Black Lives Matter came on the scene, Mac Donald delivered a lecture at the American Enterprise Institute titled "The War on Police." Her 2003 book Are Cops Racist? was subtitled How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans. Here we go again.

Mac Donald, who is based at the Manhattan Institute, is one of the right's most prominent voices on crime and policing, writing often for the Wall Street Journal opinion page and testifying frequently on crime and homeland security. Though many on the right—George Will, Ross Douthat, even Newt Gingrich—are coming around to the idea that criminal justice reform is necessary, Mac Donald is resolutely not among them. "America does not have an incarceration problem; it has a crime problem," she writes.

While some pundits use the phrase "war on cops" almost literally, with false claims that violence against cops has been surging, Mac Donald mostly leaves this idea alone, aside from one assertion that anti-cop rhetoric has "spawned riots, 'die-ins,' and the assassination of police officers." Instead she aims to push back against the critics of the criminal justice system, defending intrusive policing practices such as stop-and-frisk and calling it a "dangerous lie" that the system treats whites and blacks differently. She says we need more proactive policing and stricter incarceration practices to protect our cities from "mass destruction." For the most part, she doesn't make a very convincing case.

Let's start with stop-and-frisk. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruled that it is permissible for the police to briefly detain a pedestrian for questioning if there is "reasonable suspicion" that he might be engaged in criminal activity. To proceed from a stop to a frisk of the person's coat or pants, the police must reasonably suspect that the person is armed and dangerous.

In New York City, the number of stops climbed steadily after Rudy Giuliani was first elected mayor in 1993, growing from about 150,000 per year in the 1990s to 314,000 in 2004. In 2011, the department recorded 686,000 stops. Mac Donald believes this tactic "brought great improvement in public safety to New York," and she criticizes the civil rights groups that in 2008 challenged the legality of the policy in federal court.

One aspect of the legal challenge alleged racial bias, on the grounds that 80 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic. In response, Mac Donald makes a fair point that police stops should not be measured against the local population data of racial groups. Even if black men constitute, say, 15 percent of a city's population, it isn't necessarily illegal for black men to constitute, say, 70 percent of the persons stopped by police in any given year. If there's more crime in minority neighborhoods, the police can deploy more units there without racist intent.

Unfortunately, Mac Donald ignores the second basis for the legal challenge to the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy—namely, that it systemically violates the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches. Mac Donald misleadingly describes the litigation as a challenge to the department's practice of "stopping, questioning, and sometimes frisking suspicious individuals." That begs the question in dispute. The complaint was that the police had been stopping people on the pretext of suspicious behavior.

In 2013, a federal district court ruled that the NYPD's tactics were unconstitutional. The court noted that cops were evaluated by their "productivity"—that is, finding contraband and making arrests. Officers were not disciplined for stops that turned up nothing, and innocent persons had no practical legal recourse for brief detentions and patdowns of their clothing. Thus, the police had job pressures to stop a lot of people, suspicious or not, to see what might turn up. That helps to explain why, of the 4.4 million police stops between January 2004 and June 2012, there was no further action taken, such as an arrest or summons, in a whopping 88 percent. Mac Donald does not address these points.

That 88 percent might actually be an underestimate, because the police do not necessarily file the proper paperwork where a questionable stop turns up nothing. Recall that when NYPD officers roughed up former tennis pro James Blake last year in a case of mistaken identity, they did not report the encounter. As far as police records showed, it never happened. Fortuitously, the incident was captured by a hotel security camera and Blake's wife urged him not to drop the matter, arguing that it would highlight a type of abuse that black men had been complaining about.

On the subject of race more generally, beyond stop and frisk, Mac Donald writes with supreme confidence—more confidence than her argument warrants.

She is on solid ground some of the time, as when she debunks the liberal notion that black crime is no higher than white crime. Since "young black men commit homicide at nearly ten times the rate of young white and Hispanic males combined," she argues, "police officers are going to be sent to fight crime disproportionately in black neighborhoods." True enough, but that does not support her much more sweeping claim that there's no differential treatment by cops of blacks vs. whites.

Let's consider some arguments to the contrary. On the Run author Alice Goffman, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin, observes that if white guys get into a schoolyard or bar fight, police and prosecutors are less likely to pursue an aggravated assault case. When black men engage in the same behavior, she argues, criminal charges might well be pursued. Goffman tells the story of a black teenager who was charged with a felony after fighting with a fellow student who called his mom a crack whore. Was it just a fight, or a crime? Pivotal, life-altering decisions rest with the officer who gets the call or the prosecutor who is assigned to the case. Goffman's argument is anecdotal but still disquieting. If she is right that racial bias is frequently at work in such calls, that would obviously be deeply troubling.

