Playing Politics With Public Safety

Readers of this column know I’m not much for federal intervention in state affairs. Logic tells us the doctrine of State’s Rights is the way to go as local elected officials are the ones most in touch with what their citizens need.

But what happens when the states make a muck of it? What happens when community leaders worry more about their next election and appeasing dissidents and less about public safety?

The federal government has now inserted itself – albeit in a backdoor way – to try to restore some sense of security to besieged communities. Too bad its not in locations where riots have become a nightly event.

For three months the city of Portland has been plagued by the violence of a band of roaming criminals who are fueled by unknown benefactors. Arson fires, looting, frightening harassment of innocent citizens and business owners, even murders are now commonplace.

Portland Riots Have Gone on Unabated for 3 Months – via: KTVZ

Worse yet, left unchecked, this destructive Marxist-Anarchist led revolution has emboldened rioters in other cities. Hey, when local politicians order police to stand down what’s to stop those bent on revolution?

In cities as disparate as Denver, Seattle, Baltimore, San Antonio and Lafayette, Louisiana criminal mobs have staged destructive rampages. It is certainly acceptable if citizens want to peacefully protest but when those demonstrations morph into senseless storms of destruction then authorities must stop the violence immediately.

The most recent rioting took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin following yet another police shooting of a black man. Despite two nights of terrifying violence democratic Governor Tony Evers refused the republican President’s offer of federal troops. After the rioting escalated and two people were killed Evers agreed his state needed federal assistance.

Photo: Twitter
Gov. Evers Declined Federal Help – Death Followed

Can we please stop playing politics here?

Is this what America’s future looks like? How much more can average citizens and business owners be asked to endure?

In the meantime, the feds have quietly pushed ahead with “Operation LeGend” an anti-crime program that unleashed 1,000 federal agents to help round up violent career criminals. In just six weeks the operation – named for 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro who was shot as he slept in a Kansas City, Missouri apartment – has resulted in almost 1,500 arrests in the nine cities in which it has been deployed.

So far, the operation has taken nearly 400 firearms off the streets and at least 90 suspected killers were arrested. Others were charged with crimes that included drug trafficking, bank fraud and bank robbery, extortion, robbery, arson, carjacking and illegal possession of a firearm, many held by ex-cons.

Flyer from U.S. Department of Justice - Operation LeGend project
The Death of This Child Sparked a Federal Crackdown

The operation began in little LeGend’s hometown of Kansas City and expanded to Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Indianapolis was added most recently.

To be clear, Operation LeGend is not focused on quelling the riots. It is focused on simply assisting local officers in what must seem like an overwhelming daily grind of good vs. evil. At least it’s a start.

But not every city has welcomed Operation LeGend’s federal assistance. Chicago’s democratic Mayor, Lori Lightfoot declared she wouldn’t let federal troops in to “terrorize” the city. She later changed her mind after Chicago murders increased nearly 200 percent. Tim Keller, the democratic Mayor of Albuquerque, a city the FBI reports has the dubious distinction of having a crime rate about 194% higher than the national average, derisively called the federal agents, “Trump’s secret police.”

Nonetheless, the feds activated the program in New Mexico’s largest city and the roundup of criminals began.

City of Albuquerque's official Mayoral photo
ABQ’s Keller – Fed Help Arrived Despite Him

Again, can we stop playing politics with public safety?

I am a believer in state’s rights. But if riotous lawlessness continues it is entirely appropriate for the president (whoever it might be) to invoke the Insurrection Act and send in federal troops. Fifteen past presidents have done so.

In 1957, President Eisenhower sent thousands of troops into Little Rock to ensure school desegregation went forward as ordered by a federal court. In the 60’s, President Johnson dispatched federal troops several times to tamp down riots in five cities. There is plenty of precedent for the Commander in Chief to intercede – whether the governor of a state wants it or not.

Deployment of federal troops should be automatic during these trouble times. The besieged population has had enough. Damn the politics, citizens want peace.



  1. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Reader Monterey Jack writes:

    Maybe politics will catch up to the derelict leaders. Next election cycle will tell.

  2. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Reader fluff e writes:

    Oh ok. Look at your man in the white house and reevaluate who’s playing politics. He’s awfully good for a corporate guy!

    • Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Reader Gary Howell replies:

      Oh ok look at little fluff e open his mouth and show everybody what an Idiot he is, your intelligence level is equivalent to AOC’s

  3. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Reader Navy Vet writes:

    It is invariably democrats playing politics with our public safety. Vermin.

    I am happy and proud to look at my man in the White House. I backed him before he announced, and every day ever since.
    I knew he couldn’t be bought, and wasn’t doing it to get rich. I knew he loved America and Americans from all walks of life, all race, creed, and color.
    He ran because he wanted to do the right thing, show America and the world how great we can be, not just Americans, but anyone else that adopts freedom, trust and love of their people, facilitate and enable them, encourage them, be there when they need you like a good neighbor.
    If you call that “playing politics”, I say, it is what Americans do, and I like the politics of patriotism, optimism, opportunity, faith, trust, genuine empathy.
    In contrast, you and your democrats spew hate, spew lies, project your evil on us and our leader, you incite violence, and allow rioters to terrorize and destroy.
    And you want to judge me and President Trump?
    Pathetic. Grow up, child, and try digesting real facts and thinking for yourself.

  4. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Reader Barry Castro writes:

    When you destroy the communities, you have oppression, when you have oppression you have drugs and crime. Then the destroyed oppressed drug and crime ridden communities become dependent upon the government….A democratic controlled and corrupt government. Look around it’s been happening since the sixties.

  5. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Reader AF Brat writes:

    Thank you, Diane. One of the many these riots have exposed, is the inept democratic administrations that are governing these blue cities. The social rot that they have created with their socialist policies, and their outrageous acceptance of riotous behavior to advance their socialist agendas. We can all now see what they are willing to do to enforce socialism and communism on the rest of us with the help of their useful idiots BLM and Antifa. IMHO, President Trump is not pushing his authority because he wants Americans to see the Democrats “with their clothes off.” Get a good look America – is this what you want? He is hoping the elections will provide the answers.Otherwise he will have to react, and that reaction will have to be forceful and and potentially ugly. It could include dead bodies in the streets, deposed public officials, and therefore a form of civil war.

  6. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Reader Joseph Flynn writes:

    Resisting arrest is a dangerous idea . Don’t do it

  7. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Reader Old Boy Scout writes:

    Well said Ms. Dimond! I too wonder who is funding the Portland bond fire et al. That would be a person or persons of interest.

  8. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Reader Press on. . .writes:

    Precisely well stated. Thank you. We should have 20,000 federal agents, even 200,000 if necessary to stop the crimes.

  9. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Reader Joseph Flynn writes:

    These dangerous criminals must be taken off our streets. Never before have we had local authorities in support of violent protests that have caused killings, intimidation and tremendous property damage. Thank God Donald Trump is President

  10. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Reader drfooser writes:

    If the feds come in too early, the citizens don’t learn their lesson and a decade later they are again electing irresponsible leaders.
    I say Trump should hold back federal intervention until after inauguration. By then, the people of Portland, Seattle, and other post-modern idealist strongholds will have either changed their voting patterns or will be ducking from the fragmentation bombs.

  11. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Reader Barbara Evenson replies to drfooser:

    That’s partially true! Over 1000 arrested federally for destruction to federal property or federal officers! 894 are going to stand trial! Most are facing 20 years! Solid cases!! the best part.. no catch and release!!!

  12. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Reader Chris Santos writes:

    The dems will keep playing politics with public safety and everything else including the NFL, the NBA, Goya Foods, Good year, the school system, Twitter, Youtube, the pandemic, mask-wearing, Hollywood, etc. It’s called the Sovietization of the United States.

  13. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Reader Samuel Thomas writes:

    It is almost impossible to understand what type of justice BLM is demanding, and for whom especially in the Case in Kenosha. Blake was being arrested for a felony warrant issued in mid July, if he was a peaceful law-abiding model citizen as being depicted after him being shot, why had he not turned himself over to law enforcement? When being placed under arrest by the officers why was he resisting arrest by fighting and assaulting the officers? Is law enforcement for any and all black persons to be suspended in order for justice to be served? The BLM initially deserved support; however with all that has happened in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis your support is dwindling. When you accost people (Senator Rand Paul and his wife) as you did in Washington DC demanding they show signs of support, you are violating the rights of others in attempt to regain the support you are losing. You need to better choose tactics and different victims to support. We do have laws and your members of the mobs will become aware of them upon being arrested and taken through the system. Would you be in Kenosha if Blake was a white man? What kind of justice are you really seeking?

    • Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Reade AF Brat replies to Samuel:

      Well Samuel, reading the stated mission, goals, and desires of BLM, and the profiles of their founders, was enough to turn me off loooong before Floyd. You are right that their actions have rendered them totally unworthy of being a righteous civil right organization. They are a Marxist/communist organization that seeks the dissolution of the nuclear American family. Their words. No thanks. Their actions – no thanks again. Thanks Samuel. Well written.

  14. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Reader Episto Unum replies to Samuel:

    If he was white, odds are three times less likely he would have been shot. That’s the problem.

    • Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Reader Sue Citizen replies to Episto Unum:

      I’m glad that you are here offering dissent Episto, but I have to disagree with you. Let’s say this guy was white and had an arrest warrant for sexual assualt, and had the cops called on him because he was trying to steal a car with 3 children inside. I may not have every detail correct but by all accounts the man was a known violent criminal. Then let’s say this white guy resisted arrest to the point of assaulting the officers, has a knife, throws off the Taser, and is getting into the car with the weapon and the children. Do you think that guy should be stopped with deadly force? I do and I don’t care what color he is. I understand that black men may be harrassed by the police more than white men and that causes justifiable anger. But my argument is that this particular man, by his actions, brought on this particular consequence and I don’t see it as a race issue.

  15. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Reader timmerritt2004 writes:

    Some idiots do not know when to quit…President Trump is letting some of the idiots in Gov. bury themselves, as he ought to, I think he dislikes ignorance more than I and ignorance is not bliss. Unfortunately, some people do not seem to understand what Freedom actually means and follow more idiots down the path of Insanity rather than that of Moral God Fearing Americans. Amazing that it is only a very small percentage of the population that causes so much strife…Trump 2020 and God Bless America.

  16. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Reade THIRD HAND writes:

    Good article!
    Police need better, quicker tech support, analogous to roadside sobriety tests, when making arrests when there is possible cause connected to street drug crime/abuse. Otherwise, a third party cell phone video can go viral, and hog the judgment stage for months.

  17. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Reade Crooksallaround writes:

    It’s amazing how many people live their entire lives without any interaction with law enforcement personnel. Exception might be a couple of traffic tickets, which law abiding citizens just pay and move on.

  18. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Reader Richard Allison writes:


    You did a great job in pointing out the facts and how people feel unsafe. Senator Heinrich who, by the way does not live in New Mexico, called the federal police trying to stop the violence in Albuquerque, “Storm Troopers.” How would that make you feel as a police officer taking the worst of the worst off the streets.

    I am waiting for some information on how well our police are taking the seeming endless attacks on them…are they ready to quit in mass?

    Richard Allison

  19. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Reader Kevin McKeown writes:

    Keep up the fight. Good job.
    Please be safe. I would expect that you will receive death threats and so on.
    These leftist, Marxist thugs mean business. One was a close friend. He wants Republicans lined up and shot in the back of the head. This is a professional with a PhD in physics.
    If you vote for Biden, our lives will be dictated by these narcissistic, lazy, entitled, self-absorbed thugs, who contribute nothing to society.
    When Mayor Keller and NM Gov. MLG labeled federal Marshalls and agents stormtroopers and nazis, I sent out a very sternly worded letter disagreeing with these two jerks. I demanded an apology. Editorials in our newspaper, and TV news reports here in Albuquerque were demanding an apology from our mayor and governor. NONE CAME! Totally sick for these two scumbag politicians to pull this garbage. I’m so disgusted with the Democratic party right now. SO DISGUSTED.
    Keep in mind that if Democratic leaders were to come down hard on these vigilantes and rioters they will lose their votes.

    Kevin McKeown

  20. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Reader John Hooker writes:

    Dear Ms. Dimond,

    Rather than resurrecting Senator Calhoun’s 19th Century fraught term “States Rights” you may want to talk of “subsidiarity”.

    Subsidiarity means pushing public decision-making and responsibility down to the lowest possible level of competent public authority. It’s an old Catholic concept. I don’t want Washington or stateless corporations dictating state and local law, but the New Deal Model Codes and the latter day lobbyists’ draft statutes under the umbrella of ALEC do, for good or ill.

