Opinion / Politics

A “Systemic” Problem with all Police? Not so fast.


The liberal media tells us people despise the police.  We’re told the problems are beyond some bad apples.  Police brutality, bad behavior, and racist sentiments are systemic.  The media tells us all are embedded in the profession and departments across America.  But from where does the media get this?

Systemic is defined as affecting the whole as opposed to a particular part.  Are police officers and departments all across the country “out of control?” Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck was beyond horrifying.  Chauvin’s demeanor through it all, while knowingly being filmed no less, was so cavalier.  This fact was even more revolting.  But is this just the classic or typical behavior of your average police officer?  Is the arrogance and criminality that Chauvin displayed systemic?

That’s a big leap.  But if we can point to dozens of other officers whose behavior also shocks us, it must be systemic.  Maybe, but not necessarily.  We must take great pains to guard against taking the extraordinary and making it appear as the ordinary.

Of course we do not know what is in the minds of police officers.  But we do know what is in the minds of ordinary Americans.  Gallup has done polling for decades, asking how much confidence we have in our institutions.  A solid majority of Americans have said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in police every year since they were included as a choice in 1993. 

In fact, in 2019 the police beat out organized religion, Congress, labor, big business, newspapers, the presidency, banks, TV news, the medical system, The Supreme Court, the criminal justice system, and public schools.  Not one of those even came close to majority support.  In fact, only two institutions scored higher than police—the military and small business.

What can we make of this?  Are we putting the wrong institution, the police, under the microscope because of protestors, mobs, and 24/7 media coverage?  What about public schools?  Only 29% of Americans said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in them last year.

You might recall the notorious Atlanta Teacher Cheating Scandal of a decade ago, where 35 educators were indicted?  What about NYC teachers deemed so incompetent, even dangerous, that today are being paid full salaries to play cards in “reassignment centers.”  The educators themselves laugh about it all, calling these “rubber rooms.”  A documentary was even made in 2010 called “The Rubber Room.”  What about all the high profile sexual misconduct and teacher abuse cases making news every year?

Overwhelming majorities of Americans are happy when you ask if they approve of their own children’s teachers.  I taught high school social studies for 15 years, bringing my “A” game every day.  My colleagues were equally stellar.  But even my own system was not immune, as one male educator was dismissed for “sexting” and inappropriate meetings with a female student.  I hope to not be judged by this.  Bad teachers embarrass me.  They disappoint me.  They anger me.  The same is true when you ask police officers what they think of Chauvin and others of his ilk.

What about police reform, or even teacher reform?  Are they meaningless?  Not at all.  Important public institutions like law enforcement and education should review and update existing policies and procedures often.  Frequent professional development is important.  It was a meaningful and necessary part of my teaching career, even if I didn’t find every class or training seminar to be stellar.  The training offered and educational status achieved of teachers and police officers today is far superior compared to decades ago.  Calls to defund and disband police departments are dangerous, knee-jerk proposals by protestors and mobs.  The liberal media is lapping it all up.

Speaking of the media, how much confidence do Americans have in television news and newspapers in the Gallup polling?  Only 18% and 23%, respectively, have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in both.  If indeed there are systemic problems with institutions in America, it might make as much or more sense to address them in the media as with the police.   

Jeff Szymanski works in political communication for AMAC, a senior benefits organization with over 2.1 million members.

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7 months ago

If you watched Levin’s program last night, you learned that there is no such thing as systemic racism, at least, according to his 2 guests, both of whom are highly-educated black college professors. If you assume that all police officers are racist, should we assume that all demonstrators, looters and burners are racist? There are good police officers out there, and there are good folks who demonstrate. Systemic means ALL. If you are willing to paint the police officers with that broad brush, then you should be willing to have that broad brush applied to you as well. The door swings both ways.

Pat R
7 months ago

Seeing how the results of those polled or surveyed include generally 1/3 or less of republicans or conservatives, is why they always lean left. The survey included in this must have counted all who responded, or close to it, because it appears to be reasonable for the nation as a whole.

7 months ago

It’s the liberal media that says police brutality is systematic. An alarm should be going off! This is a narrative pushed by the democrat party! You know, that same democrat party that accuses everyone of being racist while supporting anarchy! That same democrat party that totally controls the fake news media! That same democrat party that always needs to divide and separate in order to pit people against each other! Put me on record as a nonbeliever!

