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Sen. Steve Erdman

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47

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According to the Preamble to the United States Constitution, in order for the people of the United States of America to create a more perfect union, “justice” must be firmly established as well as “domestic tranquility”. In order to accomplish these goals, laws must be passed which promote the “general welfare” and secure “the Blessings of Liberty.” Laws become useless unless they are enforced. The police are our chief law enforcement officials who enforce these laws.

Today our police departments are under attack by lawless radicals, who want to defund them. Autonomous zones, such as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone seek to create communities without any law enforcement whatsoever. So, today I would like to demonstrate why police are necessary.

Anarchy breeds evil. Calls to defund the Minneapolis police department began coming in shortly after George Floyd’s wrongful death on Memorial Day, May 25th. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, shootings in Minneapolis have more than doubled this year. More importantly, though, nearly half of those shootings occurred after George Floyd’s death when riots opened up in the streets, a police precinct was burned to the ground, and the Minneapolis police were told to stand down. Without the establishment of law and order, crime inevitably rises and evil flourishes in the streets.

Crime goes up when police stand down. After the neck of Freddy Gray was broken by police officers in Baltimore on April 12, 2015, six police officers were suspended and the police department reduced its patrols in minority neighborhoods. The results have been disastrous for that city. In 2019 Baltimore experienced 348 murders or 57 killings per 100,000 people, the worst rate in that city’s history. Moreover, on April 8, 2020 CBS Baltimore reported that the city’s murder rate this year was already trending worse than in 2019. Similar increases in crime can be demonstrated for Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis.

Police brutality is wrong. In no way am I condoning police brutality today. What happened to George Floyd was both tragic and wrong. The video tells a very compelling story. Indeed, there are cases of police brutality which cannot be defended, but police brutality is hardly the norm across this country. Whenever it happens, the offending officers need to be dealt with according to the law. But, an even bigger problem than police brutality has been brewing in the streets of America in recent days.

As long people continue to believe in the false narrative that police departments are inherently racist, our nation will never be able to heal. Civil discussions about racism require an honest pursuit of the truth. When truth is honestly pursued, facts and statistics matter. One of those important statistics shows that more unarmed white men are shot by police officers every year than are unarmed black men. If police departments are inherently racist, then this statistic would not hold year after year as it has for the past several years.

The bottom line is that we have now demoralized our police officers. Recruitment levels are down, early retirements are up, and many police officers are quitting the force because they feel they no longer have the backing of civilized society. Therefore, I want encourage you to not only support your local police department, the Sheriff, and the State Patrol, but thank them for their service the next time you see them.

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47
Room #1124
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2616
Email: serdman@leg.ne.gov
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