Federal Appellate Judge Janice Rogers Brown, no liberal, has noted discriminatory treatment by the police in Washington, D.C. In a 2007 dissent, Brown wrote, "we all know that courts would not approve the search of four men in business attire, conversing peaceably in front of a Starbucks, if the only basis for the search was a 'lookout' [police] broadcast specifying a white man, medium height and build, wearing a business suit." Brown expressed her concern that the courts were basically adopting a double-standard—that in certain neighborhoods, "being young, male, and black creates reasonable, articulable suspicion" for police stops.

A personal experience lends some support to Brown's observation. Years ago, I was a witness to a bank robbery in downtown Milwaukee. The robber, who was black, cut right in front of me and demanded money from the bank teller (who was also black). A white police officer arrived shortly after the robber and his accomplice left the bank. The burly cop asked, "What did they look like?" A customer gave him something to go on and he quickly took off to try to apprehend the culprits. About 20 minutes later, the officer brought two young black men to the bank for the employees and customers to identify. They were not the thieves.

I have no reason to believe the responding officer was a racist. He was trying, in good faith, to find the robbers. Yet two young black men were falsely arrested that day. They were not handcuffed and "booked" downtown, but they were brusquely detained for about 30–40 minutes. Like Judge Brown, I strongly doubt that if the robbers were described as two white men, medium build, in business suits, that the police would have seized two white-collar professionals off the street for a show-up.

Fatal encounters may make headlines these days, but brief and harrowing encounters between the police and minority men like the two hauled into that bank mostly roll beneath the public's consciousness. Here's the point: The legal protection against false arrest appears to be much stronger for whites than for blacks. Since Mac Donald does not even wrestle with this question, her examination of differential legal treatment is incomplete.

That's hardly the only time that Mac Donald's discussion of a policing topic is deficient. For a work that purports to be about the wave of scrutiny that police departments have faced over the past few years, The War on Cops doesn't engage the central criticisms.

A brief review of some troubled police departments might be useful here:

  • In 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a critical report on how the New Orleans Police Department handled use-of-force complaints. "To the extent officers do report force," it noted, "supervisors do not conduct investigations sufficient to determine whether the force was justified.…Even the most serious cases of force, such as officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, are investigated inadequately or not at all."
  • In 2013, the DOJ found that the Miami Police Department had violated the Constitution with a "pattern or practice of excessive use of force with respect to firearm discharges." Federal investigators found several shootings were unjustified while others were "questionable at best." Miami had a peculiar policy of returning officers involved in shootings back to street duty before a determination had been made about the propriety of the shooting. The department's shooting review procedures were lackadaisical. In one pending case, the involved officers had not even provided their account of the incident more than three years after it occurred.
  • In 2014, the DOJ found systemic policing problems in Cleveland. Notably, the very personnel who were responsible for investigating misconduct admitted that they did not conduct a disinterested inquiry into citizen complaints. Rather, their objective was to cast the accused officer "in the most positive light possible." Police reports that were supposed to explain the legal basis for detaining and searching people lacked specificity, with cops regularly using what the DOJ described as "canned or boiler plate language."
  • More recently, the mayors of Baltimore and Chicago asked federal investigators to review their police departments and make recommendations for reform following the deaths of two young black men, Freddie Gray and Laquan McDonald. Gray died after Baltimore cops put him in a police van handcuffed but without a seatbelt; unable to brace himself during the ride, Gray's spine snapped. Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by a white Chicago officer; Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to settle the case quietly during his re-election struggle, but months later, when a court ordered the video of the shooting released, it contradicted the police account that the shooting was necessary.

Mac Donald ignores all this. Instead she focuses on three points. First, that in the Ferguson case that kicked off a lot of the recent activism over policing, Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in self-defense, and that the Black Lives Matter movement is thus based on a myth. Second, that federal monitoring of local police departments is expensive and will bring more red tape to police operations. Third, that instead of federal monitors, police departments should be allowed to eradicate misconduct with additional training.

That is the sum total of the analysis. Why are the costs of police misconduct litigation soaring? How can the "blue wall of silence" be reconciled with the rule of law? Do police unions make it difficult for chiefs to fire abusive cops? Does a paramilitary culture contribute to the problem of excessive force? Are we to believe that all of our big-city police departments are actually maintaining high standards of professionalism and ethics? Mac Donald addresses none of these questions. At the very least, you'd expect an explanation of why the training she calls for is so lacking in cities such as New Orleans, Miami, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Chicago. Not in this book.

