In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the Left has become obsessed with two compelling ideas: defunding the police whom they now hate with a previously unimaginable vengeance and tying all aspects of America’s founding to the scourge of slavery.
One liberal who has combined both ideas into a single j’accuse is Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who has posited that the modern system of policing in America is derived from the practice of capturing blacks who were in the process of escaping slavery.
Here she is, running that idea up the flagpole at what appears to be an online hearing on police reform. In the video, she asks a Mr. Crenshaw, “Is it fair to say that the policing system in our nation grew out of the practice of capturing and often murdering individuals trying to escape from slavery? Could you speak to just the history of our policing system and how you see that influencing modern-day police?”
The video doesn’t include Mr. Crenshaw’s answer, but if he knows anything at all about the history of policing. he probably told her that the practice dates back millennia. In Babylonia, for example, matters of law enforcement were initially delegated to individuals with military backgrounds though over time law and order was maintained by officers known as paqūdus.
The first organized and uniformed police force as we know it was created by the government of the French King Louis XIV in 1667 to police the city of Paris, at the time one the largest city in Europe. Modern policing, with its chain of command and focus on crime detection as well keeping the peace, dates to eighteenth-century Scotland. In 1800, the city of Glasgow passed the Glasgow Police Act, codifying the above notions.
If Pressley had bothered to look into the matter before making a public spectacle of herself, she could have easily answered her own ridiculous question, but obviously her goal was to get the linkage out there, however spurious, so that she could continue to inflame passions.
(h/t Joe Newby, Conservative Firing Line)