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Civil Protests Continue, Thanks to Trump

us president donald trump
Washington, D.C. - U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement to the press in the Rose Garden about restoring "law and order," in the wake of protests at the White House June 1, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bernard Kerik By Friday, 12 June 2020 10:14 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

In the week since President Donald Trump announced he stood with all peaceful protesters, the strong measures he took to stop rioting and looting have dramatically decreased violence alllowing legitimate demonstrations to continue peacefully.

In the days following George Floyd’s death, criminals and would-be revolutionaries used legitimate anger over his killing — along with the chaos accompanying mass demonstrations and a lack of resolve among some local officials to maintain law and order — to unleash a terrible onslaught of crime and terror.

For primarily political reasons, some have tried claiming that looting and burning of hundreds of businesses, and even a police station, is not "real violence."

At least 15 people were killed as law and order retreated from our cities, including at least one on-duty law enforcement officer, a retired black police chief, and numerous citizens who were merely trying to peacefully demonstrate their anger over George Floyd’s death.

Defining exactly which deaths were tied directly to rioting is a difficult, but the final death toll will probably be significantly higher than 15.

On the worst day of the Chicago riots, May 31, one day before President Trump announced his intention to deploy the National Guard to restore order — 18 people were killed citywide. That was the single worst day of violence in the city in 60 years.

The national press, instead of acknowledging the obvious fact that the situation had grown to being out of hand, tried to portray the wide-scale deployment of the National Guard as some kind of violent crackdown on free speech — in spite of the fact that the vast majority of Americans, including an appreciable majority of liberals — supported such a deployment to restore order.

Contrary to the extremist politicians and journalists who tried to excuse or downplay the lawlessness, looting, arson, and murdering of police officers and bystanders are not mere extensions of peaceful protest.

Such behavior does not represent "just what happens" when protests grow large enough.

Riots only take place in the absence of peaceful protest and the impossibility of civil petition.

Without law and order, peaceful protest is impossible.

We saw this in New York City, whose reputation was notorious nationwide for its high crime rates before former Mayor Rudy Giuliani empowered the NYPD to restore order during the 1990s. Both then, as now, those seeking to let their voices be heard without violence have their own lives endangered and their own cause sullied when others are allowed to burn and maim, as well as steal without consequence.

This is confirmed by President Trump’s timely intervention, and its actual results.

With federal resources and presidential resolve came a respite from the violence.

Looting and arson are by and large gone. The soldiers, having accomplished their mission, have now largely disappeared from American streets. Peaceful protests, however, remain — and by many estimates, they are larger and louder than they were when rioting was the order of the day.

Far from a failure, the resurgence of peaceful protests represents the complete achievement of the president’s goals. President Trump adamantly opposes "defunding the police," as some radical activists demand.

Mr. Trump does, however, earnestly believe that Americans have a God-given right to go out in the streets and make those demands. Members of the National Guard fight for that right just as much as they do when they restore order to American streets, and just as much as our military does when deployed overseas to fight for American interests.

"I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters," the President declared upon calling out the National Guard troops.

The peaceful protesters in the street may not, even now, see Donald Trump as their ally.

That perception, however, matters far less than their very real ability to march and demonstrate without the presence of an unchecked criminal element hiding in their midst.

The great American tradition of civil protest continues, and that is due in no small part to President Donald Trump’s commitment to law and order.

As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.


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The great American tradition of civil protest continues, and that is due in no small part to President Donald Trump’s commitment to law and order.
nypd, giuliani, chicago
Friday, 12 June 2020 10:14 AM
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