Over and over again, Mac Donald elides the hard work. Toward the end, there's a lengthy discussion of California's long-festering problem of prison overcrowding, yet even here she refrains from offering clear policy prescriptions—aside from saying that she thinks California should fight federal judicial orders to reduce its prison population. We should keep the prison problem "in the political arena, not the courtroom," she says. Even assuming the merit of that proposition, what then? Stuff four human beings into cells that were built to contain one? Build more prisons? Prune the criminal code by, say, legalizing marijuana? Mac Donald vacillates: "Both sides of the deincarceration debate can claim valid arguments."

Beyond its analytical shortcomings, much of this book is written in an over-the-top polemical style. Barack Obama is not just misguided; he has "betrayed the nation." Black Lives Matter is a "fraud." The New York Times serves up "anti-police propaganda." Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan's scholarship "might be characterized as a tutorial on lying with statistics." Ending the drug war to alleviate the burden on the police, courts, and prisons is a "delusion."

The most disturbing comment appears in Mac Donald's account of Eric Garner's 2014 death in New York. Police confronted Garner for supposedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When a cop took Garner to the ground in a chokehold, Garner begged the police to let up, saying, "I can't breathe." He lost consciousness and died of cardiac arrest before his ambulance reached a hospital. Even though the entire incident was caught on a bystander's cell phone video and New York City agreed to pay Garner's family $5.9 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit, Mac Donald expresses skepticism that the chokehold actually caused Garner's heart attack. The willful blindness here is astonishing.

What Mac Donald calls a "war on cops" is better described as a much-needed debate about crime, law enforcement tactics, and how to deal with systemic police misconduct. Conservatives have some worthwhile ideas to offer in this debate, but Mac Donald's polemics add heat, not light.

NEXT: Turkey President Erdogan Declares Coup Attempt Over

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  1. I’ve seen her interviewed ,she’s a cop sucker of the first order. She pretends all the videos of police abuse doesn’t exist.

    1. This.

      There may not be a war on cops, but that doesn’t mean that cops are heroes. MacDonald, and the people who quote her, all seem to think the cops can do no wrong.

      1. Put her in blackface and let her drive around for a few hours. Let’s see how she likes that.

        1. Great idea. I suspect a lot of views would get changed. I think the problem is two parts.
          First, in the past 10-20 years, policing has become more agressive at same “I feared for my life” becomes valid excuse for shooting suspect > 98% of time.

          Secondly, since black crime is higher, blacks are more likely to be viewed as thugs and drug dealers, and more likely to be treated agressively.

          In a recent Trump rally in NC, a white guy sucker punched a protester, but the cops grabbed the black victim of the punch, and ignored the white guy that assaulted him for several days.

  2. The critical flaw in the system is the obscene notion of ‘crime prevention’.
    If you are not stopping an actual crime in progress, then any police act to ‘prevent crime’ is an improper excess of authority exercised against those who are not engaged in criminal acts.
    It’s a guaranteed death-spiral into totalitarianism. The only way to genuinely prevent all crime is to prevent all unsupervised activity.
    It sounds like such a great idea — who doesn’t want to ‘prevent crime’?
    But in practice, it becomes crimes by the state against non-criminal individuals. A license to dominate, to improperly exercise improper ‘authority’.

    1. It’s a guaranteed death-spiral into totalitarianism. The only way to genuinely prevent all crime is to prevent all unsupervised activity.

      Copsuckers are cool with this.

    2. Think. Every law is an offer to send men with guns to make an example of any who disobey. Very rarely is the function of a law the defense of individual rights. So “crime” is the disobedience of that edict by politicians calling for boots and squad cars on the ground and guns in fists–why? To please ku-klux christians morally outraged that someone might experience happiness or to pander to paranoid lobbyists for handouts or police state enabling acts. The nature of government and its legitimate purpose never enter the picture. As manipulated by the DemoGOP, police are asset-forfeiture Gestapo agents convenient for looting the populace and wrecking the economy. How is that different from the way the Islamic State manipulates its armed useful idiots?

      1. Man, you really hate Christians, don’t you?

        1. Nah, Hank is just nuts.

    3. Well said.

      1. Troll…remember ignoring is bliss wrt them.

  3. Even though the entire incident was caught on a bystander’s cell phone video and New York City agreed to pay Garner’s family $5.9 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit, Mac Donald expresses skepticism that the chokehold actually caused Garner’s heart attack.

    I’ll bet Garner stopped his own heart on purpose just to make our noble domestic heroes look bad.

    1. I believe Gardner’s death “was the police brutality case they were looking for” but didn’t gain traction with the progressive left/media because there was a (very remote) possibility the voting populace might question why such goodthink laws exist.

