While campaigning these last few months, I have heard many candidates express their support for local law enforcement. I “back the blue” many of them like to say.
But like most slogans, it only scratches the surface of an important issue.
Here’s what I mean:
Article 4 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights makes it clear that the right to regulate the police lies exclusively with the People of Maryland.
So, the police are the people’s police, not the politician’s police.
This is important because the oath that police officers and troopers take is to the Constitution, not to a governor, or a county executive, or a health department official or the WHO or CDC.
But during the last two years many law enforcement officials wrongly and sometimes criminally enforced unlawful edicts, mandates, and orders thus violating their oath of office.
For example, since there never was any valid law requiring churches or businesses to close, and since there never was any law that required anyone to wear a mask, any official who misused his or her authority by arresting or detaining or molesting any citizen in this way was a lawbreaker.
And while many officers may have ignorantly believed that they were “just doing their job,” this is no excuse for the serious harm they inflicted on the people through their ignorance.
It would be foolish and slavish to support police that have betrayed those they have sworn to protect.
So, “back the blue,” but not the blue that turned their back on you.