Blue Lives Matter, Police Union Miss Key Moment for Change by Attacking Black Lives Matter

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement is how it continues to be misunderstood. In particular, law enforcement has consistently failed to understand the movement’s core tenet: black people are not less than, and they’re tired of being treated as such.

This shouldn’t be a lightning rod point. It’s arguing for treatment that is not separate, just equal.

But in a press release sent out last week, after three Baton Rouge police officers were gunned down following five in the Dallas sniper attack, the San Jose Police Officers Association (POA) suggested that the Black Lives Matter movement is an illegitimate cause. It noted that “we need action” as a society over “more statements of condemnation of these heinous acts or pledges of remorse for these latest murders.”

The statement concluded: “The hypocrisy must stop for a dialogue to start.”

In fact, the hypocrisy of statements like these needs to stop for a real dialogue to start.

The hashtag clash of #BlueLivesMatter vs. #BlackLivesMatter forgets that these positions are not mutually exclusive. But while we appropriately rally behind law enforcement in the wake of senseless murders of officers, we should not fall back to tropes such as “All Lives Matter.” This is a misdirection and avoids having the conversation we need to have, just as the POA denied or ignored my requests for an interview about their statement.

Black Lives Matter has never been about raising one group of people over others for a rare glimpse from the top. It’s about the very real fact that black men and women in this country have been systematically targeted, oppressed, incarcerated and killed by police in disproportionate numbers for generations, and it needs to stop. We do not live in a post-racial world, but we can create a more just society by agreeing that black lives matter just as much as all other lives and then proving it.

“The families of these fallen and injured officers need our support, prayers and commitment to do all we can to take the necessary action to protect law enforcement personnel and hold the cowardly murderers accountable,” the POA statement reads.

So, how can we better protect law enforcement?

Laws in California already give considerable protection to police. As I reported in a 2014 story about officer-involved shootings, an officer of the law merely needs a reasonable fear for his or her safety to open fire and kill a person. This is how an elderly Vietnamese woman holding a potato peeler is shot to death. This is how a man in a doctor’s costume, sleeping in a hotel stairwell after a Halloween party, gets shot somewhere between 24 and 26 times.

There have been more than several dozen officer-involved shootings in Santa Clara County since 2009, and not a single officer has ever been charged with improperly firing their weapon. That’s one way we protect officers. We give them the benefit of the doubt even when we disagree on what constitutes a proper amount of force.

But if we really want to protect our police officers, why hasn’t the Blue Lives Matter movement taken a firm position on greater gun control and mental health initiatives? Many of the men and women shot and killed by police are suspected of having a weapon, so why do we as a society still insist on allowing people to arm themselves to the teeth?

It is no stretch to say that the people who have targeted and killed random police officers are insane, just like someone who takes a high-powered rifle and attacks a school full of children has lost their mind.

Why haven’t we seen police unions sponsoring a raft of mental health initiatives? Why has the Blue Lives Matter movement failed to discuss how police officers are being outgunned? The only request currently being made by police is to make violence against police a hate crime, and give more military grade weaponry to local departments. Why hasn't law enforcement put a greater emphasis on simply banning the possession of military grade weapons to the public?

When everyone is strapped like a Call of Duty character, the only advantage is high ground—and morally, police unions will not have it until they admit that they have done nothing as a powerful lobbying force to fight the NRA.

A citizenry allowed to arm itself like mercenaries will only result in continued clashes between police and heavily armed people who have lost control. The fanciest, most effective killing machines were not created with the intention of gathering dust. They were, in many cases, purchased by extremists with the exact intention of resisting an oppressive government. And while the events in Baton Rouge and Dallas are in no way defensible, the killing of police is an inescapable ramification of the Second Amendment, when assault rifles are placed in the hands of people who are unhinged and feel oppressed.

“It is past time for our political leaders to step up and support law enforcement with the necessary staffing and equipment to keep our neighborhoods safe,” the POA statement reads. “We don't need any more statements of condemnation of these heinous acts or pledges of remorse for these latest murders, we need action.”

The police union wants action. But when I called and emailed the POA for an interview about what specific actions they think should be taken, the union played possum.

Parsing out the statement, the terms “necessary staffing and equipment” suggest San Jose should hire more police officers. No one disagrees with this contention. A few hundred officers have retired or resigned over the last six years, and the department has struggled to recruit new officers with Measure B still lingering. However, the POA also spent several years actively hampering recruiting and retention efforts, going as far to hold recruiting fairs for other law enforcement agencies and instructing recruits to fleece the city for training before taking jobs elsewhere. Their hands are not clean.

When it comes to equipment, the POA’s desires could include everything from mine-resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and body armor to better surveillance technology, infra-red cameras for the department’s helicopter or even body cameras.

None of this will stop the public from also gaining access to deadly weapons.

And while unfortunate, better equipment almost certainly would not have prevented the death of SJPD Officer Michael Johnson, who was ambushed by a mentally ill man possessing a rifle and the high ground.

“When an organization only incites protests over officer involved incidents and does not display the same level of moral outrage or condemnation when a cop is innocently gunned down then we must question the legitimacy of that organization,” the POA says.

This suggestion that the Black Lives Matter movement lacks legitimacy because it “incites” protests over “officer involved incidents” is a red herring.

First, terms like “incite” are generally paired with words like “riot.” The POA suggests that protests are offensive forms of political speech, rather than a First Amendment right. One they have sworn an oath to protect.

Second, people are not protesting “office involved incidents.” They are protesting the killing of men and women of color. They are protesting wildly disproportionate uses of force against people of color. They are protesting the perverse lionization of law enforcement, such as when people cheer over cops avoiding criminal charges after Freddy Gray’s in-custody death. They are protesting inherent biases and the way generations of men and women have been targeted: first for the color of their skin, and second for clues to a to-be-determined crime.