    2. The pointyheads on the Federalist comment threads think Garner had it coming to him.

  4. That begs the question in dispute.

    How dare you use that term in its archaic sense.

    This books sounds like the perfect gift for the soccer mom or policeman’s wife. Buy it today.

  5. I would argue that there IS a war on cops. It is being waged, whether intentionally or not, by the Liberal/Progressive establishment in combination with regulation-happy politicians of all stripes. They put police in the position of being petty harassers and raiders of private poker parties, increasing the liklihood that they will be in explosive stuations for lttle social gain, and fostering the public perception of them as stooges of the State.

    The cops themselves are not helping, mind.

    1. Regulation-happy politicians have their oppression instincts greased by the F.O.P. which has its own massive lobby with tentacles reaching into every legislature that sneakily writes many of the laws reps ultimately vote on that perpetuates liberty’s lowering ceiling.

      1. And, like most modern unions, the FOP is more concerned with the continued existence and privileges of the FOP than with the safety of its members.

        1. The solution to FOP is RICO.

          1. What does Soave have to do with the police?

            1. Killer hair

              1. Erik Estrada FTW

    2. You have a point. Progressive policies wreak havoc and have no doubt put severe stress on the police as well.

      But like you said, they’re not handling the pressure well either.

      1. Cops are also trained to ‘take control ‘ of a situation ,not calm it down. This turns petty offenses into a death sentence,

        1. Which is, of course, completely in line with Progressive thinking. Not that they would admit it, even to themselves, if you tasked them with it. But it’s kind of built in to the thinking. Those who conform are rewarded. those who deviate are punished, and since they are drains on The Perfect Society? their deaths (though regrettable, perhaps) are not serious.

          Scratch a Progressive, find a Fascist; scratch a Fascist, find a swine.

    3. I agree with your post. I try to explain to people that when cops are worried about petty activity, they are not worrying about real crimes-murder, robbery, assault, etc. Its human nature to do what is relatively easy. Its easy to bust people for loosies. Its easy to bust poor women with little assets on backpage. I agree cops are stooges. I find it funny bc some of them think they are ultimately in charge.

      My other mind says no one makes cops enforce these laws. How many instances of pds not testing rape kits or letting serial killers roam free for decades?

      1. Look at the incentives: mug some driver for his cash and get an SS medal from George “War” Bush for volunteering in the War on evading the communist income tax to fund islamofascist terrorism (and the War on Enjoyable Drugs). The alternative: arrest the perps in a gunfire murder to hijack amphetamines prohibition has made into a high-dollar luxury item, and bring them to justice.
        Surely it is safer and easier to bug some unarmed motorist, rob his life savings AND earn an SS medal. Dead motorists file no complaints, and Solicitor Ku-Klux Chrissy Adams and ilk will swear that the motorist might have been reaching for an assault weapon in the front T-shirt pocket, so the trooper was acting in self-defense shooting the citizen in the back seventeen times.
        EXACTLY the same thing happened under God’s Own Prohibitionism in 1927, as reported by NY Senator Edwards. Find it in the Google News Archive

    4. Not a very convincing argument, to be honest.

  6. Heather Mac Donald’s mania desecrates the conceptual frameworks that form the crystalline pillars of free society.

    Collective authoritarian hallucinations writhing in the minds of heavily armed battalions riffed and shocked into a manual dripping psychosis and pretend-world illustrates the workings of a crass deceiver deliberating seeding pages with delusions designed to terrorize and alarm.

    A work of fiction spilled from the canals of hysteria. Fuck this bitch.

    1. This.

      *Also, free anti-hyperventilating paper bag cut out on the final page*

    2. How awesome would it be to get Agile to write book reviews. Put this blurb on the jacket cover.

    3. How awesome would it be to get Agile to write book reviews. Put this blurb on the jacket cover.

    4. How awesome would it be to get Agile to write book reviews. Put this blurb on the jacket cover.

      1. On for fuck’s sake. Fuck you, copsuckling squirrel bitches.

    5. Not with a rented dick.

      1. OMG, was that HER kneeling in front of the cop in that “controversial” Reason article pic?

  7. The essential fact is that the killing of police officers is near historic lows. There is no better way to assess whether there is a war on cops.

    1. I argue that another way is to look at if the number of potentially lethal situations they get put into is on the rise. I think it is. The idea of doing dynamic entry raids on anything but the most dire offenders looks great to some Great Minds?, but it increases the likelihood that cops will be in the vicinity of gins going off. At the moment, the guns large belong to the cops, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t being put in danger, and put in danger needlessly.

      1. Gin that’s gone off is a terrible thing.

        1. I acn’t spll to begung with, and typing an a tablet compounds the problem.

          Good one. Of course gin that HASN’T gone off isn’t any great shakes…..

