Christopher Young is a self-identified left-leaning progressive from Seattle who wants to legalize drugs and expand the welfare state.
He also happens to be a 26-year veteran Seattle police officer and detective and former member of the U.S. military. And he is fed up with the lies he has heard from the defund-the-police left in America. So in an op-ed for the New York Post published Sunday, Young took it upon himself to debunk "four core myths of the #DefundPolice movement." He began:
As a progressive who wants to decriminalize drugs and advance the welfare state, I fit in well in my Pacific Northwest community. Except, that is, for my job: I've been a big-city cop here for 26 years. Before that, I served in the military. The raging #DefundthePolice movement doesn't know me and my colleagues at all — and persistent myths about police and their critics do more harm than good.
Myth #1: "Police are killing large numbers of civilians."
This one is just plain untrue, Young stated, adding that policing in the U.S. has steadily improved over the last half-century.
He pointed to New York City as evidence, noting that the NYPD, which makes up 5% of all American police forces, "has meticulously tracked every shot fired by its officers since 1971" and found a steady drop in killings by police from 93 in 1971 to five in 2018.
And crime has dropped at the same time. "[T]he NYPD has successfully used less lethal means of preserving — and improving — the rule of law," Young wrote.
Myth #2: "The anti-cop movement is largely peaceful."
Any person who paid actual attention to the riots that plagued American cities this year knows that to be false, the detective said. The daytime protests shown on TV were largely peaceful, but things got nasty when the sun went down.
[T]he dynamic changed dramatically at night. Protests became intentional riots, designed to draw a police response that allowed rioters to claim victim status.
They would begin with insults, shouted at the riot line for hours in the hope that exhausted officers would retort on video; some told officers to commit suicide. Then they would throw rocks, shine bright lasers in our eyes and throw fireworks and Molotov cocktails — forcing the police to respond.
The media, he noted, "adopted the comically false 'peaceful-protest' narrative and perpetuated the myth of pervasive police brutality" and offered little other anti-cop propaganda.
Myth #3: "Abolishing police wouldn't lead to lawlessness."
Young said that many of the defund-the-police activists are anarchists who want to get rid of government and believe that civilization would blossom because a "society of angels" would chose to serve each other.
No place was this notion exposed as "nonsense" more than in the CHAZ that plagued Seattle last summer.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was a nightmare for Emerald City locals — and all because police were not allowed in. From Young:
Police weren't allowed in the "occupied" protest zone for three weeks. It immediately became a hellscape and led to the shooting deaths of two young black men — the very people the movement claims to want to protect from the police.
Myth #4: "Today's police are 'militarized.'"
Young contrasted his time as a cop with his time as a U.S. soldier, noting that not once in his more than 25 years as a cop has he been tasked with sitting in an armed vehicle's turret with a belt-fed machine gun, though he did so regularly as a member of the military. He also shared:
Contrary to activist complaints, SWAT teams' armored vehicles, armored clothing and special training help them avoid deadly force, not commit it. A regular cop is often justified shooting someone who threateningly brandishes a gun. A SWAT officer wearing protection, however, will wait longer before resorting to deadly force. In Seattle, our SWAT team recently saved a suicidal young black man with a gun.
Young closed his op-ed by highlighting the need for cops on the street, even in relatively low-crime cities like Seattle. He added that the arguments from social justice warriors that policing is hopelessly broken and that police must be defunded should be ignored.
"Take it from a left-leaning cop," he wrote. "Those arguments are either wildly exaggerated or just plain false."