The flip side of the POA’s argument—that the Black Lives Matter movement should put aside its call for fair, equal treatment to decry the killing of innocent police officers—would also require police unions like San Jose’s to release press statements denouncing the way scores of men and women of color have been wrongly killed by law enforcement.

Where was the POA’s denunciation of the officer who shot, and could have killed, a Florida man last week, as he lay on the ground with his arms skyward? Where is the outrage that this officer attempted to kill this man, who was simply trying to help an autistic patient who had lost his way?

The Blue Lives Matter movement has a nation ready and willing to support police officers, so why doesn’t it do something about the number of guns on our streets? Why doesn’t it actually address the dangers of deteriorating mental health when people possess these guns?

There are bad apples on all sides, in law enforcement and political movements that demand aggressive change. But the political will is there to do something, if police will only stand up and make the discussion about gun control, mental health and justice—instead of them versus just us.

Below is the full press release from the San Jose Police Officer’s Association:

San Jose Police Officers' Association Statement on the Murder of 3 Baton Rouge Police Officers

Sadly, again today we mourn over the murder of three Baton Rouge police officers and pray for the speedy recovery of three other officers shot during this latest cowardly ambush. The families of these fallen and injured officers need our support, prayers and commitment to do all we can to take the necessary action to protect law enforcement personnel and hold the cowardly murderers accountable.

It is past time for our political leaders to step up and support law enforcement with the necessary staffing and equipment to keep our neighborhoods safe. We don't need any more statements of condemnation of these heinous acts or pledges of remorse for these latest murders, we need action.

When law and order breaks down to the point where our nation experiences 10 law enforcement officers killed over a 10-day period then a serious look at who we are and what we have become must take place. When a highly paid NFL player uses social media to repost an image of a cop getting his throat slit, then we must question where that player lost his moral compass and why no one around that player intervened. When an organization only incites protests over officer involved incidents and does not display the same level of moral outrage or condemnation when a cop is innocently gunned down then we must question the legitimacy of that organization.

The hypocrisy must stop for a dialogue to start.

Josh Koehn is the managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.

86 Comments

  1. You do not have a SJPD. You have a RICO organization which is self employed. Trying to discuss control of Police conduct is like trying to convince Hitler that Auschwitz is a bad idea.

  2. Ok Jack ( not going to name your race) who was an ex-SJPD officer who tried to sue because he was a “not up to standard officer – many many years ago and still complains. Just let it go.

    Josh,

    This SJPD has it 95% right, they have great officers. I know they have some unprofessional officers who should be fired. But I am tired of people jumping on the band wagon because an officer shot someone who was armed or was a threat to their lives. This comes in many forms not just because they had a gun. Don’t try to compare police shootings across the country to SJPD, San Jose officers are well better trained, it is like comparing apple to oranges. You should be embarrassed but then you are SJI/metro.

    AS like the DNC you are just trying to stir the pot. God Bless the SJPD, be safe.

    I could write a book on your headline but it is not worth my time.

    • San Jose officers “are well better trained.” That’s about the IQ I’d expect from a popo supporter. The SJPD is corrupt and bigoted. May the bigots burn in hell even if they “are well better trained” than a flea circus.

      • Hey Zorro or who every the heck you want to call yourself,

        The “POPO” as you want to call them are men and women who put on a uniform to protect fools like you and are willing to give their lives to do so. So show a little respect. They never know if this will be their last shift to return home to their families. “Burn in hell” really?

        Thanks Josh for posting this crap. But that is what you do at SJI and the Metro.

  3. So many flaws, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    “Hypocrisy must stop for a dialog to start.” If true, shouldn’t the U.N. be disbanded? Who decides what’s hypocritical and what’s genuine?

    There are a number of inconvenient truths:
    a. the number of backs killing blacks in Chicago and other urban centers vastly outweighs the small number of PD wrongful deaths. We should strive for better policing, but more blacks are shot on an average weekend in Chicago than all wrongful deaths each year. Instead of focusing on protecting lives, BLM supporters disrupted a parade in Toronto and pulled out at the last minute in SF due to the presence of police guarding the parades after terrorist attacks.

    b. mental illness is often blamed, but plays a very small role in non-suidicide gun deaths. Officer Johnson’s killer was impaired by a witches brew of mood altering chemicals and alcohol per the autopsy report. The report claimed he was a mean drunk according to his wife and daughter.

    c. “It is no stretch to say that the people who have targeted and killed random police officers are insane”. Actually, it is a completely unsupported fabrication. Who are the alleged deranged cop killers?

    d. “if police will only stand up and make the discussion about gun control, mental health and justice”. The police already have. A recent nationwide survey of rank and file officers determined that 79% are opposed to more gun control. They understand the value of armed defense and that criminals don’t obey laws.

    e. “an officer of the law merely needs a reasonable fear for his or her safety to open fire and kill a person”. That principle generally applies to everyone if you fear for your life or that of another. If unclear, a jury may decide if an indictment is warranted. Also important is the Tueller Distance – see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwHYRBNc9r8

    f. “so why do we as a society still insist on allowing people to arm themselves to the teeth?” It’s called the Second Amendment. Although the US has the highest rate of gun ownership, we’re safer than 109 other countries. States like Iowa have the lowest gun homicide rate, but the highest rate of gun ownership. To the dismay of gun control advocates, the correlation between gun control laws and improved safety remains unsubstantiated.

    Then there’s the problem of who speaks for Black or Blue LM. The POA’s statement is mild compared to those by Sheriff David Clarke. We have a cacophony of voices and no amount of SJI virtue shaming is likely to change accusations or claims.

