I am outraged that a Capitol Police Officer had his skull crushed by members of an insurrectionist mob, while elsewhere in the capitol building, some of his fellow officers were taking selfies with the mob.
Do you get it yet, my fellow cops? Do you see why there can be no tolerance for extremists in our ranks? This is what turning a blind eye to bigotry, racism, and most recently, white supremacy and Trumpism gets you.
Yes, I’m fully outraged because we have seen this coming for a long time. We’ve seen the dark underbelly of law enforcement play out in a never-ending cascade of extrajudicial killing and excessive force since the shameful days of slave catchers as the first law enforcement in this nation. The line runs straight from slave codes to Jim Crow laws to stop and frisk to zero tolerance or whatever the new catch phrase euphemism will be for our broken system.
The same ugly disregard for human life exposed by Stacy Koons and the rest of the officers who mercilessly beat Rodney King (because they could) also gave us the Chicago “black sites” used to torture suspects, and a long line of black bodies through the decades. We know the names of the most recent because of cell phone videos, capturing the horrors of too many senseless murders.
The FBI identified white nationalist extremism in the ranks of law enforcement as a dangerous threat in a 2006 DOJ report. Over the past few years we’ve seen numerous examples of cops on white nationalist message boards, spewing hate on Facebook or Twitter, sharing extremist propaganda, promoting racist ideology, all with near impunity.
I’ve seen uniformed cops wearing MAGA hats, flashing white power signs. I’ve seen comments on police message boards and supposedly respectable police sites insinuating that Barack Obama should be hung, Michele Obama depicted as an ape, that Hillary Clinton be shot, laughing and sharing all kinds of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, vile comments and pictures. As the hatred grew, they added things like ALL Democrats are the enemy.
Police officers have felt free to rant on these sites mostly because they allow “anonymous” posts. Sheriff’s deputies and police officers in LA proudly sport tattoos identifying themselves as police gang members. Cops making their hatred and bigotry clear. Very few are ever held accountable.
Weeks ago many members of law enforcement made a big show of moving to the new social media site Parler, to join with the rest of the conspiracy theorists and cultists, making clear their allegiance is to Trump, (not the nation) and because they are angry that fact-checkers are finally flagging the most egregious lies on FB and twitter. Think about that. People who have guns and badges, sworn to uphold the law—ostensibly with truth—are incensed that lies are being flagged. It’s incredible.
For weeks, anti-American insurrectionists have made their plans known. They came to DC to SAVE TRUMP–not America. Rioters pulled down the American flag at the US capital and tried to put up a Trump flag in its place. POTUS incited the crowd all week, even hours before the violence. He continually used inflammatory language. The posts and language in the chat rooms have grown more violent. Yet, he told the crowd to march to the Capitol.
The crowd did move to the capitol. Many were self-proclaimed “proud boys” and members of militia groups, with openly white nationalist ideologies. These are the terrorists that some cops joined to storm our Capitol. At the grounds of the capitol, some police on duty let the crowds in. They stepped aside to allow anarchists into the United States Capitol that they were supposed to defend. Other capitol officers took selfies with the anarchists. And somewhere, in the melee, one of those anarchists used a fire extinguisher to murder one of their fellow cops. I hope his fellow officers can live with themselves. I pray for his family.
So, when people shake their heads today and wonder why the security of the US capitol failed, I will know in my heart that a large part of the failure can be traced to the radicalization of too many cops. And the failure of police and civilian leadership in this country to do anything about it.
There is a cancer in law enforcement, hiding in plain sight. You know who the racists and radicals are in your agency. We’ve all known and told ourselves they are harmless while they go deeper into the anger and grievance. This is how radicalization grows and spreads.
Good cops: Hear me. You are complicit if you do not identify these people who shame our profession. Yesterday was a brutal wake up call. Do not to fall into any both sides trap, that avoids taking a long hard look at ourselves- police. Because there is not an equivalent to BLM, when police are the ones paid to protect.
I’m not defending any rioters, trust me. I’m saying that I doubt you will find cops or former cops among looters in Kenosha, Louisville, or Baltimore, but there were cops who took part in Wednesday’s mob. The fact is, you cannot be on the side of a violent mob and also say you live up to your oath.
I’ve long said it’s time for law enforcement to set the bar much higher: Few are called, fewer make it. Your badge makes you different. You swore and oath to the constitution not any one politician. It’s time for us to stop pretending this isn’t a problem for policing, just like our nation. We have to acknowledge the very real problem within our ranks, because these are the very same folks engaging in misconduct, abusing their power, and tarnishing your badge. Good cops cannot be silent any longer.
Radicalized cops joined in the siege of the United States Capitol. If this does not outrage you, then you should really get out of our profession.
The reckoning has arrived.
