Duties [ edit | edit source ]
Their primary role was to police Rome and to counteract the roaming mobs and gangs that so often haunted its streets during the Republic. The urban cohorts thus acted as a heavy duty police force, capable of riot control duties, while their contemporaries, the Vigiles, had the day-to-day role of policing the streets and protecting against fires. As a trained paramilitary organization, the urban cohorts could, on rare occasions, take to the field of battle if necessary. This role, however, was only called upon in dire situations. Augustus established a city police force at Rome consisting of three cohorts (cohortes urbanae) under a newly appointed prefect of the city. Ώ] By this time the gangs of Titus Milo, Publius Clodius, etc. which had been used by politicians during the Republic had been eliminated, mostly due to the efforts of Pompeius Magnus and, with the founding of the Principate, had become moot since power no longer resided in the Senate and elected officials. Unlike the Vigiles, who mostly operated at night as firewatch and watchmen, members of the Urban Cohorts were considered legionaries though with higher pay than the regular legions—if not quite as much as the Praetorian Guards, and tended to receive slightly higher donatives though, again, not as much as the Praetorians. ΐ]
The full circuit ran for 19 km (12 mi) surrounding an area of 13.7 km 2 (5.3 sq mi). The walls were constructed in brick-faced concrete, 3.5 m (11 ft) thick and 8 m (26 ft) high, with a square tower every 100 Roman feet (29.6 m (97 ft)).
In the 4th century, remodelling doubled the height of the walls to 16 m (52 ft). By 500 AD, the circuit possessed 383 towers, 7,020 crenellations, 18 main gates, 5 postern gates, 116 latrines, and 2,066 large external windows. 
By the third century AD, the boundaries of Rome had grown far beyond the area enclosed by the old Servian Wall, built during the Republican period in the late 4th century BC. Rome had remained unfortified during the subsequent centuries of expansion and consolidation due to lack of hostile threats against the city. The citizens of Rome took great pride in knowing that Rome required no fortifications because of the stability brought by the Pax Romana and the protection of the Roman Army. However, the need for updated defences became acute during the crisis of the Third Century, when barbarian tribes flooded through the Germanic frontier and the Roman Army struggled to stop them. In 270, the barbarian Juthungi and Vandals invaded northern Italy, inflicting a severe defeat on the Romans at Placentia (modern Piacenza) before eventually being driven back. Further trouble broke out in Rome itself in the summer of 271, when the mint workers rose in rebellion. Several thousand people died in the fierce fighting that resulted. 
Aurelian's construction of the walls as an emergency measure was a reaction to the barbarian invasion of 270 the historian Aurelius Victor states explicitly that the project aimed to alleviate the city's vulnerability.  It may also have been intended to send a political signal as a statement that Aurelian trusted that the people of Rome would remain loyal, as well as serving as a public declaration of the emperor's firm hold on power. The construction of the walls was by far the largest building project that had taken place in Rome for many decades, and their construction was a concrete statement of the continued strength of Rome.  The construction project was unusually left to the citizens themselves to complete as Aurelian could not afford to spare a single legionary for the project. The root of this unorthodox practice was the imminent barbarian threat coupled with the wavering strength of the military as a whole due to being subject to years of bloody civil war, famine and the Plague of Cyprian.
The walls were built in the short time of only five years, though Aurelian himself died before the completion of the project. Progress was accelerated, and money saved, by incorporating existing buildings into the structure. These included the Amphitheatrum Castrense, the Castra Praetoria, the Pyramid of Cestius, and even a section of the Aqua Claudia aqueduct near the Porta Maggiore. As much as a sixth of the walls is estimated to have been composed of pre-existing structures.  An area behind the walls was cleared and sentry passages were built to enable it to be reinforced quickly in an emergency.
The actual effectiveness of the wall is disputable, given the relatively small size of the city's garrison. The entire combined strength of the Praetorian Guard, cohortes urbanae, and vigiles of Rome was only about 25,000 men – far too few to defend the circuit adequately. However, the military intention of the wall was not to withstand prolonged siege warfare it was not common for the barbarian armies to besiege cities, as they were insufficiently equipped and provisioned for such a task. Instead, they carried out hit-and-run raids against ill-defended targets. The wall was a deterrent against such tactics. 
