A Miami-Dade politician succeeded in creating a new paid holiday for county employees in order to “honor” law enforcement officers.
“Unfortunately, there’s been an anti-law enforcement movement that, in my eyes, has not been called for,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz during a county commission meeting last week.
“We have to support what they do. They put their life on the line for you.”
Diaz’s outdated rhetoric is more suited for an era before cameras exposed law enforcement for the dysfunctional institution that many of us know it be, a culture of coercion and corruption that some of us would opt-out of as taxpayers if given the opportunity.
But last week, the 13-member county commission did not hesitate to approve the bill which will give all county employees a day off except for first responders whom the bill is supposed to be honoring. Those employees will be paid extra, costing taxpayers an extra $1.8 million, according to the Miami Herald.
It is an obvious attempt at pandering to the police union, the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association which refers to Diaz on its website as a “dear friend of South Florida’s police community.”
And it shows just how clueless and out-of-touch these politicians are, still clinging to the belief that cops must be worshipped on the basis they are employed by the government to enforce laws, many that are unjust, not to mention the number of laws designed to generate revenue for the government.
“Young people, in the past, they used to say: I want to be a police officer,” Commissioner Rebeca Sosa told the Herald. “Now they say no, because they are not respecting them.”
In the past, young people formed their opinion of police from Hollywood shows and government rhetoric that painted cops as “heroes” willing to sacrifice their lives for strangers, a myth these politicians are still trying to peddle with this holiday.
But these days, young people develop their opinions of police from unedited videos taken on the streets in cities and towns throughout this country that show cops killing citizens over the most minor infractions when those people do not grovel to their every order and demand.
Thanks to technology, we now know that cops treating citizens as enemy combatants is the norm rather than the exception. We now know that “officer safety” supersedes the safety of citizens. And we know that cops are hardly held accountable for their abuse or even crimes committed in the line of duty, especially after uttering the magic words of “I feared for my life.”
We see it every day on videos recorded by citizens which is why cops fought so hard for so many years to keep people from recording them back before everybody had a camera on their phone which is when public opinion of police began changing, especially among young people.
Diaz, being a politician and friend to the cops probably doesn’t see it that way because he is the government not to mention when he was pulled over for suspicion of DUI a few years ago, he did what most cops do and refused to submit to a breathalyzer, knowing it would lead to his acquittal which it did.
Under Florida law, a person refusing to submit to a breathalyzer will have their driver license automatically suspended for a year. But Diaz obtained a waiver available to first-time offenders that allowed him to drive to work and do errands, the Miami Herald reported.
After a jury acquitted him in September 2016, Diaz told local media the reason he refused to take the breathalyzer was because he did not trust the devices used by cops to measure one’s blood alcohol content.
And that may be a valid point but why hasn’t he as a politician made more of an effort to address the issue to ensure other citizens do not get falsely accused of DUI?
For those of us who are not friends with the cops, it will always be about escalation to the point of death, if necessary.
It’s not about to serve and protect but to comply or die as we saw in a video last month showing California Highway Patrol officers smother a DUI suspect to death after he refused to submit to a blood test.
Police and politicians like to claim it’s all “safety” for the community but it’s really about control which is why so many politicians place cops on a pedestal since they seek control as well.
The bottom line is, there is nothing to respect about civil servants sanctioned by the state to murder you over petty infractions, especially when those infractions were designed by pandering politicians like these to generate revenue for the government.
The cop appreciation holiday will be observed on Friday, May 13 during “National Police Week” with the closure of county parks, buildings and offices and other services so it is going to be an added inconvenience for residents not employed by the county.
But the police union is happy and that is all that matters to these politicians.
“You guys made history today,” said Steadman Stahl, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, according to the Miami Herald, in reference to Miami-Dade County becoming the first municipality in the country to pass such a law.
“I hope it becomes contagious.”
Watch the video of Diaz promoting the law during a county commission meeting last week.