JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle push to ban ‘mourning band’ day after looters murder St. Louis cop

Jun 2, 2020, 9:34 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2020, 9:14 pm
A Seattle police officer wears a mourning badge to honor the memory of fallen officers.

The City of Seattle will advance a petty plan to prevent local cops from mourning the lives of fallen law enforcement officers after misguided outrage at protest activists and their nefarious enablers on the council. The move comes just a day after a retired officer was murdered in St Louis by looters.

The push to remove what’s known as a mourning band stems from bad faith claims by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and activists arguing its honoring of fallen law enforcement officers is devious ways for cops to cover their abuse of power.

This isn’t just a lie, but a transparent effort to sow hatred against cops.

UPDATED BELOW TO REFLECT CHANGE IN POLICY.

Seattle anger over mourning bands at protest

The mourning band is a cherished law enforcement symbol to honor officers lost while protecting the communities they serve. A black band not exceeding 1/2 inch is placed around an officer’s badge. It is common to see officers display the band out of respect.

But this offended the sensibilities of a Seattle City Council that always looks to criticize police officers. And this time, they have a willfully clueless set of activists claiming the mourning bands are being abused.

Activists on social media and Reddit quickly spread a rumor that Seattle officers were purposefully covering their badge numbers so that they could get away with abuse. The claims were the result of the perfect mix of anti-cop animus and complete and utter ignorance.

Some activists at the Seattle protests claimed officers were covering their name. In the video she posted, the officer’s name is clearly visible.

The anti-cop council pounces

All officers have their names clearly displayed on their uniforms. It’s the law.

The city, via Mayor Jenny Durkan, has not been able to produce a single case where an officer could not be identified during an investigation into misconduct due to the mourning band. But the council decided to ignore this fact, legitimizing the false claims that the honoring of deceased officers is a deceptive plot to cover abuse.

Despite knowing about the mourning band, Sawant feigned ignorance to rile up her base of cop-hating Socialists. Meanwhile, Councilmember Lisa Herbold ensured the public that the city would prevent cops from honoring their slain brothers and sisters in law enforcement.

“I think members of the public now are focusing on not only names of officers but badge numbers,” Herbold claimed. “The fact that the mourning bans are placed right over the badge numbers is simply not acceptable.”

Durkan seemed to originally back the officers, repeatedly explaining to the public of the mourning band. But then she sold them out.

Will Durkan sell out cops?

Held political hostage by thousands of protesters outside the Seattle Operations Center, Durkan told the group that she would give in.

Durkan first explained to the group that officers wear the mourning band “to recognize fallen officers.” Disturbingly, the crowd booed loudly. But they booed too soon. It turns out, Durkan is giving in.

“Sometimes the symbolism of something means more than what’s behind it, so we’re going to make a change,” she declared. They still booed, never happy. “Because of your voice, we’re gonna make a change. We’re gonna make sure that their badge number, we’re gonna find a way, it won’t be able to start tonight, but we’re going to find a way that a badge number will be shown every time.”

They booed and jeered anyway.

While Durkan has broached the subject with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, they haven’t agreed to anything. If she moves to get rid of the mourning badge, as Herbold implies is necessary, the mayor will have sold out cops at the worst possible time. Up until this point, Durkan had been effectively backing up officers against absurd complaints stemming from Seattle protests.

Reject irrational voices from Seattle protest

Cops are mourning the loss of retired St. Louis City police captain David Dorn. He was murdered by a group of looters. Late last month, Correctional Officer Berisford Anthony Morse died from complications of the coronavirus. In March, Washington lost Trooper Justin R. Schaffer after he was murdered, hit by a suspect in a high speed chase.

Now is the time to remove mourning bands?

Just because a group of activists that already distrust cops perceive the mourning badge to be something it is not, doesn’t mean you should give in. I perceive my taxes are too high. Do I still have to pay them, mayor?

The Seattle protest crowd was told what the mourning badge is for. We know that cops are already easily identifiable. And we’re certain some anti-cop activists on the council are using this fraud to sow division.

So why in the world do you give in to the irrational, unreasonable Left? They won’t stop making unreasonable demands. This would just empower them. How about you stand behind your officers? Why legitimize a hateful hoax that their honoring of fallen officers is a ruse to abuse the public?

Ultimately cops should decide this for themselves. I think this is worth the fight. Nothing done here was wrong. And there’s nothing inappropriate about honoring a fallen hero.

Update 06/04/20 at 8:40pm

Earlier this afternoon, Chief Best announced a change to the mourning band because “some of the public’s perception is that it is a way of officers to possibly hide their identity, even though name tags are prominently displayed on the outer most clothing.”

In her note to her officers, Best wrote: “Effective immediately, all officers will have their badge numbers prominently displayed. Therefore, when donning a mourning band, it must be placed horizontally so that your badge number is not obscured.”

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Rantz: Seattle push to ban ‘mourning band’ day after looters murder St. Louis cop