Parts of the wall were doubled in height by Maxentius, who also improved the watch-towers. In 401, under Honorius, the walls and the gates were improved. At this time, the Tomb of Hadrian across the Tiber was incorporated as a fortress in the city defenses.
The Aurelian Walls continued as a significant military defense for the city of Rome until September 20, 1870, when the Bersaglieri of the Kingdom of Italy breached the wall near the Porta Pia and captured Rome. The walls also defined the boundary of the city of Rome up until the 19th century, with the built-up area being confined within the walled area.
The Aurelian Walls remain remarkably well-preserved today, largely the result of their constant use as Rome's primary fortification until the 19th century. The Museo delle Mura near the Porta San Sebastiano offers information on the walls' construction and how the defenses operated. The best-preserved sections of the walls are found from the Muro Torto (Villa Borghese) to Corso d'Italia to Castro Pretorio from Porta San Giovanni to Porta Ardeatina from Porta Ostiense to the Tiber and around Porta San Pancrazio. 
CITY OF ROME: Security
The consuls [Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Marcius Philippus] ordered the Curule Aediles to search out all the priests of this cult, and to keep them under house-arrest for the inquiry. The Plebeian Aediles were to see to it that no celebration of the rites should take place in secret. The Triumviri Capitales were authorized to arrange watches throughout the city, to make sure that no nocturnal assemblies were held, and to take precautions against outbreaks of fire while five regional officers were to act as assistants to the Triumviri, each of them being responsible for the buildings in his own district. "
Plutarch Life of Marcus Crassus 2:
He was conspicuous for the way in which he never once refused to accept or to buy up property at the time when Sulla, after his occupation of Rome, was selling the goods of those whom he had put to death (81 B.C.). Sulla considered and indeed called this property the spoils of war, and was anxious that as many and as influential people as possible should share the burden of his own guilt. Crassus also observed what frequent and everyday occurrences in Rome were fire and the collapse of buildings owing to their size and their close proximity to each other. He therefore bought slaves who were architects and builders, and then, when he had more than 500 of them he would buy up houses that were either on fire themselves or near the scene of the fire. The owners of these properties, in the terror and uncertainty of the moment, would let them go for next to nothing. In this way most of Rome came into his possession. Yet though he owned so many workmen, he built no houses for himself except the one in which he lived. In fact he used to say that people who were fond of building needed no enemies they would ruin themselves by themselves.
Lex Julia Municipalis (Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 6085, 20-21):
As for the roads which are or shall be within the City of Rome, or within one mile of the City of Rome, and within the limits of continuous habitation, it shall be the duty of every person before whose property such a road shall run to maintain that road to the satisfaction of the Aedile in whose charge that portion of the City shall be assigned by this law.
Municipal Charter of Urso [Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum II Supp. 5439]:
Whenever a majority of the Decurions present at a meeting shall have decided to call out armed men for the purpose of defending the territories of the colony, it shall be lawful, without risk of personal penalty, for the responsible Duovir or Prefect invested with judicial power in such a manner to call out under arms colonists, resident aliens, and attributed persons: and the said Duovir . . . shall have the same authority and the same power of punishment as belongs to a Military Tribune of the Roman People in an army of the Roman People . . . .
Velleius Paterculus History of Rome II. 91:
Shortly afterwards [19 B.C.] a similar attempt [against the life of Augustus] was made by Egnatius Rufus, a man who in all respects resembled a gladiator rather than a senator. Securing the favor of the People in his Aedileship by putting out fires with his own gang of slaves, he increased it daily to such an extent that the People gave him the Praetorship immediately after the Aedileship. . . . After being thrust into prison with his fellow conspirators he died the death is life richly deserved . . . .
