Congressman Rush Holt earlier this month proposed an amendment that would prevent federal dollars from funding police departments that resort to profiling Muslim citizens without probable cause as a tool in combating terrorism. The amendment was defeated largely along party lines.
Once again, the federal government has managed to force us to fight the wrong battle on yet another issue, terrorism. The NYPD’s methods of investigation, whether wrong or right, have been subject not to the will of the people of New York City, but conflicting forms of statism in DC. The recent appearance on Fox News by NY Post columnist Michael Goodwin and subsequent article by Noah Rothman on Mediaite give evidence of this.
Since the 9/11 attacks of 2001, it may seem a good idea on the surface for the federal government to provide funds to state and local law enforcement to assist in breaking up terror cells and preventing attacks. But when one looks underneath the surface, placing the country’s largest city (or tiniest town for that matter) at the mercy of Beltway types threatening to cut off funds if they appear either too tough or too soft on terror or any crime endangers both the freedom and security of the local people. How can the NYPD be expected to operate effectively if they are stuck looking over their shoulder wondering if they are at risk of having their funds cut off based on Republican accusations of not doing enough or Democratic accusations of going too far?
If our federal officials are truly concerned with our safety, they will let local law enforcement do their jobs without trying to butt in or bribe them with federal funds. Besides, last I checked, trying to bribe an officer was a pretty serious crime. Isn’t trying to bribe an entire department be that many times worse? If state and local officials and voters want to get the federal government out of the picture, perhaps they should decide for themselves how best to keep their neighborhoods safe. That’s bound to provoke a few inside the Beltway types into defunding them, and essentially freeing them from the real danger – DC dependency.