    Now, of course, if a county sheriff is incapable of enforcing the public law or simply refuses to, he may not be the best local authority to call on. At the same time, it does not mean handing public authority down to private vigilantes or that we should sanction “slave patrols” or other private militias acting under color of law.

    John Hooker

  21. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Reader vaneldredge writes:

    Ms. Dimond,

    I greatly appreciate you bringing attention to this matter. I live in Albuquerque and have been begging for the mayor, my local city councilor and the chief of police to address the ongoing problem of violent crime in my city. They have refused to respond. Others in the local journalism world have not addressed the issue with them either in the manner that you did in this article. I have some hope that the Sheriff of Bernalillo County having coordinated the efforts of his office with Federal authorities may finally have an impact.

    Thank you,
    Van Eldredge

  22. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Reader Mary Jane Hicks writes:

    LOVED your op ed.

    My thoughts, perhaps you can use them in an effective op-ed:

    There is no such thing as a slight pregnancy, a touch of garlic or a mostly peaceful protest. To those on the receiving end of everything from “in-your-face” to personal and/or property damage, the protest was not peaceful. One comment that I heard made by a protester captured in a news cast from Kenosha was along the lines of “no big deal, they have insurance” as she watched a business burn to the ground — how naive!
    Someone needs to do a deep dive to follow the money on the protest stories.
    Notice that gun stores have sold out of inventory.
    These protestors are asking for things that only they can give to themselves. An education is something that you work to obtain. The only thing that someone else can give is the opportunity for an education. Dignity is something that you give yourself. Respect is something you earn. I hear “black lives matter” but I observe that only selected black lives matter. What about all the black on black violence in poor neighborhoods, Chicago, for example. Athletes refuse to play a game, financially hurting everyone who earns a living from the those games being played, and totally annoying those who enjoy watching the games. If they want to effect change they should take a deep dive into the communities that are most trouble by violence, that want more policing to keep their communities safe and whose liberal city governments want to defund the police. Athletes have a unique opportunity to effect change, they should seize the moment. They are coachable on their field of play, they can become coaches in troubled communities. Taking knee is easy, working with broken communities takes real courage. Athletes coach kids to stop listening to “you’ll never amount to anything” and can help parent to stop saying it. Kids become what they hear. Athletes should work with law enforcement to raise up communities troubled by violence.
    With regard to states refusing federal help to quell violence, it was a different story when the Covid-19 showed up they were all about demanding federal help because many states were not prepared for a pandemic. Mike Pence made it very clear early on in every press conference about the Covid-19 response that it was “state managed, locally executed and federally supported”. That is the basis of our republic for health and for safety.
    The press is stepping over the whole truth. Also include:
    George Floyd’s death appears horrific and his autopsy showed both fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system and were not determined to be the cause of death.
    Jacob Blake was first tazed then shot in the back 7 times. Why were the police there in the first place and why did the tazing not stop him? Drugs?
    2 wrongs do not make a right!
    Stopping protesters from threatening citizens and damaging property does NOT move forward their claim that their civil rights have been denied.

    Thank You

    Mary Jane

  23. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Reader Indian Wells@IndianWellsCA writes:

    You are on target @DiDimond

    Public Safety is NOT a political issue. It is a right for U.S. citizens. This is America. We can do better. Time for leaders to step up.

    Thanks to all who risk their safety in doing their job to keep the peace and law & order.

  24. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Reader KellieMc@KellieMcDougald writes:

    >> “Is this what America’s future looks like? How much more can average citizens and business owners be asked to endure?” << Yes, with @realDonaldTrump as potus, this is #TrumpsMurica

  25. Diane Dimond on August 31, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Reader Betsy@bytse writes:

    Then you vote the people in charge of making decisions out.

  26. Diane Dimond on September 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Reader Indian Wells@IndianWellsCA writes:

    You are on target @DiDimond

    Public Safety is NOT a political issue. It is a right for U.S. citizens. This is America. We can do better. Time for leaders to step up.

    Thanks to all who risk their safety in doing their job to keep the peace and law & order.


  27. Kyle Denny on October 23, 2020 at 12:27 am

    I agree with you 100%… Living in a city I love and have seen anarchy gone unchecked.. It breaks my heart and pushes me to get the hell out

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