Cassius Dio 54. 2.4 [ca. 22 B.C.]:
He committed the charge of all the festivals to the Praetors, commanding that an appropriation be given them from the Aerarium, and also forbidding any one of them to spend more than another from his own means on these festivals, or to give a gladiatorial combat unless the Senate decreed it, or, in fact, oftener than twice a year or with more than 120 men. To the Curule Aediles he entrusted the putting out of fires, for which purpose he granted them 600 slaves as workers.
Attacking the Cohortes Urbanae - History
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ar'-mi, ro'-man The treatment of this subject will be confined to (I) a brief description of the organization of the army, and (II) a consideration of the allusions to the Roman military establishment in the New Testament.
There were originally no standing forces, but the citizens performed military service like any other civic duty when summoned by the magistrates. The gradual development of a military profession and standing army culminated in the admission of the poorest class to the ranks by Marius (about 107 BC). Henceforth the Roman army was made up of a body of men whose character was essentially that of mercenaries, and whose term of continuous service varied in different divisions from 16 to 26 years.
The forces which composed the Roman army under the Empire may be divided into the following five groups: (1) the imperial guard and garrison of the capital, (2) the legions, (3) the auxilia, (4) the numeri, (5) the fleet. We shall discuss their organization in the order mentioned.
1. The Imperial Guard:
The imperial guard consisted of the cohortes praetoriae, which together with the cohortes urbanae and vigiles made up the garrison of Rome. In the military system as established by Augustus there were nine cohorts of the praetorian guard, three of the urban troops, and seven of the vigiles. Each cohort numbered 1,000 men, and was commanded by a tribune of equestrian rank. The praetorian prefects (praefecti praetorii), of whom there were usually two, were commanders of the entire garrison of the capital, and stood at the highest point of distinction and authority in the equestrian career.
2. The Legions:
There were 25 legions in 23 AD (Tacitus Annals 4, 5), which had been increased to 30 at the time of the reign of Marcus Aurelius, 160-180 AD (CIL, VI, 3492 a-b) and to 33 under Septimius Severus (Dio Cassius, iv. 23-24). Each legion was made up, ordinarily, of 6,000 men, who were divided into 10 cohorts, each cohort containing 3 maniples, and each maniple in turn 2 centuries.
The legatus Augustus pro praetore, or governor of each imperial province, was chief commander of all the troops within the province. An officer of senatorial rank known as legatus Augusti legionis was entrusted with the command of each legion, together with the bodies of auxilia which were associated with it. Besides, there were six tribuni militum, officers of equestrian rank (usually sons of senators who had not yet held the quaestorship) in each legion. The centurions who commanded the centuries belonged to the plebeian class. Between the rank of common soldier and centurion there were a large number of subalterns, called principales, who correspond roughly to the non-commissioned officers and men detailed from the ranks for special duties in modern armies.
3. The "Auxilia":
The auxilia were organized as infantry in cohortes, as cavalry in alae, or as mixed bodies, cohortes equitatae. Some of these divisions contained approximately 1,000 men (cohortes or alae miliariae), but the greater number about 500 (cohortes or alae quingenariae). They were commanded by tribuni and praefecti of equestrian rank. The importance of the auxilia consisted originally in the diversity of their equipment and manner of fighting, since each group adhered to the customs of the nation in whose midst it had been recruited. But with the gradual Romanization of the Empire they were assimilated more and more to the character of the legionaries.
4. The "Numeri":
The numeri developed out of the provincial militia and began to appear in the 2nd century AD. They maintained their local manner of warfare. Some were bodies of infantry, others of cavalry, and they varied in strength from 300 to 90 (Mommsen, Hermes, XIX, 219 f, and XXII, 547 f). Their commanders were praepositi, praefecti or tribuni, all men of equestrian rank.
5. The Fleet:
The fleet was under the command of prefects (praefecti classis), who took rank among the highest officials of the equestrian class. The principal naval stations were at Misenum and Ravenna.