    Why not stick to areas like SJI’s excellent investigative reporting instead of barking at the moon?

  4. @ Taxpayer: Your statement “That principle generally applies to everyone if you fear for your life or that of another” really only applies if you are white and male. If you are of a nonwhite color, the chances are greater you will be gunned down by police or white people who “fear for their lives” because a dark person has a gun. Get real. Your reality is vastly different from others for whom BLM has real meaning.

    • Suggest you review FBI statistics, US Bureau of Justice statistics, and the recent Harvard report. Black cops are more likely to shoot other blacks than are white cops shooting blacks. Blacks are much more likely to shoot a white in the commission of a crime than vice versa. Blacks account for about 7% of CA’s population, yet 45% of our incarcerated 3-strikers are black. FBI data gives the probability of a back man killing a cop at over 18 *times* greater than a cop killing an unarmed black man.

      NYC’s population is about 23% black, yet black criminals are responsible for 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime. About 12% of police shooting homicides were white or latin, v 4% for blacks.

      The Washington Post’s data showed that unarmed black men were more likely to die by a police shooting. The Marshall Project reviewed the incidents and discovered that racial bias was *not* a factor. At least 5 tried to grab an officer’s gun, some died as a result of an accidental discharge when they struggled for an officer’s gun, some were hit by stray bullets in justified police shootings.

      On a proportional basis, blacks are about 25 *times* more likely to convicted of a gun crime in the US than a white. Racial bias might account for some of this, but not enough to explain the vast difference. Researchers haven’t found a significant bias when juries racial makeup was examined.

      It would be easy (and incorrect IMO) to conclude that race explains this. ‘Correlation does not prove causality’. My sense is that economics and cultural values are more influential, but am unaware of studies that have examined this aspect.

      I spend a fair amount of time with armed dark-complexioned men (and other armed men and women). One trip included carrying sidearms in Nevada. Nobody reacted. Lawful gun owners are among the most responsible and law abiding people I’ve met.

      I’m told, and the data bears this out, that their (non-white gun owners) concern is not PD, but thugs – like yesterday’s Ft. Meyers shooting that killed 2 and injured 16 teens. So yes, my reality and that of the non-white gun owners I’ve asked, is quite different from your unsupported claims.

    • Neglected to refute your assertion about lawful use of lethal force being limited to ‘white and male’. Nope, it applies to everyone – read court cases. Like LaDoris Cordell, I’d like to see more [lawfully] armed black men (and others too). Our woefully understaffed SJPD can’t stop stop a life-threatening attack.

      • Clearly, I’m not Tracy, but I do know the answer. Cops shoot dark people because they can and they get away with it – over and over again. They stop “dark people” simply for being dark and treat them like third strikers from the very onset. Cops respect dark people less than Republicans respect dark people, and that’s a difficult task.

        • Zorro, you must hang around with Tracy.

          What I’m asking is what makes the coppers inclined to profile/pigeon-hole/stereotype those of color? Can it be their experience shows a disproportionate share of perps have darker skin?

          If you were a police officer wouldn’t you be ‘more alert’ around those people (I.e., have your gun at the ready?)

        • Zorro, if you actually believe the nonsense you post, there’s no help for you. You’re the real bigot here, Zorro. No one agrees with you, and when you were demolished with FBI statistics in response to your misguided comment, you just ignored it, and then falsely insinuated that Republicans disrespect blacks. That’s just more of your bigoted psychological projection (and IANAR).

          Next: when I started reading this article, I thought, “Yeah! All lives matter!”

          But then I read what the author wrote:

          …we should not fall back to tropes such as “All Lives Matter.” This is a misdirection and avoids having the conversation we need to have…

          No, it is “BLM” that’s misdirecting; the “B” makes that group special.

          And if you want a “conversation”, we’ll try to fit it in along with all the other conversations about race that go on incessantly, 24/7/365, decade after decade. If there’s anything the American public is fixated on, it’s race. So what is it that we are ‘avoiding’ discussing? And what’s stopping anyone from having whatever conversation they want?

          There are no good arguments here, only emo-excuses. But they’re weak tea. The public is saturated with race tantrums, and if it were not for the media always fanning the flames, maybe we could “all just get along”, in the words of a famous American king.

          What’s rarely if ever being discussed is the glaring fact that ‘Black Lives Matter’ is an ipso facto racist organization. It is completely race-based, is it not? But since it passes the ‘progressive’ litmus test, it can do no wrong. The media bends over backward to fabricate explanations intended to give BLM a pass. On everything.

          Can you imagine if an organization that called itself ‘White Lives Matter’ got a permit to meet on Capitol grounds? And can you imagine the police standing aside and allowing a that law abiding group to be attacked by a mob ten times larger, and wearing masks?

          No need to imagine, is there?

          A large fraction of the public is now programmed to head-nod when someone tries to excuse/enable a group like Black Lives Matter. The public has been bombarded with the same message: White = Bad; Black = Good for so long that it’s a part of them. There’s no critical thinking going on, no taking a step back and looking at the situation as objectively as possible.

          One way is to reverse the roles. Or put yourself in each person’s place, and try to see it from their point of view. And always ask yourself, Cui bono?

          It’s the same behind-the-scenes actors that always benefit from the ‘progressive’ movement (formerly ‘liberals’). They benefit from half the population being on the dole. They benefit from the incessant flogging of the race issue. They benefit from uncontrolled borders. They benefit from the breakdown in the rule of law, and from legal favoritism. And from the dozens of other wrong turns the country has taken.