7 months ago

This war on police is beyond wrong. Not much else to say that everybody has not heard already. Totally disgusted.

Phyrn Harrison
7 months ago

A movement needs to be started to call it out as it should be: Celebrate our Police
The negative ‘protesting’ does not represent the majority in my view. Right now, people are ‘protesting’ because they have nothing better to do in this extreme time of restrictions. Last evening, ‘protestor’ decided to walk from a busy open store to the local police department. The police obliged by ensuring they were safe to cross a busy street to do so. Wake Up people. Take a look at what is happening to CHAZ. Starting to develop their own police force despite not letting the city police cross their BORDERS. Yes, boarders. These same people protest the police and borders to our country. Wake up and stop listening to and reporting about these minority protestors.

7 months ago

I know 3 police officers very well. They are spit at, called f*****g idiots, lied to, threatened, and many other disgusting things. If you have children and they spit at you, used profanity at you, constantly lied to you, would you just say, no big deal? What the officer did to George Floyd was totally criminal. But, the two black men killed by the rioters, one a retired officer and the other a security guard, are not even mentioned. They were killed by their own black people. They were not criminals yet they were not mentioned and the criminal was made to be a hero. This is not about George Floyd, it’s about control. Make whites and police officers look and feel guilty and you can control them to do what you want them to do. How we could ever let kids take over a city is beyond my comprehension. If cities bend to their demands, their demands will never stop. If your child demanded something from you, a good parent would not give in but show discipline to them. We are about to lose our country to kids who don’t have a clue about life. And who is giving it to them? So called smart, educated mayors and governors, many of whom have years of education. Why? Fear of the reaction to opposition, and stupidity. Read Revelation in the Bible. It talks about exactly what is happening now and what it will soon lead to. Pray for our country, our president, and God because only He can intervene and help us put our country back together.

7 months ago

There are more rotten apples in democratic party than there are in our police departments. God bless our police and may they all be safe.

7 months ago

We also have a sustemic problem with blacl parents not teaching their children to respect civil authority of police to maintaim order and discourage criminal activity. It’s useless to headbutt an officer with both hands cuffed behind your back. Spitting, voming urinating, or defacating in the patty wago doesn’tt reduce your chances of going to jail next time.

picky meg
7 months ago

Yes, Geo. Floyd, was an embosser/forger among other offenses. Why are the Antifa allowed to run riot in the US and Dem Governors/Mayer stepped back an let them. That should give all Americans a preview of the Dem. future governance. The Police are under payed,under funded in equipment and treated BADLY . Shame on all the Protesters and all the Universities that teach this subversive thinking to our young people. If I [am 77] had a kid in one of your U’s I would withdraw them. Not pay for the crap you are teaching. Withdraw any endowments or cancel such. Am I angry with the Us, Yes! And angry at the parents allowing this subversive behavior from their children. Stop PAYING! That goes for tax payer $$ given to Universities.
Antifa are ‘Oboma sympathizers’… but what about the subservient civic leaders in the cities taking a knee and washing the feet of the black protester leader agitators [and foreigners, too]. Watch the news!!! If I was a policeman, I would take a walk. Find an other job. Resign. Then sue ‘everyone’ for discrimination. We need to stands up to these weak Kneed Dem in civic government [even the Congress]. Do I sympathize with the Blacks that get in trouble? Sometimes. But the one in Minneapolis [=Geo. Floyd] was being arrested for forgery. that’s theft. Yes, the officers should have been able to subdue him without killing him. But they were not well funded or they would have had a stun gun to control the LARGE black man who intimidated them.. by his size!!! They could have been better trained,too. Two(2) of the police officers had just been assigned to these veteran police officer two days before… and really didn’t know what was going on. So who’s fault is that? The civic government didn’t understand the police mens lack of training or funding? Do the police have to buy their own equipment? Probably…. many of our ‘army’ have to buy their own ‘bullet-prof’ vests… [ There’s ‘Obomacratcy’ for you]. And some of the black men are really BIG!!!. Very intimidating to an average sized man. Black or not black. So everyone should calm down and take a breath, not a knee. Neither the police or civic leaders should be subservient to the ‘robber-mob’. Everyone needs to remember “We Are All Equal Under the Law”…. I’m waiting to see “suburbia” without police. In Texas that would not be such a big deal. We can defend ourselves. Suburbia will not be armed… It’s probably illegal…due to Obomacrat regulations and laws. Many are moving to Texas just to have guns legally. The Rich do not need police, they have hired security with guns.

