Police Forces Need to Stop Threatening to Lie Down on the Job

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For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to crack down on loud, persistent house parties that are potential spreaders of COVID-19. How? By giving police who respond to complaints the authority to request that utilities at the property be cut off. The police union is having none of it:

“Mayor Garcetti wants to reimagine policing. He should send his civilian staff to turn off people’s electricity & cut off their water,” the League said in a tweet over the weekend in response to the mayor’s plans. “Let officers deal with the rise in shootings and killings in L.A. We need a leader and not a political contortionist.”

This is a minor temper tantrum and I doubt anything will come of it. More generally, though, this kind of attitude has become so widespread in the wake of attempts to reform policing that I wonder if police forces risk losing the support of people who would normally be on their side? How long will taxpayers put up with threats to stop doing their job every time police forces are asked to make even the smallest change or sacrifice? It’s childish stuff and before long it’s likely to create a backlash that does the police no good.