(CNSNews.com) – Michael Braun, former chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Agency, said on Thursday that police in the United States are “disengaging” because of the media’s focus on isolated cases of alleged overuse of force at a time when local and state law enforcement are the first responders to domestic terror threats and attacks.
“Law enforcement is under attack all across our country,” Braun said during a discussion at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., about the connection between police and counterterrorism efforts in the homeland.
“Law enforcement is disengaging these days, and it’s not the right time to be doing that,” he said, citing as an example local police officers were the first to confront domestic terrorists in Texas in May when a local cop killed two heavily armed men who attacked a gathering at a cultural center.
When CNSNews.com asked him to expound on his comments about law enforcement being under attack, Braun said watching a few episodes of the television program “Cops” gives a realistic view of the challenges law enforcement personnel face.
“That’s what law enforcement deals with at the local and state level day in and day out, and they’ve got a very tough job,” Braun said.
He cited another incident in Texas where a cop resigned after arresting a teenage girl at a pool party where the crowd became unruly. The cop, who resigned and issued a public apology, had responded to a suicide and a suicide attempt before he got the call for the party.
“I’m simply not seeing the media paint the most accurate picture … of law enforcement that should be painted,” Braun said. “They’re focused on some isolated events.”
Statistics prove that is the case, Braun said.
“When you stop to think that we’ve got 17,000 law enforcement jurisdictions in the United States and on any given day of the week I believe we’ve got 500, 555,000 law enforcement officers, and every day of the year those cops are making about 35,000 arrests, and we isolate one bad event, and we dwell on it for not days or a day but often times days and weeks, what kind of an impact does that have on the American psyche?” Braun said. “That’s what worries me.”