Recent videos of police officers being soaked with water as they performed their duties in New York were sickening enough, but now what happened in Philly this week makes me see red.

As police dealt with a shooter in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, officers were taunted, pelted with objects and even in one case shoved by on-lookers. This is unacceptable. Keep in mind that six officers had been shot and at least two others were being held by the shooter at the time. Is this what society has come to?

Police Officers Shot In North Philadelphia
Getty Images

An uneasy relationship has existed between the police and some in the inner cities for years, but the level of disrespect for authority has escalated at an alarming rate and our politicians are largely to blame.

Conditions in our inner cities continue to disintegrate after decades of empty promises from left-leaning politicians. Add to that an environment in which those same politicians undermine the authority of law enforcement with fiery rhetoric, such as that from Elizabeth Warren last week when she accused a white police officer of murdering Michael "Gentle Giant" Brown in Ferguson five years ago.

Warren is lying and she knows it, but by undermining the authority of the authorities, Warren hopes to hang on to what once was a reliable political base. And she is not alone. Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, and others have also found political value in ginning up distrust in the police for political purposes.

The use of harsh rhetoric against law enforcement to create racial and political divide is a campaign strategy perfected by Barack Obama and has been applied quite liberally throughout the campaigns of 2016 and 2020. Obama's rhetoric led to police officers being ambushed and killed and street chants such as "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" and "What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!"

Creating a racial divide and distrust of authority is a dangerous and cynical way to attempt to amass power. It's a genie that may be difficult to get back in the bottle when all the fun and games are over.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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