Christopher Manion
February 14, 2013

Way back before Woodstock (1969, for the uninitiated), I had a “Support Your Local Police” bumper sticker on my car. We wanted to keep our cops free from federal control.

We failed, and the LAPD-Dorner incident proves it. The LAPD acted like American troops in Iraq: protect your own, dehumanize everyone else. Remember Tahrir Square? American security forces **guarding high-ranking U.S. officials** killed 17 innocent Iraqi civilians for nothing. But “we didn’t lose one American,” Blackwater bragged.

They have been trained and told they can’t tell the enemy from the innocent civilians. As a result, they bring the “preemptive war” down to the street level, and shoot first, fast, and often. Remember Haditha?

Soldiers and other killers for hire in Iraq and Afghanistan are carefully trained to stop thinking of their targets as human beings. Otherwise they’ll flinch and hesitate when they need to kill. “If you ask yourself, ‘did he kiss his kids goodbye this morning,’ you’re through,” I remember one sniper saying. And I remember this one, too: “Sorry, The chick got in the way.”

Many LAPD and other police force members are veterans of those wars. Do you think they can forget that training? Turn it off like a switch? The LAPD-Dorner case has proven that they can’t.

Now the LAPD shoots a 72-year-old grandmother – to protect their own! And her daughter – to protect their own! They can muster thousands of police, plus the firepower of a Marine brigade — to protect their own! They shoot up trucks, burn down houses, shut down whole towns — to protect their own!

You do that on a battlefield in the midst of an enemy. You **don’t** do it in the midst of the community you are supposed to “serve and protect.”

Instead of  “serving and protecting” **us**, they shoot up the innocent public and kiss up to (oops, I’m sorry, they protect) their superiors – who will be sitting on their next promotion board, of course.

Government will always protect its own. But it won’t protect you. It will just send a bureaucrat with a gun to your place later, to take a police report after you’ve been robbed, killed, or maimed, and the perp is long gone. For all practical purposes, they’re more like armed, unionized insurance adjusters whose fat lifetime pensions you’ll be paying with your lifetime of taxes.

This is the lesson. Will we learn it? Or will we continue to worship those “heroes” just because they wear a uniform?

In my book, they’ve got to earn it. And that takes more than a badge and a sidearm.

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