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WALSH: No, Police Are Not ‘Kidnapping’ People Off The Street. Stop Being Hysterical.
People gather to protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 27, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. For over 57 straight nights, protesters in downtown Portland have faced off in often violent clashes with the Portland Police Bureau and, more recently, federal officers. The demonstrations began to honor the life of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement and have intensified as the Trump administration called in the federal officers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Perhaps the stupidest development to come out of the protests and riots is the Left’s bizarre announcement that lawful arrests are now “kidnapping.” Recent videos of law enforcement officials arresting wanted criminals and putting them in unmarked vehicles have provoked this sudden redefinition of terms. The latest such incident went viral when a “counterculture journalist” (who seems oddly to be completely in line with the culture, not counter to it at all) posted a video with the caption:

“NYC is taking after Portland — a trans femme protestor was pulled into an unmarked van at the Abolition Park protest — this was at 2nd Ave and 25th Street.”

This video has been shared all over social media, with people like MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes and Rep. Jerry Nadler describing it as “kidnapping” and “terrifying,” respectively. Nadler declared that police officers using unmarked vehicles during an arrest somehow amounts to a violation of the Constitution. Many on the Left have echoed this claim.

Meanwhile, back in the solid world of reality, the “kidnapping” victim was actually a wanted criminal who had allegedly vandalized and destroyed government property on five separate occasions. The people carrying out the arrest were members of the city’s warrant squad, and I know that because they were wearing shirts that said “Warrant Squad.” They were assisted by uniformed police wearing bright neon outfits that said “Police.” Yes, the van was unmarked, but that is nothing strange or innovative.

This will come as a shock to Rep. Nadler, who is shocked and scandalized by the concept of unmarked cars, but police have been using them for decades. The reason is rather logical. Most people, it turns out, don’t want to be arrested. People who don’t want to be arrested will tend to run away if they see a police car approach the scene. This is why police don’t always like to announce their presence with blaring sirens. None of this is new, weird, disturbing, or, for God’s sake, unconstitutional.

Of course, these days police have a whole host of additional reasons to use a lower profile. One obvious reason is that marked police cars are routinely targeted for arson attacks by “peaceful protesters.” In the city of Los Angeles, for example, 156 LAPD patrol cars had been damaged by the end of June, each costing about $80,000 to repair. The protesters are destroying cop cars and then getting angry and screaming about fascism when cops must resort to using different kinds of vehicles.

All of this ridiculous “kidnapping” stuff is part of a larger, and just as ridiculous, narrative about our nation’s slide into “fascism.” It is hard to believe that anyone could look at the government’s paltry response to months of rioting, looting, and chaos, and come away convinced that we live under a fascist dictatorship. I have never lived under a fascist dictatorship — and I don’t now, and neither do you — but I feel pretty confident that a little bit of tear gas and a few rubber bullets would be the least of your worries if you behaved this way in such a country. But, as we have seen, the Left is never slowed down by facts or reality when constructing their narratives.

More from Matt Walsh: Activist Teachers Say It’s Not Safe To Go Back To Work, While Many Attend Mass Protests

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