          1. To be honest, when I drink liquor (not often), I drink vodka. Either whatever brand of vanilla-flavored vodka is cheapest, or a mixed drink like an electric lemonade.

            1. When I drank (I quite because of Gout, not moral superiority) I was a Bourbon drinker. I had a sight friend, at one time, who worked for a liquor store in a college town. They had a shelf unit by the register where they kept all the flavored Vodkas and Schnapps – right down to Cinnamon Vodka and Root Beer Schnapps. My friend called it “Every bad idea a Frat Boy ever had, in one place.”

            2. Electric as in Ken Kesey electric?

    2. The essential fact is that the killing of police officers is near historic lows

      How do you define “Historic”?

      “Since the 1980s?” or “Since the 1960s?”

      if the former, yeah; if the latter, not really.

      1. I’m pretty sure I read it here somewhere, but aren’t non accident related police fatalities down to pre-prohibition levels?

        1. “non-accidental” is a bad way to lump data together. Car-crashes while in pursuit of suspects is “non-accidental”, and kills a dozen or so annually. So do heart attacks. Shootings / stabbings. etc. are the best way to look at actual “police killings”.

          This website =

          …provides an annual list of police-deaths on-duty by type. Shootings killed ~50 or so police officers in 1960, which is the same average for the last 10 years (2005-2015);

          police shootings peaked in the 1970s at over 100 per-year, declining to the “80s” in the 1980s, and ~60 or so in the 1990s.

          My point was that its not a “historic low” (i.e. ‘lower than ever seen before’), really. Its more of a baseline-low, typical of what you’d find in a similar level of violent crime – and current murder rates are ALSO around “early 1960s” levels – indicating that police killings are consistent with the currently very-low violent crime levels we see overall.

          But it doesn’t make for the best narrative for the BLM types.

          1. I should have added = OR the “War on Cops” types either.

          2. So the shooting of looter cops ramped up as the Bush Administration ramped up asset-forfeiture looting using cops? Can we find datasets for those phenomena?

            1. What the hell are you talking about?

          3. I see what you’re saying. So even if they were down to say 1916 levels, that wouldn’t be “historic” since its more like returned to normal.

  8. Black men are 27 times more likely to attack whites than vice versa. The violence is the problem not the police.

    1. That has nothing to do with police abuse under the color of law. And,the abuse occurs to all races,sexes and incomes.Just some more that others.. Just because some people break the law does not mean the police can.

    2. Really? Seems to me they’re at the very least part of the problem. They seem to be experts at escalation.

    3. Source?

      And relevance?

      1. The shooting in BR was some first rate escalation, death for selling bootleg CDs.
        Got him off the street without cost of trial or prison.

        Minnesota case was almost too fast to be escalation, more like high speed elevator to “shoot 5 times” because he was black, and had a wide nose and a gun.

    4. People post shit like this and use Heather MacDonald to defend it.

      The repulsive argument seems to be that blacks commit more crime than whites; therefore it’s OK for cops to be thugs and any thugging they do against those darkies is self-evidently virtuous.

      1. I think I figured that BR Black murder rate is less than 1 in 1000.
        Should the 999 innocent blacks get punished for the 1 guilty person.,

      2. This comes of a vague and stretchy definition of “crime.” Plus no matter how victimless the original allegation (“I tot I thmelt a potty plant”), the deadly force is entered as the result of “resisted arrest,” or “attempted flight” (for multiple shots in the back). The blacker the person bullied, the less likely that one is to be able to afford a white lawyer to put the fear of restitution into a white policeman’s union organizer.
        None of this was news in the 1920s, and history sure as heck is rhyming.

    5. Violence in society is dropping, for whatever reason. The places where it is worst tend to be Urban strongholds on Democrat political power. The problem is Democrats (it usually is).

    6. Epochnumnutz,
      You’ll find more friendlies at The Federalist. Most of the pointyheads will enjoy your insanity.

  9. Lawsuit against former Utah trooper Lisa Steed going to trial

    A judge has refused to dismiss the lawsuit against a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper accused of illegally stopping motorists, sending the case to trial next month.

    It is the first lawsuit to go to trial against Lisa Steed, who was once hailed by UHP for making more than 200 drunk driving arrests a year. Two judges later found to her to be an untruthful witness, and criminal defense attorneys accused her of arresting drivers who weren’t intoxicated. UHP terminated her in 2013.


    The Utah Attorney General’s Office, however, must still defend Steed at the trial because the lawsuit covers her time as a state employee. Utah taxpayers could be liable for any awards to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs have not yet specified how much they will seek.