          The same people want the same things to continue. They want the country to remain on its present course. There is no doubt, because they have an easy way to change the country’s course — which really couldn’t be much worse. But when we look at what they want, we see it’s just more of the same: They want Obama 2.0.

  5. If BLM wants to make a dent in the number of black people shot to death every year, it should focus not only on the few who are killed annually by cops, but also on the 7,000 black men who are killed annually in the US BY OTHER BLACK MEN. More gun control laws are not the answer. They only serve to keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. The bad guys can ALWAYS find a gun, no matter how many laws are passed in reaction to random acts of violence by deranged people or by criminals. Any person who believes more laws will keep a single gun out of the hands of criminals is beyond naïve; he/she is blind to reality and just plain stupid. “Black Lives Matter has never been about raising one group of people over others for a rare glimpse from the top.” And just how do you know that, Josh? “It’s about the very real fact that black men and women in this country have been systematically targeted, oppressed, incarcerated and killed by police in disproportionate numbers for generations.” Black people have been killing others in disproportionate numbers for generations, too, Josh; mostly each other, but apparently that is not on your radar, BLM’s radar, or Sharpton’s and Jackson’s radar.

    • That’s an incredibly false analogy, learn it at a recent KKK rally? It’s about the level of comprehension expected from someone with two first names and a house on cinderblocks. What does one have to do with another and who are you to tell another group where their time would be better spent? Your time would be better spent advocating for the poor rich white males who are most oppressed in this country through reverse discrimination. Poor things. How many more black men are killed by their “WHITE FATHERS” in absolutely needless wars?

      • “That’s an incredibly false analogy, learn it at a recent KKK rally?” No, Dark Fox, I learned that by reading statistics published by Obama’s Dept. of Justice. When you learn to read, you can check it out, too.

  6. Has the SJPOA ever “display[ed] the same level of moral outrage or condemnation” when it comes to cops killing innocent black people? If not, then they are guilty of the same exact thing they are butthurt about.

    • Great question. Given that it’s rhetorical, I won’t respond. I did want to add that SJPOS does not condemn killing of innocent black people because only BLUE LIVES MATTER to them.

  7. Here’s a question for Josh:

    Is there any difference in social behavior between people of “black ethos” and people of “white ethos”?
    .
    Explain your answer.

    If one ethos is better than the other, should the government educate everyone in the superior ethos in order to reduce violence and promote social harmony?

  8. So how do you envision this “dialogue” Josh? Would this be a round-table session, broadcast live on CNN or perhaps a gathering of “important people with solutions” conference in a convention center-type facility?

    You have to understand that as long as we have a disproportionate number of African American children growing up either in a fatherless family (49%) or no parent whatsoever (8%), then you’re in for a lot of “dialogues” for decades to come. This is not a racial issue nor a problem of policing. It’s the family problem and if you don’t get that by now, you never will.

    http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=family-structure

  9. Josh Koehn, this opinion piece made it very clear why the POA had no interest in speaking with you. You’re not a reporter. You’re an advocate with no sense of fairness and no interest in the facts.

    Like so many in the media, politics and the BLM movement, you call for a “real dialogue.” Yet it’s clear from what you’ve written that you have absolutely no interest in such a conversation. Your premise is that the problem is “…the very real fact that black men and women in this country have been systematically targeted, oppressed, incarcerated and killed by police in disproportionate numbers for generations, and it needs to stop.” I guess you saw no need to try to justify why you state this as “fact.” If you were really interested in a “real dialogue,” you might have discussed some of the actual facts which refute your claim.

    It is a fact that black males commit a wildly disproportionate number of this nation’s violent crimes. It’s a fact that the victims of these crimes, particularly the murders, are also overwhelmingly black. Given these actual facts, it’s shouldn’t be at all surprising that young, black males come into contact with the police disproportionally. It should be expected. If it wasn’t the case, the police wouldn’t be doing their jobs. The police didn’t create this problem. They just have to deal with it.

    You also chose to conveniently ignore some recent studies that indicate that officers might actually be less likely to shoot black suspects (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1745-9133.12187/abstract and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/13/why-a-massive-new-study-on-police-shootings-of-whites-and-blacks-is-so-controversial/). You also didn’t discuss the fact that the Michael Brown shooting, which sparked the BLM movement, was actually completely justified and the popular “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was a lie. The “gentle giant” was actually a strong-armed robber who attacked the officer and attempted to take the officer’s gun. There are many similar examples.

    Instead, you label as “perverse” the cheering of the Freddy Gray acquittals. When the defendant is a police officer, I guess proof shouldn’t be required? The judge who has presided over these trials, a black man, has been appalled at the lack of evidence of guilt presented by the prosecution. In your mind, however, it appears that justice, when it comes to police officers, is nothing to be applauded.

    No, you’re not interested in a “real dialogue,” and neither is the BLM movement. In their eyes, Michael Brown is still a “gentle giant” and still a victim. In their eyes, the police will always be wrong. Given this attitude, it’s not surprising that so many BLM demonstrations have included chants, speeches and signs calling for the murder of police officers, which is another fact you choose to ignore. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Eric-Garner-Manhattan-Dead-Cops-Video-Millions-March-Protest-285805731.htmlhttp://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/07/caught-video-black-lives-matter-leader-calls-running-shooting-police/.

    Finally, a real dialogue would have to include a discussion of how to avoid problems with the police. It’s actually pretty simple: when contacted by the police, cooperate. Don’t run or fight. Follow instructions. It might also be helpful to abstain from committing crimes. How hard is that?

