URBANA- In the midst of a crisis of confidence, The Fraternal Order of Police received a shot in the arm from the recent selection of Donald Trump as President. Trump has dusted off Richard Nixon’s 1968 “law and order” mantra (https://www.youtube.
Trump believes New York City’s crime fighting techniques under Mayor Giuliani in the ’90s serves as the best model for where we need to go with law enforcement in this decade. Trump believes we should bring back stop-and-frisk.
When confronted by the fact stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional, Trump blamed an activist “against-police-judge” for the ruling, and said “…the argument is we have to take the guns away from these people that have them, and that they are bad people that shouldn’t have ’em. These are felons, these are people that are bad people.”
Trump describes inner-city life as a constant dodge of bullets while walking down the street. In Trump’s mind, there have been 4000 shooting deaths this year in Chicago alone. (There have been over 600 so far this year.)
Trump believes we need more police on the streets.
A Trump presidency could make additional military hardware available to local police departments.
A Trump presidency could allocate federal tax dollars to support the salaries of more police officers.
A Trump presidency could select Supreme Court Justices that would rule in favor of an officer’s right to use force, and conduct surveillance and searches without probable cause.
A Trump presidency could enlarge The Drug War as a means to confiscate weapons from “bad people.”
A Trump presidency could expand Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to spread a wider net for illegal immigrants with criminal records.
A Trump presidency could expand capacity of federal and state prisons.
Our local police departments are carefully quiet as to how they secure more tools, supplies and funding from our governments. It’s safe to say our local law enforcement officials never saw a tax dollar they didn’t like to spend. One of the largest portions of our municipal and county budgets are allocated for law enforcement.
On top of the handsome salaries, medical and insurance benefits, and the unlimited shopping sprees for guns, cars, and buildings, local law enforcers are more than happy to accept free goodies from the Pentagon and adopt a more militaristic approach to policing.
All four local police departments in the cities of Urbana and Champaign and The University of Illinois acquired surplus military assault rifles (http://www.news-gazette.com/
Trump’s “law and order” promise is a dog whistle to White America that under a Trump presidency, the United States government will rescue the inner cities from lawlessness by force.
Will this philosophy contaminate Champaign-Urbana?