- - Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Violent crime is ever more fashionable in the major cities of America and the police are losing control of the street. That’s the clear message in the latest crime reports of the FBI. The compassionate liberals who want to handcuff the police, are eager to leave the streets to the rioters who have turned Charlotte into a war zone. Liberal apologists simply dismiss the clear evidence.

Their message, repeated as if in a mantra, is that we’re safer than we were in the ‘60s and ‘70s, so what’s to worry about? One thing to worry about is this very attitude. The violence of the “60s was caused by this attitude, and now we hear that destructive refrain again. Criminal behavior, if it’s the behavior of the right criminals, is excused and compliant judges let the violent walk free. The police are demonized and the victims — a great number of whom are black — are treated as if they brought the trouble on themselves.

It’s deja vu all over again, in Yogi Berra’s famous formulation. The liberal elites, who live in neighborhoods far removed from trouble, assume without evidence that it’s always a case of racist cops beating up, shooting and killing an innocent whose only crime was being born black. It happened in Ferguson, where a cheap thug challenged a cop and did indeed bring the consequences on himself, and it happened again in Charlotte. The riots there began when word of a shooting got out, but before the details were known. Troublemakers poured into the city to join “Black Lives Matter” demonstrators to loot and spread beatings and other mayhem. The story line was drearily familiar: A cop had once again murdered an innocent black man.

The facts have since emerged and the mob was wrong again, as mobs nearly always are. The shooter, Brentley Vinson, a black man, probably acted reasonably (the courts will ultimately decide) when he confronted, shot and killed Keith Scott, the young black man who was first described as armed with nothing more threatening in his hands than a book; he was shot for nothing more than a cop’s whim. Now it turns out that he was wearing an ankle holster. The investigating officers couldn’t find the “book” he was said to be reading, but did find a gun with his fingerprints on it. He had been ordered to stay in his car, and when he emerged, anyway, the cops repeatedly shouted at him to halt.

“The rest of the story” emerged before Hillary Clinton told the Monday debate audience that the Charlotte shooting was emblematic of the racism that dominates the nation’s criminal justice system. In fact, the system needs reforming, but not for the reasons that Hillary and her friends say it does. They argue that the police are always at fault, always evil and always racist, and that attitude prevents reform.

Hillary concedes that no one knows exactly what happened in Charlotte or in another incident later in Tulsa, Okla., but “we do know we have two more names to add to a list of African-Americans killed by police officers … .” She says, “It’s unbearable and it needs to become intolerable.”

If she really wants criminal-justice reform, as all men and women of goodwill do, she should do something positive to encourage it — like buttoning her lip — and leave the agitation and the inciting to the mob.

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