7 months ago

If you don’t like the police who are local and over which we have some control through election of sheriffs, city and county commissioners, judges, etc., what is the alternative. IT is martial law. The military over which we will have no control. If you think the police are violent and racist just wait until you get martial law and the military takes over law enforcement. You are REALLY not going to like marital law and the violence that they will do. If the police are defunded there will be a tidal wave of violence, thefts, rapes, riots, murders, etc. IF you want to defund the police it is because you want to perform criminal acts with no one to oppose you. The same is true if you want to do away with voter identification and verification you are for voter fraud. There are consequences to taking away verification of voter identity. It will be voter fraud with no way to stop it. If you defund the police and their law enforcement duties there will be consequences. The consequences will be a tidal wave of violence and destruction with no one to stop it. Along with defunding the police will come gun confiscation. With the police gone and the citizens disarmed with no means of defense who do you think will be in control then? It will be the criminals. The only alternative then will be the military and martial law. If you hate the police you are REALLY going to hate the violence, destruction and marital law that will replace them. if you are really in favor of defunding the police you really need to think seriously about this and not just react to the few police officers who are bad and use excessive violence. The alternative to our police is much worst.

7 months ago

Finally, a printed viewpoint of how most Americans would agree with these statements.
Congrats and thank you.

Joanna Johnson-Smith
7 months ago

AMEN! Second only to Liberalism as Deadly to Constitutional Liberty, the Media Lies, Misinformation, and Indoctrination is the most dangerous enemy of Freedom in existence. Hold THEM accountable and the rest will take care of itself.

7 months ago

Agree! The Media considers itself invincible due to “Freedom of Speech”, but the Media wants to control our “Freedom of Speech” by “Political Correctness”! The Media is far too strong, and needs their comeuppance! They are directly responsible for the unrest in this Country!!

Mark Ludwig
7 months ago

If they can talk they are able to breathe.

Mark Ludwig
7 months ago

If they are able to talk they can breathe.

7 months ago

the liberals hate the police not True good Americans. We need them and we respect them. If you choose to have an attitude, throw bottles, wreck their cars, shoot at them, disobey the word “Stop”, go up to their police car and shoot them dead,, when they stop you for a traffic violation and you shoot them, when the cop is trying to stop a domestic violator, bc you called them and you shoot them at the door, all this bull crap is your PROBLEM. not mine! if you want respect you need to give it. so shut the the hell up and get some brains, and education, instead of roaming the streets like thugs.

Yvonne Frost
7 months ago

To appease 13% of the population, 87% will be hang out to dry with no police protection. It is good to know 87% of us are not important enough to protect.

Larry W
7 months ago

Why close down police departments? HOW STUPID . Are we going to close down all the schools because of a handful of bad teachers? Are we going to close down all the churches because of a few bad preachers? Are we going to close all hospitals because of a few bad doctors? Are we going to close all the colleges because of a few bad professors? Are we going to close down all taxi cabs because of a few bad drivers?
I have an idea, Let’s defund the congress, let’s defund governors, let’s defund mayors who thwart our constitution because we have MORE than a few bad actors that masquerade as representatives of the people. Let’s face it, they know they get paid regardless of what they do to the country and how many lives and incomes of families they have destroyed with their careless decisions. KEEP OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT PAID AND KEEP THEM SAFE as they have done for us 99% of the time.

Chuck Meade
7 months ago

Having been a police officer, I know for a fact that it is a minute minority that does something as dumb as was done in Minneapolis and those officers deceiver what is coming to them. The overwhelming majority of police officers are doing a fantastic job in an extremely difficult situation. Don’t judge all police buy what you see on the news. Rarely does the news look for the cop that is doing right, they usually look for the bad cop.

Sandra Griffith
7 months ago

The vast majority of law enforcement officers are very good and do a tremendous job for their communities.
A few bad ones don’t make all of them bad.
If you want my opinion this Democrats are very systemic to our nation and we should abolish them not our law enforcement officers.