Since 2016 a growing band of athletes in American stayed seated or went down on one knee during the playing of the national anthem. It began with Colin Kaepernick who said “He could not stand for a country that condoned Police brutality and racial inequality”.
In 2020 George Floyd, a black man was killed by a white American Police Officer who knelt on his neck whilst detaining him. This incident was filmed and sparked protests around the world under the banner of “BLM” or “Black Lives Matter”.
Black Lives Matter UK took up the issue in Britain and began protests in various cities across the country. One such march took place in London and although it started off peacefully it later deteriorated into pitched battles with the Police around Downing Street. Part of the protest involved, “Taking the knee”. This could be accompanied with a raised clench fist which changed the passive symbol of kneeling into something far more aggressive. Outside Downing Street, the home of the British Prime Minister, the Police officers were cajoled into taking the knee. Several did.
It is difficult to understand who, if anyone, speaks for BLMUK, or what there aims are. They appear to be an off shoot of Black Lives Matter in America. Even finding an official UK website is almost impossible and unofficial groups, looking for 15 minutes of fame, are springing up everywhere. There are crowd fund me sites that have raised over a million pounds but it does not say who owns the site or where the money goes. A statement on the page says their aims include getting rid of capitalism and de-funding the Police!
Many protests start out with genuine complaints and grievances, but without leaders and direction they can be hijacked by more politically aware individuals and groups. The BLM protests appear to be no different. Many of those going on one knee and holding up placards of “Black Lives Matter” do not understand what the movement stands for or wants. This includes many politicians, footballers and Police Officers who all to readily bend the knee.
When a person joins the Police it is like a marriage in which you take an oath or attestation to make it legally binding.
The modern oath states:-
I do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.
That oath means a lot to any Police Officer and if it does not then they should not be in the “Job”. It tells everyone that it is our duty to be impartial and show respect to all people.
You cannot fail to have noticed the images of Police officers of all ranks “Taking the Knee”. The press love it, the various protesting groups love it and it is used for propaganda all over social media. Stand on the thin blue line in front of these peaceful protesters and what you won’t see is a crowd telling you to either show equality by taking the knee or you are racist. Taking the knee goes against that Police oath of impartiality. If you take that a little further are you also saying that you believe that you, as a Police officer, should be de-funded and that you are racist and offer the public Police brutality and little else?
It is a Police Officers job to remain impartial, no matter what his or her personal feelings are. If you go against this and take the knee you make the job of Policing harder for every other officer. If the Police start agreeing or disagreeing with various protests are they then just one step away from deciding which protests they will attend or not. A Police officer is trusted with a lot of power. Should they now use that power to arrest someone or let them off because their own personal belief? Of course not. They have to be impartial, no matter what their personal beliefs are and that is why the Police should never kneel.
Yes, of course they should. Start taking the knee, wearing the multicoloured adornments to the uniform for LGBTQ+ marches and soon they will wearing the colours of political parties. Should all Police officers walk round in 4 inch high heels to show solidarity with women’s groups? I hear there is a nudists protest march coming up. I have no idea where they will keep their truncheons. I am sure the current batch of senior officers will say that the officers should get into the spirit of things and out their uniforms.
Without direction or a clear voice the world is going down on one knee and it has no idea why. Ask the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the ex head of of the Crown Prosecution Service, why he went down on one knee along with the rest of his party. Is that because he also believes the Police are racist and are running around brutalising people. Even Boris said “yes, well err, undersanding, oh, whay, Dominic, sure, black, er, sage, matter, fridge”.
Individual Police Officers do not have a choice as what events or protests to Police and nor should they. They may have an opinion but that should be kept to themselves. It is their duty to look after each protest according to the law and with impartiality. With only 30,000 officers to Police 9 million people in London the very “Thin Blue Line” cannot carry out its duties on one knee. With everyone else in the UK wanting to crawl around, pull statues down and rip up generations of our history someone needs to stand tall and stand up.