    • Pete: don’t confuse Josh or Jennifer with facts. Their minds are made up. More white guilt, or perhaps white fear of offending blacks with the truth, which truth was established by the Obama Justice Department statistics re blacks killing blacks. White liberals go limp if someone calls them racist. It’s like Kryptonite to Superman. However, deep down, many white liberals don’t respect black people at all. They actually fear black people, so they keep coddling them with welfare, other free stuff, affirmative action (actually an insult, which tells black people they can’t compete on an equal playing field) all under the guise of being down with them. White liberal programs for the last 75 years have transformed the black community from mostly hard working, self-supporting, church going, well-dressed members of society to mostly free stuff collecting, drug dealers, pimps and thugs, with pants on the ground and butt cracks or boxer shorts showing. The black community still hasn’t figured out that white liberals are the worst thing that ever happened to them, that white liberals have been the major architects of the collapse and near destruction of the black community. And the white liberals have actually convinced most of the black community that it’s the Republicans who are screwing them. Shows you how crafty the white liberals are, and how gullible the black community is.

  10. And don’t forget, Pete: if you’re a guy with several dozen unpaid moving violations and you get stopped AGAIN, don’t tell the cop you have a gun and immediately reach into your pocket “for your license and registration” dumb-as*.

    • That’s actually a good point, JohnMichaelJoeBobLeviBill. You should get your gun as soon as you see the flashing lights. No reason to let them get the drop on you. You already know what’s coming – get in front of it!

  11. “The hypocrisy must stop for dialogue to start.”

    That’s hypocritically ironic.

    These acts of violence against police wouldn’t have happened if police weren’t getting away with oppressing and killing so many people of color and/or mentally handicapped.

    SJPD is just adding more fire to the fuel. After this statement, along with the tweets from Phillip White, I can only come to a conclusion that the San Jose Police has racism running deep through it’s department’s DNA.

    • > I can only come to a conclusion that the San Jose Police has racism running deep through it’s department’s DNA.

      A conclusion that undoubtedly makes you feel morally superior and really good about yourself.

      We could even call it “moral supremacism”.

    • “SJPD is just adding more fire to the fuel.” Another bloody genius!!

  12. > It’s arguing for treatment that is not separate, just equal.

    News flash for Josh.

    “Black LIves Matter” is NOT about equality. “BLM” and their progressive enablers have loudly and publicly rejected parallel formulations, such as “All Lives Matter” or “White LIves Matter”.

    Ask Martin O’Malley what happened to him when he offered the sentiment that “All Lives Matter”.

    “Black Lives Matter” is founded on a belief in the moral supremacism of blacks, and the moral inferiority of white people.

    Too much time is wasted debating the question of whether the Josh Koehn’s of the world who try to promote “Black LIves Matter” are A.) malignant racialists, or B.) well meaning ignorant stooges.

    Malignant of ignorant?

    It doesn’t really matter.

    In either case the the premise/political slogan that “Black Lives Matter … (wink, wink, … more than other lives matter)’ is a fraudulent, passive aggressive, and divisive formulation that needs to be rejected by people of good will in a civil society.

    • ALM and WLM only exist to quiet BLM protesters, there are no cries of WLM when a white boy is killed, and no Blue Lives Matter when a cop kills a white kid. BLM is an inclusive protest because it doesn’t sound as catchy saying “Black Lives Matter Too”, where most people opposing BLM are hearing “Only Black Lives Matter” which is inaccurate if you have have payed any attention.

      • Hmmm…i guess you never heard the chants calling for the death of white cops.

  13. In its never-ending quest to relieve black people from a proportionate level of responsibility for their misconduct, the Left is now pushing a new kind of comparative tool, Emotional Disproportionality. The way it works is simple: throw a tantrum over undesirable consequences (no matter how predictable), reject any rational explanation, and capitalize on the support of garbage politicians and that disgraceful political movement doing business as our news media.

    When Josh Koehn writes about the “disproportionate” numbers of blacks “targeted, oppressed, incarcerated and killed by police,” he would like you to bypass your reasoning brain and react in a purely tribal fashion. What he wants is for you to envision Blank versus Blank, get red-hot mad over the disproportionality, and fail to intelligently analyze Consequence as it relates to Cause.

    Example: Imagine if your local hospital were sued for racial discrimination because for every white gunshot victim who’d died in the ER during treatment ten blacks had succumbed. A Blank versus Blank reaction would be to blame the ER staff for racism (intentional, institutional, or whatever), call for radical action, and refuse to consider that the consequence (higher death toll) might be related to the cause (being shot and brought to the ER at a much higher rate).

    If one segment of this nation, led by that narcissistic racist in the White House, chooses to selectively embrace tribalism and promote, for political purposes, the extrajudicial indictments of individual officers and the denigration of an entire profession – the enforcement arm of the judicial system, then it tacitly invites other segments to do the same. Imagine a group calling itself Law and Order Matters marching into Oakland and shutting down the corner drug dealers, or Journalistic Integrity Matters taking over the nation’s newsrooms. It could get really ugly… Hillary Clinton-class ugly.

    Could it be the public’s concern over escalating tribalism explains why firearms sales are booming?

    Just as every death in an ER is treated as a unique case so too should every lethal use of force by law enforcement. This is what the police want, it’s what they recognize is owed to the community and healthy for their profession, it’s what they understand as fair. But to be judged according to tribal standards, as Josh Koehn promotes, is to be subjected to savagery. Mr. Koehn should be ashamed, and so too should his teachers.

  14. I am generally worried about how this discussion about police-community relations is devolving into “us” vs “them” camps. It’s ignited and fueling unstable minds like the Dallas shooter and causing other normally reasonable people (like the SJPD officer who made the in bad taste tweets).

    There are certainly times when “black lives matter” have fed the flames, but I sometimes also wonder why police officer unions take such hard “protect the blue line” stances publicly rather than focusing on the “it’s a few bad apples” line of argument.

