Anti-Police Rioters Are Lying About Cops and America

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“What did I do to deserve this? What purpose does this serve? … They’re not doing it to protest. They’re doing this for chaos.”

—  Restaurant owner in Downtown Crossing in Boston talking about his trashed cafe to NBC 10, Sunday, May 31, 2020


The shameful behavior of rioters and looters in downtown Boston on Sunday night follows a familiar pattern.

Just as with the free-speech counter-protest on Boston Common in August 2017, the daytime gathering was peaceful for several hours. Then the day disintegrated.

Except Sunday night’s situation is much worse. Television footage shows a Boston police cruiser on fire, stores trashed and looted, police officers assaulted with objects and in some cases fists.

Ostensibly, these disturbances stem from the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died Monday, May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a white police officer kept his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The video of that encounter is dreadful. The police officer overreacted to an uncooperative suspect, leading to his unnecessary death. No one defends what the officer did. Nothing justifies it.

But nothing justifies what rioters have done in cities all across the country during the last several days, and now in our own Boston. People who have nothing to do with what one police officer did to one man 1,100 miles away are bearing the brunt of … what?


What is just about senseless destruction and stealing? About pointless violence? What does any of it have to do with George Floyd?

At one point during the rioting Sunday night, Boston police issued a tweet saying that protesters attacking police officers “have surrendered the moral high ground.”


But the protesters did not have the moral high ground to begin with.

Let’s stipulate that most of the protesters didn’t commit violence, and that they exercised their right to protest peacefully. That doesn’t make their message correct.

For the message of the protesters doesn’t have much to do with George Floyd. Instead, it’s a general message aimed at police – and, by extension, at America.

And it’s wrong.

The protests stem from a false narrative:  that racist white cops routinely brutalize black men because they’re black.

It’s not true.

There are various ways to show it, but here’s one:  white cops are not more likely to shoot black people than black cops are, as a study published in July 2019 by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found.

The vast majority of cops of whatever race want to do their job, get through their shift, and go home.

There are bad apples in every barrel, and when bad apples turn sour they must have their power taken away. If the Minneapolis officer’s service record is as bad as has been reported, it’s a shame his power wasn’t take away long ago.

Yet that doesn’t besmirch the good and difficult work that the vast majority of our police officers do.

Neither is our justice system insensitive to right and wrong.

When video showed evidence of an outrageous act to a wide audience, people who run things in Minnesota reacted. The police officers involved were quickly fired. One has been charged with a serious crime. Others are under investigation.

It doesn’t help George Floyd. But it does speak to the basic decency of Americans. When we see something that’s wrong, we try to make it right.

We always have.

That’s the America that most of us know.

Not the one where America-hating thugs attack businesses and cops for no good reason.