The indictment of a Chicago police officer for his participation in the insurrection once again highlights the need for a thorough and independent investigation of all police departments and the military.
It’s amazing that five months after the insurrection, we do not yet have a national effort to identify and root out police officers and military members who participated in, helped organize, or provided material support to the insurrection. Dozens of active-duty and retired police officers and military have been identified to date. In April, ABC News put the figure at over 50, although it is likely much higher.
January 6 was a seminal moment in our history, one where our fellow countrymen attacked our Capitol. It’s the most disturbing and brazen attempt at overthrowing the government since the 1860s. Had it succeeded, we very likely would be in the middle of a civil war.
Given the gravity of the situation, a little more urgency might be expected. Yet there is no coordinated national attempt to expel seditionists from the ranks of law enforcement and the military. So what in the heck is going on?
It’s not just a matter of accountability; it’s also a matter of public safety and national security.
The police officers and soldiers involved in the insurrection swore an oath to the Constitution. They violated that oath in one of the most outrageous acts possible. The only thing worse than insurrection is aiding a foreign enemy – which they arguably did as well, although indirectly since the US is now in its most vulnerable geopolitical position in decades.
Then there’s also the matter of ongoing risk to the safety of the general public. Insurrectionists within the ranks of law enforcement and the military have already shown a propensity to abuse their power. It’s no wonder why we have an epidemic of police violence against civilians – particularly people of color – when white supremacists have infiltrated law enforcement and the military.
And if you think that January 6 was a one-off event, think again.
Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, has already endorsed the idea of a Myanmar-style military coup only months after he urged then-president Trump to declare martial law to overturn the election.
Who do you think will be in the front lines of a second coup attempt?
These people are a clear and present danger to the republic. They are a danger to their communities, particularly people of color. They have no business wearing a badge, let alone having the authority to make arrests or carry a gun.
When are we going to get serious and root out insurrectionists and white supremacists from law enforcement and the military? It’s better late than never. After all, next time we likely won’t be so lucky as a failed coup.