    The reality in my experience is that most professional, decent police officers dislike those on their force who use excessive force or are otherwise behaving inapporitely even more than the average citizen because it makes their difficult job even harder to deal with people who have a grudge against cops because they were treated badly by one of the bad apples.

    Police officers do a job that few others want to do. We’ve asked them to become first responders in mental health crises which no one (even the most qualified professionals) have the answer on how to handle. These use of force incidents have become even more scrutinized as they’ve been videotape but often the people making these judgements have never been in the kind high adreniline, high risk situations themselves.

    If we are going to say, which I think is true, that being black in America means that one is often raised being told by parents or elders to act carefully and that others who are not black should listen and give deference to those experiences then we should also allow officers to share how uniquely challenging the job of policing really is…I think these officers unions could gain a more receptive audience for a balanced perspective if they were less self righteous and abrasive in their tone.

    • Less abrasive? When have the police marched anywhere and chanted in favor of anyone’s death?For the most part, the police have sat quietly while the media and politicians, including the President of The United States, have promoted false narratives and unfairly denigrated an entire profession. If the tone has changed recently, maybe it’s because the previously unchecked lies are now resulting in officers being targeted for assassination. It actually is time for a “real” discussion about the inconvenient truth about race and violence.

  15. To the individuals on here who don’t understand being black in America, here’s a couple books that helped me broaden my perspective and consciousness.

    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

    &

    Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    And to those who can’t read, a video of Michelle Alexander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gln1JwDUI64

    • > To the individuals on here who don’t understand being black in America, here’s a couple books that helped me broaden my perspective and consciousness.

      Jimi:

      There are thirty-five million books in the LIbrary of Congress.

      I think you may have started with the wrong two.

    • And for those that can read and are not critical-thinking challenged, [black] Yale law school professor James Forman takes strong exception to Alexander’s thesis. Alexander relies almost exclusively on drug-related incarcerations. Absent that, then her claims collapse.

      I like Coates’ book, his Atlantic pieces, and his Black Panther comics. I’d add James Baldwin and Clever’s Soul On Ice too. It’s important to note that all are personal perspectives and not claiming to be definitive works on being black in America.

    • Jimi,

      The idea that any individual or agency involved in the administration of justice should concern itself with what it feels like to be black, white, female, or anything else is absurd; the law can’t treat the public like it’s a box of crayons, and to suggest it should in any discussion of recent, highly-publicized police shooting incidents is dangerously naive.

      How can reading about what being black feels to one or two (or ten) authors change how a police officer approaches a suspect (Baton Rouge) who was alleged to have just threatened a citizen with a gun? The police are obligated to perform a particular function, and in that case their duty was to check the suspect for weapons, disarm him, and then, once a safe scene was established, investigate the incident. Because the suspect failed to cooperate the officers were obligated to coerce/overpower him (for their safety and the public’s), and neither the suspect’s race, sexual preferences, religion, mental state, nor any other personal detail was deserving of any consideration.

      How shallow or racist (do you think Blacks are that simple?) does one have to be to believe there exists any books that can accurately describe an entire race of people? Black Americans don’t come with factory-installed personalities, social or intellectual abilities, or feelings about what their skin color means; nor do Asian Americans, German-Americans, or Mexican-Americans. Every hour of every day, thousands of Americans of all colors and creeds are stopped by the police for traffic violations, border inspections, or possible criminal involvement, and more than 99% react by cooperating with the officers, ALL WITHOUT THE OFFICERS HAVING BROADENED THEIR PERSPECTIVES AND CONSCIOUSNESS – OR SURRENDERED THEIR SENSES.

    • > here’s a couple books that helped me broaden my perspective and consciousness.

      Jimi:

      Here’s a book that might broaden your perspective and consciousness ever further. AND, it’s by a local author.

      The Urban Plantation: Racism & Colonialism in the Post Civil Rights Era

      by Robert Staples

      The Urban Plantation is a stinging critique of the Black American condition in the Post-Civil Rights era. In his latest book, eminent black sociologist Robert Staples, author of Black Masculinity, argues that blacks in the United States constitute an internal colony. Dr Staples’ theoretical model for analyzing black life in the U.S. is based on over 20 tears research and study.

      The Urban Plantation, Dr. Staples maintains, is an extension and refinement of antebellum plantation life. In this context, he examines the Pan-Africanist model and discusses his own emerging Theory of the Fourth World. Institutional racism in higher education, the criminal justice system, and the mass media; neo-colonialism in the black community as it impacts on the family and political structures; and the plight of blacks in urban locales are all subjected to Dr. Staples probing scrutiny.

      Powerfully documenting white supremacy and black subordination in the U.S. social structure, the Urban Plantation offers a grim sobering and provocative view of race relations in the U.S. today.

      Robert Staples, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of eight previous books, among them:

      Black Masculinity: The Black Males Role in American Society (Black Scholar Press),
      Introduction to Black Sociology,
      The Black Woman in America,
      The Black Family; Essays and Studies, and
      The World of Black Singles.

      His more than 160 published articles have appeared in such publications as:
      The Journal of Marriage and the Family,
      The Journal of Social Issues,
      The Western Journal of Black Studies,
      The Black Scholar,
      Ebony and others.

      Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Robert Staples received his B.A. degree from California State University, Northridge, M.A. degree from San Jose State University and Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota.

  16. Josh, this is truly a disgraceful thing you have written. After reading, you apparently want to give legitimacy to BLM, whose members,at a protest chanted: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.” The POA has good reason to condemn this terrorist group, and the fact folks like you view them as some legitimate and peaceful group, is precisely why many people, including many blacks, are fed up and supporting Donald Trump.

