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PHOTOPIN.COM
This past winter, an armed right-wing militia group took up arms against the federal government and seized Malhauer National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Oregon. The militant rebels, known as the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, held it by force for 41 days and carried with them over 30 guns and close to 20,000 round of ammunition.

This takeover was led by the sons of Cliven Bundy – Ammon and Ryan. Cliven was recently incarcerated for his own armed encounter with federal authorities in 2014 over similar local-federal disputes. He was arrested on his way to support his sons in their rebellion. Ammon and Ryan still face charges relating to this incident.

What stands out about both armed acts of militant defiance is not only that they happened, but that local law and federal law enforcement didn’t seem very eager to stop them.

The CCF was allowed to come and go as they pleased for weeks. They were met with no force for the entire standoff. They were allowed to peacefully negotiate, and those that were arrested were arrested without incident. Even though they were fully armed, took over federal property and had threatened to kill law enforcement – on Thursday, a federal court acquitted 7 of these neo-Confederate soldiers, including the Bundy Brothers, of federal conspiracy and firearms possession charges related to the militia’s armed action against the federal government.

This treatment by law enforcement starkly contrasts the violence unleashed upon the peaceful protestors at Standing Rock.

 
 
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PHOTOPIN.COM
There are many political reasons to promote the idea that police work is dark and dangerous. The Fraternal Order of Police uses this excuse to secure laws and policies that protect officers from facing consequences when they kill a member of the community. Heather Mac Donald used this romantic idea of police work to write “The War on Cops” as an excuse to blame the black community for the violence they experience at the hands of the police. Donald Trump uses this false narrative in efforts to bolster his claim that he would be the Law and Order president.

At face value, it might seem reasonable to buy the premise that police work is dangerous – even deadly. Once the surface is scratched, though, the idea that police work is dangerous falls apart completely. Despite the rhetoric that there is a war on cops and the romantic idea that police officers are more John McLane than Officer Wiggins – the reality is that law enforcement work is remarkably risk-free. Here’s a list of 9 things about being a cop that might come as a surprise to the Yipee-ki-yay crowd.

 
 
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PHOTOPIN.COM
There is false information being fed to the public through national reporting networks such as FOX News and CNN that claims there is a War on Cops. It has been supposedly verified by the editorialized reporting produced by Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, one of the most conservative right-wing think tanks in the United States. This fake research has been used to lie about the Black Lives Matter movement, call into question the reality of police brutality, and promote the idea that police officers are the victims of brutality rather than the aggressors.

Heather MacDonald’s pseudo-academic pennings are written much in the style of the Trump campaign’s general rhetorical strategy. They center themselves by, among other strategies, rewording the argument being used against them to blame the accuser for the same act, overwhelming the communication channel with false information and asserting that this false information is absolute truth. And they are based on complete lies.

 
 
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PHOTOPIN.COM
In her opinion piece “Academic research on police shootings and race,” the author of the War on Cops concludes:

police officers are at greater risk from blacks than unarmed blacks are from police officers…. the per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.

This might seem like large numbers – overwhelming numbers even. These numbers, though, are little more than statistical misrepresentations designed to mislead MacDonald’s audience into thinking that police are endangered by black people. In order to back this claim, she uses techniques reminiscent of the eugenics movement and constructs a scenario in which the lives of black people are not worth as much as the lives of police officers.

Her work is being generated at one of the most conservative right-wing think tanks in the United States, the Manhattan Institute, which spearheaded such attacks on the black community as “the use of ‘broken windows’ or community policing—and management systems such as CompStat for nearly 30 years.” It is funded by the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, the Arthur N. Nupe Foundation and Randy P. Kendrick - three openly and ardently conservative sources. And she published her book The War On Cops through Encounter Books, a company that “draws its name from Encounter magazine, an Anglo-American literary journal founded in 1953…”

Yes, “Anglo-American.”