    1. Bolding mine.

    2. Why isn’t this cunt defending civil lawsuits from a prison cell?

      Blue privilege.

      1. Because if they looked like they were going to cut her loose and maybe put her in Prison, she might bring up the incentives that drove her criminality …. and our would-be lords and masters of the political class desperately, DESPERATELY don’t want us to take a critical look at the underlying policies that drive all the petty annoyances and criminality of the government.

    3. Went after DUI drivers because she felt like it. No incentives in the system that guided her actions. Didn’t have a supervisor either or a management chain. Signed her own time sheets and pay checks. Totally a lone wolf.

    4. That is one sweet motherfucking contract to allow you to be fired and sued for making false arrests and keeps you from being personally liable.

      Nothing is going to change until cops, prosecutors, and judges have to pay the settlements out of their own damn pockets.

    1. Protestant Christian Churches in the U.S. are greatly even to schisms. Florence Kind gave an excellent key to unraveling the relationships in one of her books, but I can’t find it. It runs something like “The (X) Church”, “The New (X) Church”, “The New Reform (X) Church”.

  10. I think the criminal justice system treats the poor differently, and minorities are more likely to be poor.

    1. It always has, regardless of if the poor were white Irish or black Africans.

      1. Innocent until proven broke.

        1. Still better than previous systems which tended go be “guilty until proven related to the King or Pope”.

          Which isn’t to say reform isn’t ecessary, but I dislike ahistorcal “it’s never been worse” moaning.

      2. They don’t have money for lawyers, so they end paying much higher fine. When they can’t pay it, they get served up to a payment company that adds $60 a month to a $250 fine, and when they fall behind, they issue a warrant.

        I don’t pay a traffic ticket without a lawyer who always gets it lowered 10 -15 mph, and checks that I’m clean of any accidental warrants. I used to think this was BS, but after recent stories…

        1. Cost Philando Castille more than a fine in the end,

  11. Like Judge Brown, I strongly doubt that if the robbers were described as two white men, medium build, in business suits, that the police would have seized two white-collar professionals off the street for a show-up.

    I also strongly doubt that if the robbers were described as two green space aliens with spindly legs, the police would have seized two space aliens off the street for a show-up. Really, these kinds of hypotheticals are stupid.

    I have no reason to believe the responding officer was a racist. He was trying, in good faith, to find the robbers.

    Yet, accusing him of being racist is exactly what you just did.

    1. “In good faith” is the Bush passcode to “dumb as a post, but his intentions were good whin he illegally searched that car and shot dem naygurs so turn him loose”. Look it up. It’s in his published speeches and Presidential Papers…

      … and in the Libertarian Party Platform, to our shame!

  12. Jeronimo Yanez is white now?

  13. Keep in mind that the black community is heavily dependent upon the criminal justice and law enforcement industries thus they need to provide fodder for the meat grinder. It is easier to sacrifice their own children, but the members of BLM are no longer willing to lay themselves down upon the alter of their parents’ career ambitions. Yes there is a “War on Cops” but it is being waged against themselves – Mateen was private security and Johnson was Army Reserves. They are saying, “See, this is why you need us” – a threat more desperate as the Drug War and crime in general trend downwards. They are also trying to start a “War on Guns” because it fuels the crime in Chicago – each ‘gang raid’ is soon followed by a spike in violence. Like clockwork. But again, they need it. They are a victim of their own success. If they put themselves in jail the world would be a lot safer.

  14. War is o-ver if you want it…

  15. The entire thesis is deluded.

  16. I propose an end to the war on nouns.

  17. No matter how many “good cops” there might be, the very existence of police departments funded through extortion (taxation) and whose employees recieve qualified immunity is detrimental to liberty. Even some of those slave owning founders would probably never have imagined the state would have it’s own standing army to force it’s will upon individuals, and confiscate their property based upon inability to pay property extortion, etc.

    Policing should be private, where individuals choose these services based upon their desires or need for protection. Maybe the local state farm insurance agency employ’s a team of security agents that cover a certain area, to which individuals pay a premium on top of their home insurance to receive such services. If the company goes around shooting your family members, or attempting to kidnap your father for smoking whatever while doing no harm to anyone……they wouldn’t be in business as they can not force their services on individuals.

    You would have though folks that are protesting the police would be promoting these things. Instead folks spout nonsense about reform, change and “we must do something” and muh feelz brah. Either face reality and realize that in order for anything positive to happen, the private production of security is the only way liberty can be respected. For the police of the state, will only protect and serve the state and enforce it’s liberty destroying laws and regulations.

    1. I think that you may enjoy this relatively brief video, Vamp.

      I don’t necessarily agree with the narrator’s financial methodology, yet this minor difference in opinion is immaterial with regards to his overall points.