    • Only bigoted morons support trump – same idiots that support the 5-0. According to you idiots everyone not a white male is a terrorist, a rapist, or a drug dealer. Do you still practice goose stepping?

        • The ironic part is Zero is obviously a racist bigot towards whites, doing the very same racist thing he accuses white police officers of doing. I wonder what Zero thinks of all the black people that have disowned BLM for the hatred they exhibit and their calls for the murders of police officers? Zero is no different than his counterparts in the KKK.

  17. POA is more of a POS. Let’s get serious. The reason that the popo don’t like BLM is because it drags into the light the things that used to be just between the frat boys hiding behind the blue wall of silence. If POS wasn’t so bigoted, small minded and corrupt, there would not be a BLM. Besides, if the POS is too stupid to figure out that “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean that Blue Lives do not, then they should be fired. Cops should at least be able to read. Although, since they take BLM to mean that everyone else’s lives do not, then what are these nutters trying to say with their “Blue Lives Matter?”

    • Zorro,

      I think your Z stands for Zero, as in you have offered nothing of merit. What things, exactly, has the BLM exposed about the San Jose POA or its members? Details, please. Also, how might the San Jose POA have prevented the emergence of BLM? Do you believe the POA channels messages to cops in Ferguson and elsewhere? C’mon, demonstrate how big your mind is, show the credibility of your accusations, prove you’re motivated by something more than prejudice against the police.

  18. Rule #1 for BLM to be taken seriously: Stop using criminals (Brown), non-police incidents (Trayvon), and incidents that happened yesterday where full facts are not known by you or I (Baton Rouge) as your rallying points. Those incidents will never ever gain traction with the majority of reasonable Americans.

  19. So according to Josh, SJPOA should fully support the 1st Amendment (and they do), but should lobby against the 2nd Amendment?

    Through his usual tinted lens of journalism, we see again how everyone should be equal… and let journalists write with ingrained bias. Enough with the slant, SJI/METRO. Please stop purposefully misinforming your readership.

  20. Josh you’re fine tuning those click bait skills aren’t you? Good work, nothing else for me to see here.

    • LOL – the same thought occurred to me too.

      Koehn’s writings are usually much better constructed. He usually approaches topics with the skeptical view of an investigative reporter, but that’s absent here. What neither he, nor evidently CEO/EIC Dan Pulcrano, appear to consider is the damage to Koehn’s and Metro’s credibility.

      There’s also the risk of advertiser fall out despite Dan’s Downtown Business Association ties. Everybody screws up. But repeated ones could very well trigger advertiser boycotts.

  21. It’s also quite ironic that BLM was born of lies perpetuated by media lies… Hands Up Don’t Shoot was proven to be fabricated, yet Josh and his ilk stand firm in the belief police at fault when these “tragedies” occur.

    I must have missed the SJI/METRO retraction or correction following the Federal investigations in Ferguson. Did the media apologize for the lies they printed? I certainly haven’t forgotten when his father, on live television told the “protesters” they should burn down the city. No charges filed and not a word of condemnation from Josh.

    Perhaps the people that want to move the needle in their direction should use more care in the Crimson that get put on a pedestal? The reason police are given the benefit of the doubt is because they are nearly always correct in their assessments of danger.

    Unfortunate, these opinion pieces are clearly not marketed as such, it would behoove any real hour it’s at SJI/METRO to clearly notate pieces such as this are Editorials instead of actual reporting.

  22. Just saw a new T-shirt from Asheville NC “#Stop Killing Us”. The morons still don’t get it–it’s them killing each other–7,000/year.

  23. Jate: everything SJI posts is an opinion piece. As Jennifer wrote a while back, they are a “moderated blog” not a news outlet.

  24. There are a lot of people missing a lot of points, much of it driven by a media making money off those missed connections by urging on the divisiveness. Unclear statements making it appear as if all of BLM is a supremacist group. Vague details on shootings making the all seem as if cops are killers. Yes, there are definitely those in law enforcement that have completely missed any part of the point that would be possible to catch. There are also some in BLM that are supremacists. Not all of us. Not all of them.

    It’s interesting you point out “police” and SJPD in more specific terms haven’t called for improved mental health practices. Funny. I know for a fact that the deputies in Santa Clara did after they had 2 shootings of mentally ill individuals. They asked for after action reviews on both shootings so it could be determined if there were better practices, if training could be improved, if there were available equipment, such as TAZERS, that would have provided less lethal response.

    The sheriff ignored it — her policy is always it’s cheaper to pay the lawsuit than train and equip deputies. The Board of Supervisors were dead silent in their support of the sheriff. And you and your organization, where were you on that issue Josh? I recall pretty much silence from your quarter on the issue of after action reviews and improvements.

    But here you are picking that the wounds of law enforcement to sell more ad space, ignoring that law enforcement have acknowledged these issues and sought improvements.

    I know, I know.. the sheriff did a GREAT job. As always.
    https://caseythomas.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/training-and-why-we-dont-have-tasers/

  25. I knew I shouldn’t have gone and looked at the other responses. I need a vacation smfh head and going to watch puppy videos to recover my IQ after reading all that.

  26. I live only a block away from the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion. Black Lives Matter has been present since the killing of the young chef who was stopped for a broken taillight. Though I fear the kayas of BLM’s presence, I support them. A poem dedicated to St. Paul’s BLM can be found on the following site. Please visit, please vote.

    https://cosmofunnel.com/poems/st-paul-burning-93327

    • I don’t find a definition of kayas that fits the sentence. The classic one is related to Buddhism; the Urban Dictionary gives kaya as a synonym for marijuana. Please explain.