15 thoughts on “Radicalized cops joined the mob attacking our capitol”
Important message here, not just for cops, but for all of us who know plenty of racists and far-right radicals but remain silent. We all face a reckoning this week.
Thanks, Annie. This is my feeling as well. The attack on the capitol should be a wake up call for everyone. Ignoring those around us who foment hatred is how it continues to spread. Be well.
Great read and you nailed it sister. This profession is not for everyone. Your message is so on point and needs to be heard. Hatred has no place in law enforcement and racism must be called out at every angle. Stand up for what’s right and fair and I stand with you.
Thank you. I know there are many cops with integrity out there who agree with us. It’s time we all take back the narrative from the radicals. They have lost their way. Be safe, my friend.
Thank you for your service, your insight, and your willingness to share what you’re seeing with the the wider world. Stay strong and keep it up!
Thank you for reading and your support.
This message is totally on point and should be shared with the Washington Post, or other national groups. This is something everyone needs to be aware of – doesn’t matter which party you’re affiliated with. Our democracy was brutally and violently raped on Jan. 6th , and we will live with that damage for many years to come. GOD BLESS AMERICA !
I agree. Over the years, our political differences have been cynically exploited and twisted into hatred by extremists in the echo-chamber media. It’s been a great money-maker for these fringe celebrities like Limbaugh and Jones and Hannity. They created this mob, POTUS unleashed it, and, as usual, the front line cops have to bear the brunt of the attacks. My writing tries to point this out to my fellow cops. Those who stoke violence and anger are not your friend–even when they say “Blue Lives Matter.”
Thanks for stopping by.
Great article. But, research the definition of Anarchist. I’m pretty sure those who were protesting and, especially, those storming the capitol were the opposite of anarchists. I think Fascists may be the word you were looking for?
I take your point. I usually do use fascist to describe the current president and his enablers. Because they are a part of government, this would also apply to police officers. But, in this instance, the civilian crowd , I believe was acting as anarchists. “Anarchism is a political philosophy and movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the state, which it holds to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.” Law enforcement used to understand that the militia groups, like the sovereign citizens, reject government authority, and as such present a great threat to police as the enforcers of government. I believe this movement has spread to a larger ideology of political bias for many in this country–which they do not see any government other than one that is led by the current POTUS, as legitimate. That is why they reveled in tearing down the American flag to replace it with a Trump flag. This is why they so quickly turned on the police, when they realized the police would protect the Congress–who they deem as the enemy of their dear leader.
Great conversation. Thanks for your thoughts.
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You asked the question I was wanting to ask: did those cops who took selfies with the mob still feel the same about them when they learned another cop got his head bashed in and killed by people in that same mob?
I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when they found out, because now I have no idea what could’ve been going through their minds. Some are so radicalized they don’t care who gets hurt, it seems. And startling to hear a lot of stories about cops being in the mob from other states, waving their badges and trying to get through the Capitol Police that were blocking and having the NERVE to say that they’re fighting for them, too.
Knowing there were a bunch of cops or former cops in the crowd was the most chilling thing to me. No plans to leave the house this week for sure.
Yes, these are the very same thoughts I have. And I sincerely hope that every member of law enforcement who has gone down this road of radicalism, even those who did not attend the DC insurrection, does some serious soul searching. I’ve written as far back as 2015 about this slide away from integrity and upholding the oath. Hard to believe how far this has gone. Blue lives matter flags flying along side nazi and confederate flags. It is not hyperbole to see the parallel to the brown shirts in Germany. Tragic.
Thanks for your comments.
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I loved reading this as I have at least one friend from high school that is a cop. And though he is republican, I doubt he’d find the acts the cops at the capital committed to be excusable. I had wondered what a cop who upholds his oath felt and I am so happy I follow you and got to read this today. Though my experience with cops has not always been pleasant, I never thought I’d see cops act that way. I know I may sound a bit old when I say I was kind of reminded of an episode of Family Matters where Carl’s own son was subjected to the racism of his father’s own precinct. I recall at the time finding out what brutality was and never understood why it could happen. Thank you for this post. It was a good read. And needed to be said.
Although my recent posts have been more pointedly harsh, trying to get good cops to hear, I’ve always tried to remind them to keep their oath and not go along with those who do not.
The age of trump has radicalized those whose personality makes them susceptible to the onslaught of propaganda that targets their fears/grievance intentionally. But, the capitol insurrection was a bright line for me and should be for all. Good cops must stand up and take their profession back from these radicalized members. It’s never been okay, but it has clearly gotten out of hand and I will no longer tolerate anyone in law enforcment–leadership, line officer, support, retired, or otherwise who cannot speak up with conviction. If you cannot honor your oath, you must get out.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I initiated a conversation about the imagery of the Thin Blue Line Flag (see The Heritage Phenomenon post from January 2nd). Today it appears action is being taken, please follow the link: