Protection Racket

Back when I ran a non-profit law firm in D.C., we used to get fundraising calls from an organization that represented itself as a charity supporting the police. I was surprised to learn that we had made donations to them in the past. Our office manager explained that contributing made the police more amenable to helping you and seeing you as friendly.

Now I didn’t think this was true. Such charities are usually scams or something very close to that and rarely even do much for police officers. But I know my office manager believed it was true and so did lots of other people. Those organizations preyed on that belief.

In the wake of the change in the national dialogue about the police that has come about with the protests over the murder of George Floyd, I’ve come up with an institution that’s doing something similar: police unions. They look more and more like the gang-run protection rackets of old. “You’ve got a nice little city here. Be a shame if something happened to it.” Continue reading “Protection Racket”