Courageous Police Alliance Associate Jeff Daukas recently wrote one of the most important and powerful articles on the scam of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation that I have ever seen. It should be mandatory reading for every American for not only how one of the largest scams in our history occurred but the ongoing damage being caused by what they promoted and what our leaders submitted to.
While I want to discuss how law enforcement leaders can prevent these scams in the future and the bloody repercussions of increased violence that followed, I want to preface a major concern I have with what the BLM Global Network has done.
There are a lot of national and local organizations that are doing the right thing. Unlike BLMGN, they are actually more fiscally responsible and actually helping minority communities. These organizations represent the best of America and there is nothing more noble than their commitment to help others.
In my opinion, what the BLM Global Network has done is horrendous. Because of their shady financing and demeanor, they pose a threat to other organizations that are truly committed to a cause. Some of these legitimate organizations were the first to courageously call out BLM Global Network. They were right to call them out but more importantly, the distrust combined with the lack of transparency that this organization has repeatedly displayed has the potential to hurt the groups that our communities desperately need.
I recognize the irony that BLM Global Network routinely targeted the entire law enforcement profession (ACAB) along with their “defund and defame” mantra. But we must understand and not do the same by disparaging other organizations that are truly trying to help.
In my seminars, I stress the importance of law enforcement working with the community and associated groups together to solve the most pressing issues related to crime. But we must always be selective with who we work with and how they align with safety and civility.
Doing anything less could cause political pandering, or even worse, it could increase crime and violence.
It’s embarrassing and shameful that far too many leaders bent a knee to an organization that demanded the defunding of the police while using Marxist ideology. And boldly claiming that their goal was to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear-family-structure…”
This mistake should never be repeated.
The Principles of Courageous Police Leadership
Always demonstrate and demand integrity
The integrity of law enforcement leaders not only depends on their actions but those they also endorse and work with. It was clear early on that BLM Global Network was displaying characteristics that should have questioned their integrity. Whether it was the absolute commitment to one side of the political aisle along with the marxist views of their founders, the writing was on the proverbial wall.
Stay focused on liberty, civility, and public safety
The only way community policing, relationships, or just about anything else works if law enforcement leaders spend their time and resources with those that believe in the same mission.
Anything else is a distraction that will lead to destruction.
Look no further than the last few years to see exactly what will happen if we do not subscribe to this principle. Not only was BLM Global not in agreement with our mission, they were the antithesis of it and it was proclaimed loudly on their website and with their actions.
Never let feelings redefine facts
BLM Global raised hundreds of millions of dollars and faced little to no opposition (until they transitioned to a real estate company) because their organization was based solely on feelings and emotions. The name itself made anyone questioning them an automatic target but those questions had nothing to do with whether “Black Lives Matter" but what is the substance behind the name? This is why facts and facts alone must matter to any serious leader. Emotion and feelings are a powerful force but they also happen to have a long history of horrible mistakes by leaders, followers, and groups. Law enforcement leaders must recognize the potential damage that relying on baseless claims can cause and demand that any decision be based on facts.
Encourage vigilance, professionalism, and cooperation
Law enforcement leaders must work with those that not only align with their mission but also demonstrate the same professionalism and cooperation that is demanded of them. There should be a huge red flag surrounding Any group or individual that claims to know ALL the answers or DEMANDS change or face the cancel culture warriors.
Disagreement and debate is helpful but shouting “All Cops Are Bastards” doesn’t exactly meet the requirements in this principle.
Communicate to eliminate misunderstanding
Virtually every attack against law enforcement in recent years has not only been a misunderstanding but an abject lie. Any group that uses this type of manipulation must be called out for what they are and more importantly, anyone or group that law enforcement leaders work with should be willing to be corrected for any falsehood that it being portrayed.
I have a pretty simple rule as a leader. If someone lies either intentionally or by mistake, and is unwilling to correct the lie or listen to the facts, then I am done with them. That includes individuals, reporters, activists, etc. I’ve been the target of all of them for my public stance on correcting their lies and I can assure you they don’t like it but that says more about them than me.
In law enforcement, the truth matters and when that is not being displayed, leaders must communicate to the masses to ensure that any potential damage can be mitigated.
Anticipate — and continually challenge assumptions and the status quo
Law enforcement leaders must continually anticipate what others may say or do that could damage the core mission of safety and civility. BLM Global Network is not alone in their tactics and their misdeeds. There is a long list of attorneys, activists, and groups that want to capitalize on every decision or move a law enforcement agency makes so I like to use kryptonite against them every chance I get.
Unfortunately, kryptonite often entails challenging the status quo. Whether it’s the best training, policy, a focus on customer service, or the power in a policing plan, leaders must constantly lead in a way that cuts the knees out of anyone or anything that seeks to do damage to the agency or community.
This is also known as being a great leader.
Inspire others to lead courageously
Inspiration comes in a lot of forms but nothing is more powerful than one leader simply showing others how to lead courageously. The profession seems to have a tremendous vacuum in this area and it’s time that it changes. Why not that change come from you?
The Reality & Considerations
If you’ve read this far, congratulations and I know what some of you may be thinking.
“We didn’t work with the BLM Global Network but it was local organizations in our community that created the chaos.”
Once again, don’t ignore your local organizations as there are many of them that are committed to helping those in need and you should identify and work with them alone but how can you determine this?
Of course, you could evaluate them yourself using the Courageous Police Leadership Principles but that often takes time. The easiest method is to simply show them the principles and ask them to hold you accountable but they should also be held accountable to the same principles.
After all, could anyone with a straight face say that they don’t believe in integrity, facts, professionalism, cooperation, and communication?
“But what about BLM Chicago, Los Angeles, etc?”
There were certainly affiliates to the scam called the BLM Global Network but the vast majority of these local chapters had nothing to do with them so this is also simple.
Do those groups subscribe to the same beliefs and ideology of the BLM Global Network? To this day, they exist on their website and they remain insane so if they do, you know exactly who you won’t deal with and if they don’t, we should open our arms and work together as long as that is done mutually, utilizing the principles than can foster and bolster the law enforcement organization and the community that is served.
The Courageous Police Leadership Alliance has developed a document that can be used prior too engaging with an organization, group, or individual. It’s a five question checklist that leaders from the agency and organization can sign, committing that they adhere to the CPL Principles of integrity, facts, professionalism, cooperation, communication, etc.
The Partner Agreement can be downloaded here.
It does seem rather dumb to have a checklist that will agree on integrity, civility, and professionalism but we should never forget what the profession has had to endure over the last several years and every law enforcement leader should commit to never repeating one of the biggest mistakes in our history.
Dr. Travis Yates is a commander with a large municipal police department and author of “The Courageous Police Leader: A Survival Guide for Combating Cowards, Chaos & Lies.” His risk management and leadership seminars have been taught to thousands of professionals across the world. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy with a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Leadership and the CEO of the Courageous Police Leadership Alliance.
Amen, we need to stop arming our assailants. I just ran across a printed press release from MCCP from immediately after the Floyd death. Chilling in perspective. Great job!
Very exacting follow up! Thank you very much for continuing the discussion!