  27. Look how divided our country has become under the current administration….

  28. And idiots like Zorro who encourages violence against blue. But this is what SJI exploits to get more posts. What every happened to real investigative reporting?

  29. If we could just get rid of that pesky first amendment no one could sturr these folks up, but when they do and someone gets shot it’s the fault of gun owners and the NRA.

    Let’s watch Turkey for a few weeks and see what happens to all those good unarmed people that their dictator doesn’t like.

  30. One of my firmly held values is that the members of each demographic should take great dare to avoid naming, labeling, defining, and describing the members of other demographics. When a discussion by people of one demographic undertakes to describe the motives of members of another demographic, we can easily know that we have moved beyond the bounds of propriety, and well into a set of supremacy claims.

    Nevertheless, people need to understand how slogans are chosen and deployed. Slogans are both multi-motivated and multi-determined. That is, a slogan that seizes public imagination, pro or con, is loaded with meanings to the proponents, not just one meaning, and it is loaded with varying meanings to the advocates as well.

    The challenge to us is to understand that the slogan in question is pointed back to the members of the group who are advocating it, as well as outward to persons not members of the group. That’s a toughie to get.

    • Dale,
      You sound like a nice guy that would like to live in an ideal world where everyone fights like a moderate Republican. First rule in propaganda 101 is frame your opponent into a box and keep throwing lie’s as fast as the news media can print them. I recommend Rules for Radicals, or Hilary’s America if you don’t have time to read it.

      • Dear Empty, with the sole exception of the need to change the word “advocates” to “opponents” in the second paragraph, you have never read a more radical statement than the one I just made. There are quite a few ideas in that statement that would turn both the writer’s and the commentators’ beliefs upside down.

        • Dale,
          You’re assuming the other guys are going to argue like gentlemen, what one guy says in the propaganda world is a diversion or maybe a double entendre to trick the unsuspecting dupe it to siding with him. Tricky slogans for the soft heads and soundbites for the alphabet channel news machine to make you think you are the problem, and the problem they created is not.
          Or maybe I missed your point?

  31. BLM are misunderstood? Josh, I imagine your journalism degree from the diploma mill in India cost you very little on the Internet. I also imagine you believe the Black Panthers, Hells Angeles, and the Mafia are all misunderstood. Chanting for the killing of police officers doesn’t make you a benevolent organization. Be honest Josh, you write this garbage only to incite the large number of comments which somehow validates your worth as a writer, right?

  32. Josh,

    Sorry to say you are and below a worthless reporter to allow this post to continue. This is why SJI / Metro is a joke. You do not even delete racial comments, and you encourage hate crimes. Shame on you! I think you just want to see a racial war. God Bless the San Diego Officer who lose his life.

  33. Supporting the Black Lives Matter bandwagon while critiquing Blue Lives Matter seems reasonable but both are platitudes that obfuscate the real issues.
    Josh Koehn rails against “Blue Lives Matter” insisting on the “very real fact that Black men and women…are systematically targeted , oppressed, incarcerated and killed by police in disproportionate numbers for generations.”
    Question, systematically targeted ? By whom and why? If a White man robs a bank do police question the first Black man they find?
    Oppressed- How?
    Incarcerated- After being found guilty by a jury of their peers? Or should they be set free?
    Killed by police disproportionate to their numbers- This last statement appears true but is the symptom of deep problems not just the result of racist White cops.
    Recently there have been trigger happy (or chokehold happy) police that have led to Black men dying but the greatest threat to Black men between the ages of 15-34 is homicide by other Black men. (NBC News July 18, 2013).
    Josh Koehn’s self-righteouly critiques police officer fearing for their lives but he should at least get the facts correct. That elderly Vietnamese woman shot holding a potato peeler whom he cited was named Cam Bich Tran and she was only 25 years old. (July 23, 2003). At the time I wrote a letter to the S J Mercury News condemning the shooting and questioning the officer’s courage.
    Koehn cites the man asleep in the hotel stairwell shot 24 times, yet he left out the very salient point that this fellow was drunk and had a gun replica in his waistband and reached for it. Luckily the man survived and was awarded nearly $5 million. (S J Mercury News September 11, 2013.
    The misrepresentation or selection of facts adds to the urban legend status of such shootings. Due to a disregard for the truth that contradicts the chosen narrative (or maybe just ignorance of the writer? Josh where were you in 2003?)
    Koehn goes on to suggest cops should back gun control laws, ask the next cop you meet if he supports gun control, Duh! (I bet you she says yes!)
    He says police should back mental health initiatives because he says shooters are likely insane. We should be careful not to label them insane or challenged. James Holms the Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter who killed 12 people, injured 70 more has avoided the death penalty because 2 of the jury bought his not guilty by reason of insanity defense, ( July 12, 2012).
    San Jose police rookie Jeff Fontana (October 28, 2001) was killed by a man whose defense team laboriously convinced the judge he is mentally retarded thereby avoiding the death penalty. Challenged or not the man lives on while Jeff Fontana is still dead. Let us not call murders insane nor retarded when evil is a more accurate explanation.
    So, how can we better the lives of Black Americans?
    Drop the antagonistic attitudes of some people, create cooperation based on self-respect and self-sufficiency and end the entitlements some people think are their due.

    Miguel D

  34. > Blue Lives Matter, Police Union Miss Key Moment for Change by Attacking Black Lives Matter

    I think your headline is misleading.

    “Black Lives Matter” is really just a “term of art” adopted by internationalist financiers to designate one of their stooge
    operations.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/16/black-lives-matter-cashes-100-million-liberal-foun/

    A more accurate headline would be:

    “Internationalist Financiers, Police Union Miss Key Moment for Change by Attacking Stooge Operation”

    There. I fixed it for you.