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Politicians Should Stop Politicizing Law Enforcement. Period.

America needs policy reforms to safeguard law enforcement officers, prioritizing their safety over political maneuvering.

NYPD pallbearers carry the casket of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller at his funeral at St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church on March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Officer Diller was killed on March 25th when he was shot in Queens after approaching an illegally parked vehicle. Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

You can tell that it's election season when politicians of both parties take sides in law enforcement. It's a disgusting and deceptive fact of American politics, immune to shame and the passage of time.

On Saturday, New York Police Department officers, marching on foot and driving motorcycles, paid homage to Jonathan Diller, 31, who was shot dead Monday during a traffic stop.

The routine stop demonstrated how dangerous law enforcement in America has become. The suspect had parked his car illegally on a public street, which Americans do thousands of times daily. Diller and his officer partner walked up to the suspect's car, unaware of the impending danger. The suspect, who had been arrested 21 times prior and let go, shot Diller, aiming his gun at a portion of Diller's body that was unprotected behind the bullet-proof vest. Diller was taken to hospital but did not survive. 34-year-old Guy Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder of a police officer. New York does not have the death penalty, so Rivera, whom a jury will most likely convict, will spend the rest of his life in jail, probably without parole.

Diller, who has a 1-year-old son, reminded television viewers of former President JFK when his young boy, JFK Jr., watched as a driverless hearse carried JFK's casket. The scene, which brought tears to millions of viewers worldwide, is etched in human memory. 

Law enforcement tragedies such as Diller's happen far too frequently for an advanced nation such as America. But the way politicians milk these made-for-TV moments for political gain is revolting. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed into law New York's progressive criminal justice system that put Rivera back on the street even after 21 prior convictions, tried to attend Diller's funeral. Social media reports showed how the family refused to invite the governor inside. Hochul left huffily. The NY governor pushed back on reports that she was asked to leave the funeral and later attended the slain NYPD officer's wake.

Former President Trump, who has maintained an aggressive campaign schedule insisting that America under Biden is rudderless on crime and illegal immigration, made it a point to attend the Diller’s wake. The Diller family had invited Trump to the far more intimate ceremony, a dramatic departure from how the family treated Hochul. "We have to stop it. We have to get back to law and order," Trump said after meeting the Diller family.

At President Biden's State of the Union address earlier in March, Laken Riley, the young woman who was raped and killed by an illegal immigrant on the campus of the University of Georgia, was the center of attention. As Biden walked past representatives and senators to the podium, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, from Georgia, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "Say her name," referring to Laken Riley. Greene also pressed a button into Biden's hand, which had the same message. Midway through his speech, Biden veered off-script, tried to say the name, and botched it. Biden appeared to justify the Riley murder by saying that legal immigrants commit heinous crimes far more often than illegals, an outrageous defense. The next day, on MSNBC, Biden apologized for calling the suspect an illegal. Trump met Laken Riley's family two days later, and they also attended his Georgia rally.

Four years ago, the Democrats politicized George Floyd's death unlike anything in American history. Floyd, a Black American, had been convicted of eight crimes between 1997 and 2005, and in 2007, he pleaded guilty to an aggravated robbery. He was hardly a role model for America's youth. On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police suspected Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, exercised a choke hold on Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, with Floyd's head down and hands handcuffed. Floyd died with his death ruled a homicide by the coroner's office.

For the next five months, the Democratic party exploited Floyd's death politically - by encouraging race riots - and to enact new law enforcement policies. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was then a candidate for the post of VP and identifies as Black, visited Minneapolis to speak at Floyd's shrine. In April 2021, after Chauvin was found guilty, VP Kamala Harris told CNN's Dana Bash

This verdict is but a piece of it. And it will not heal the pain that existed for generations, that has existed for generations among people who have experienced and first-hand witnessed what now a broader public is seeing because of smartphones and the ubiquity of our ability to videotape in real time what is happening in front of our faces. And that is the reality of it.

On the first anniversary of Floyd's death, Harris issued this statement from the White House:

Today, the President and I met with the family of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd should be alive today. He should be with his family, who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience.

Floyd's death became a rallying cry for "defunding the police" and highly progressive criminal justice policies in the big sanctuary cities like New York and Chicago. Crime shot up in these cities as a result. An NSA/TIPP Poll taken in November 2023 showed that a majority of Americans oppose the “Defund the Police” movement, and another 42% say the movement reduced their community safety.

Police officers know that arresting a suspect, after taking considerable risk to their lives, is meaningless if the suspect is back on the streets the next day. Our October 2023 NSA/TIPP poll showed that most Americans, across ideological lines, are dissatisfied with the crime situation. 

No, Vice President Harris. Officer Diller should have been alive today. He isn't because of the way your party has politicized law enforcement to appeal to minorities, who are more harmed by your policies in the inner cities. 

Local law enforcement is the most dangerous profession in America today. A police officer who shows up for work at their local precinct is never assured of returning home safe. Each traffic stop or citizen interaction could be their very last. 

Politicians of both parties should stay out of the TV limelight and drive policies to protect our men and women in blue. President Biden, you could look at the 1991 crime bill that you championed. That would be an excellent start to honor Officer Diller.

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