An interesting blog was posted on September 18, 2016 commenting on a very disturbing statement by the Broward County, Florida Police Union, who’s spokesperson advised the Miami Dolphins football team that if any players don’t stand up during the National Anthem, the police were not going to protect the team as they normally do as the team goes to and from the stadium. The reason given is the police union’s objection to the acts of protest by players who don’t stand during the playing of the National Anthem, to bring national attention to the treatment of African Americans by the police. Jeffrey Ball, President of the International Union of Police Associations, Local 6020 was quoted in the Miami Herald as follows:
I respect their right to have freedom of speech. However, in certain organizations and certain jobs you give up that right of your freedom of speech temporarily while you serve that job or while you play in an NFL game.
Here we go again — another police spokesperson who doesn’t have a clue about the First Amendment, nor probably any of the other rights in the Bill of Rights. Mr. Bell, you don’t respect the right of free speech and obviously don’t know what it protects. What you and your officers who share your view and follow your advice need to have happen is what President Reagan did to the air traffic controllers who didn’t do their job. If you refuse to protect and serve people you don’t agree with, as police officers, YOU SHOULD BE FIRED, each and every one of you, summarily, with you being the first to go.
The only occupation of which I am aware that minimally restricts free speech is the military with its chain of command structure. If the cops want to act like the military — they dress and are equipped like the military —then maybe they ought to be controlled, answerable to, and commanded like the military, by a civilian.
If the police keep doing what they’re doing, and approach that tipping point, society as a whole will benefit. Secret closed-door, internal investigations of their misconduct will stop, universal recording of their enforcement business in public will become the new norm, their lying will stop, and public prosecution of their criminal conduct will restore meaning and teeth to the constitution’s requirement of equal protection of the law.
A loud “Bronx cheer” to William Bell.