      1. This video.


        1. Seen it before. But it was worth watching again. Some folks just don’t get it, even when presented with information about how successful the private production of goods and services between free individuals are when there is no force, coercion or theft by the state.

          Clothing, Jewelry, the internet, online shopping, watches, computers and their parts, shoes, boilers, piping, fittings, and so on goes the list of things not touched by politicians don’t suffer the phenomenom of shortages, crisis and chaos.

          Whereas anything the state gets involved in winds up in crisis, shortage and chaos mode. Education, money, banking, real estate, military, RoadZ!, shipbuilding, railroads, other transportation, securitu and so on all seem to be in crisis mode.

          1. The government USED to do pretty well with the roads. Then Our Betters got all distracted with social engineering, social justice, amd a lot of other drivel with the word “social” in the title.

  18. War on cops?

    What does that even mean?

    We are certainly not talking about a war in the literal sense. Obviously, pigs are safer than ever. And, obviously, no one is conducting a sustained campaign of killing the po po. So in this sense the notion is utter bullshit.

    Now if we are talking from a metaphorical standpoint of peacefully standing up to police abuses and reining in their hyperextended power, then I would certainly hope we are having a “war on cops”. God for-fucking-bid the citizenry hold their government officials accountable for their conduct. This is exactly the type of tyranny the founders were, apparently rightfully, worried about. So instead of denying it’s existence with headlines like “There Is No War on Cops”, we should be fully embracing the notion that there should be (in the metaphorical sense).

    1. This shit has been going on since at least 1770:

      The trial of the eight soldiers opened on November 27, 1770.[64] Adams told the jury to look beyond the fact the soldiers were British. He argued that if the soldiers were endangered by the mob, which he called “a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs [i.e. sailors]”, they had the legal right to fight back, and so were innocent. If they were provoked but not endangered, he argued, they were at most guilty of manslaughter.

      The jury agreed with Adams and acquitted six of the soldiers after two and one-half hours deliberation. Two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter because there was overwhelming evidence that they had fired directly into the crowd. The jury’s decisions suggest that they believed the soldiers had felt threatened by the crowd, but should have delayed firing. Patrick Carr, the fifth victim, corroborated this with deathbed testimony delivered to his doctor. The convicted soldiers were granted reduced sentences by invoking Benefit of clergy, which reduced their punishment from a death sentence to branding of the thumb in open court.]

      See? It’s quite simple, if Crispus Attucks didn’t want to get Boston Massacred like a thug, then he shouldn’t have been acting like a saucy molatto.

      1. Your last sentence reminded me of ,HM.

        1. Dang it!

          “Your last sentence reminded me of this, HM” is what I intended to type, with the word “this” containing the link.

          I’m not doing well at all with my HTML today.

      2. Well, the mob had negros and Irish teauges. What do you expect?
        I love the Benefit of Clergy sentence reduction act.

      3. Stockholm Syndrome? Vichy France Syndrome?

  19. Heather MacDonald is an odious cunt.

  20. I’m surprised that cretinous loser dunphy Fearless Fosdick hasn’t ridden to the rescue of his fair damsel, yet.

    He loves MacDonald, for obvious reasons.

  21. I don’t for one minute believe the average police officer treats blacks or whites differently. I do know for a fact that they treat the rich and politically connected differently than the poor folks. If you don’t believe that you are living in a bubble.

  22. “Come see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”

  23. “young black men commit homicide at nearly ten times the rate of young white and Hispanic males combined”

    This is the very definition of begging the question. The only possible source for such a claim would be the very police & courts accused of racism.

    Claim: US courts & police convict more blacks than whites because they are racist
    Response: US courts & police cannot be racist because they convict more blacks than whites

    Blacks may kill more often than whites. But we do not have any objective means of making such a determination. We do know – objectively – that our courts routinely convict the wrong people of crimes both capital & otherwise, which puts the lie to the infantile fantasy that things are just so because a judge or a group of 12 mouthbreathers said its so.

    1. What you just said has nothing to do with “begging the question ” (not to mention that the argument he’s actually making isn’t the one you’re pretending to respond to)

      Saying that the “police are the only source of data on policing – therefore any data about policing is inherently suspect” is the actual fallacy here. Its Reductio Ad Ignorantiam

      police & courts aren’t the ‘only’ source on crime; they may process the information, and taint it in your view, but the fact is “dead bodies don’t lie”. And you can’t handwave away bullet-riddled bodies as creations of a racist police state.

