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Support Your Local Police, Referees, And Umpires — When They’re Right

This is a companion piece to my article, “Did NFL Referees Discriminate Against Muslim Player?,” in which I pointed out that NFL referees must “adhere to a very high standard of unbiased and accurate officiating.  Make a wrong call and coaches, players, and millions of fans will climb all over you.”

I’ve recently posted several articles criticizing cops.  Not all cops, just bad cops.  Ever attend a Little League game where the umpire made a bum call?  What did the managers, players, and spectators do, cheer the umpire?  No, they booed.  We expect perfection from sports referees and umpires, and boo their mistakes.  Should we expect less from our police?

Like sports referees, cops work in public, often with an audience, and their job involves enforcing rules.  We expect them to know the rules and make the right calls, and when they don’t, we get upset.  This ought to come as no surprise, especially because, unlike sports referees, we give cops guns and authority to shoot people.  So why should they expect to be above criticism when they make bad calls?

In sports, there are rules governing how you can dispute a referee’s or umpire’s call.  You can argue with him, but only so much, and from a certain distance.  You can’t touch, shove, or punch him.  In most sports, you now can ask for a review and second opinion, but you can’t call the play yourself.

On the street, you can’t interfere with the police or endanger them.  For example, you can’t physically block them from making an arrest, even if you think the arrest is wrong, or you’ll go to jail too.  But some cops either don’t know the rulebook or think it doesn’t apply to them, and go way beyond enforcing the rules that govern how you may disagree with a cop.  They may feel “threatened” if you merely watch, or make a video their activity.  They may arrest you, not for interfering or resisting, but just for asking a question or stating an objection.  They think we’ve given them absolute power.  We haven’t.  We’ve given them a badge and gun which we expect them to use according to the rulebook.  And we’ve reserved the right to boo their judgment when we think they’ve made a wrong call.Roger Rabbit

 


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