      And never mind that all these agencies are overseen by other agencies and government bodies. No one cares if you personally ‘suspect’ data of being compromised. Your mere suspicions are no grounds for dismissing them as evidence in an argument. Data on crimes committed by age-group/race/economic background are subject to multiple layers of scrutiny and its absurd to claim that somehow an aggregate number of “racist” police forces have conspired to fool every criminal-justice analyst in the country for decades.

      Additionally, you seem to suggest that every single court of law in the US is equally compromised, and that every single defense council in America is equally part of this gigantic racist conspiracy to hide the “Facts” from you.

  24. Ok, so 900 people out of what over 300 million people in the US killed by cops last year.

    Here is the race breakdown:

    White 494
    Black 258
    Hispanic 172
    Other 38
    Unknown 28

    Many more whites were killed. Yes, you can say blacks only make up 13% so they are over represented. Fine. What about Hispanic’s killed? They don’t count either right?

    Media, including Reason, make a big deal out of Blacks being killed. Ever think because you can only see blacks as a victim not responsible for anything? They have a failed culture at the moment – rap music glorifies violence against themselves and women, tons of unmarried, tons in prison, tons too good to work, if you get ahead you are called a sellout.

    The only way they won’t be targeted by police, if you call it targeted, is to improve your culture.

    I know facts don’t matter because “feelings”

    1. Yes, you can say blacks only make up 13% so they are over represented. Fine. What about Hispanic’s killed? They don’t count either right?

      All fall under the same argument about “miltarized policing” and excess use of force which Reason has often written about.

      Media, including Reason, make a big deal out of Blacks being killed. Ever think because you can only see blacks as a victim not responsible for anything?

      Reason had written extensively about citizens of every race/age/gender being killed by police. search this website for names like Kelly Thomas or Andrew Sadek

      Reason doesn’t single out “blacks” as special victims, certainly not in the way the rest of the media might. Go look at the coverage of Treyvon Martin here and see if you think it was as one-dimensional as most.

      But then, why would you actually do that? You seem more interested in wacking at a straw-man, and making stupid irrelevant generalizations to excuse police misbehavior.

    2. Except for hardcore, most rap is about partying and having a good time and objectifying women. Not violence and woman beating. Maybe you should listen to better rap music?

    3. rap music glorifies violence against themselves and women, tons of unmarried

      Rap music is partly to blame, much like violent video games, rock music, comic books, and all those other evil things. Also, marriage would magically solve problems.

      The only way they won’t be targeted by police, if you call it targeted, is to improve your culture.

      Why should innocent people be harassed by police and possibly have excessive force used against them merely because they were born with a certain skin color and some other people who share their skin color do bad things?

    4. What did Jon Crawford III do to deserve being targeted by the police?

    5. Loss of Brain Cells,
      You should try the Federalist. More of a white supremacist vibe over there. You’ll like it.

  25. Media, including Reason, make a big deal out of Blacks being killed.

    Probably because killing people is a big deal. Now, do they trivialize or ignore other groups getting killed by police? Yes. I agree that’s unfortunate.

    The only way they won’t be targeted by police, if you call it targeted, is to improve your culture.

    So their failed culture justifies killing them?

  26. MacDonald is one of those “small government conservatives” who just love an authoritarian police state…

  27. No war on cops?
    Somebody tell the white supremacists over at The Federalist. They didn’t get the memo.

    1. The Federalist? Have you visited the comments section of The Daily Caller? People who visit and comment will tell you with a straight face that Alton Sterling had it coming to him.

  28. I really liked the objectivity of this review however one should really question Alice Goffman’s (albeit anecdotal) evidence:


  29. More cops ambushed today. no there is no war on cops wake up and smell the gun powder people

  30. Timing of the article is impeccable…

  31. So, author, do you feel like a complete jerk now?

  32. you would have to be living under a rock or in complete denial to believe this is true, “…there’s no differential treatment by cops of blacks vs. whites.”

    Doing work in Police Misconduct I can tell you that the vast majority of our calls regarding police and bad treatment, false arrest, unlawful detainment, are minority. Now my area is almost 40% minority, but I can tell you when you read the police reports you can just tell.

    Also our area features a “mostly” white police force and I live in a very conservative part of the state.

    Having said that…we are starting to see the turn amongst the right here as well. But it’s important that we are fair to police as we need them.

    All I think our side has ever wanted is for Police leaders to stop whining and start leading on the issue. To punish bad conduct instead of cover and hide. To take responsibility when there is a mistake and vow to do better. Simple really.

    There will always be loud voices demanding this or that, but it’s not as productive as one quiet police leader simply saying to the average policeman/woman – you must do better. I am holding you to a higher standard. If you don’t like it please leave now so that I can get someone who agrees with our NEW philosophy.

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