6. Defensive Arrangements:
Augustus established the northern boundary of the Empire at the Rhine and at the Danube, throughout the greater part of its course, and bequeathed to his successors the advice that they should not extend their sovereignty beyond the limits which he had set (Tacitus Annals i.11 Agricola 13) and although this policy was departed from in many instances, such as the annexation of Thrace, Cappadocia, Mauretania, Britain, and Dacia, not to mention the more ephemeral acquisitions of Trajan, yet the military system of the Empire was arranged primarily with the view of providing for the defense of the provinces and not for carrying on aggressive warfare on a large scale. Nearly all the forces, with the exception of the imperial guard, were distributed among the provinces on the border of the Empire, and the essential feature of the disposition of the troops in these provinces was the permanent fortress in which each unit was stationed. The combination of large camps for the legions with a series of smaller forts for the alae, cohorts, and numeri is the characteristic arrangement on all the frontiers. The immediate protection of the frontier was regularly entrusted to the auxiliary troops, while the legions were usually stationed some distance to the rear of the actual boundary. Thus the army as a whole was so scattered that it was a difficult undertaking to assemble sufficient forces for carrying out any considerable project of foreign conquest, or even to cope at once with a serious invasion, yet the system was generally satisfactory in view of the conditions which prevailed, and secured for the millions of subjects of the Roman Empire the longest period of undisturbed tranquillity known to European history.
7. Recruiting System:
In accordance with the arrangements of Augustus, the cohortes praetoriae and cohortes urbanae were recruited from Latium, Etruria, Umbria, and the older Roman colonies (Tacitus Annals 4, 5), the legions from the remaining portions of Italy, and the auxilia from the subject communities of the Empire (Seeck, Rheinisches Museum, XLVIII, 616).
But in course of time the natives of Italy disappeared, first from the legions, and later from the garrison of the capital. Antoninus Plus established the rule that each body of troops should draw its recruits from the district where it was stationed. Henceforth the previous possession of Roman citizenship was no longer required for enlistment in the legions. The legionary was granted the privilege of citizenship upon entering the service, the auxiliary soldier upon being discharged (Seeck, Untergang der antiken Welt, I, 250).
II. Allusions in the New Testament to the Roman Military Establishment.
Such references relate chiefly to the bodies of troops which were stationed in Judea. Agrippa I left a military establishment of one ala and five cohorts at his death in 44 AD (Josephus, Ant, XIX, ix, 2 BJ, III, iv, 2), which he had doubtless received from the earlier Roman administration. These divisions were composed of local recruits, chiefly Samaritans (Hirschfeld, Verwaltungsbeamte, 395 Mommsen, Hermes, XIX, 217, note 1).
The Ala I gemina Sebastenorum was stationed at Caesarea (Josephus, Ant, XX, 122 BJ, II, xii, 5 CIL, VIII, 9359).
1. Augustan Band:
Julius, the centurion to whom Paul and other prisoners were delivered to be escorted to Rome (Acts 27:1), belonged to one of the five cohorts which was stationed at or near Caesarea. This Speira Sebaste (Westcott-Hort), "Augustus' Band" (the Revised Version (British and American) "Augustan band" the Revised Version, margin "cohort"), was probably the same body of troops which is mentioned in inscriptions as Cohors I Augusta (CIL, Supp, 6687) and Speira Augouste (Lebas-Waddington 2112). Its official title may have been Cohors Augusta Sebastenorum (GVN). It will be observed that all divisions of the Roman army were divided into companies of about 100 men, each of which, in the infantry, was commanded by a centurion, in the cavalry, by a decurion.
2. Italian Band:
There was another cohort in Caesarea, the "Italian band" (Cohors Italica, Vulgate) of which Cornelius was centurion (Acts 10:1: ek speires tes kaloumenes Italikes). The cohortes Italicae (civium Romanorum) were made up of Roman citizens (Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, II, 467).
3. Praetorian Guard:
One of the five cohorts was stationed in Jerusalem (Mt 27:27 Mk 15:16), the "chief captain" of which was Claudius Lysias. His title, chiliarchos in the Greek (Acts 23:10,15,17,19,22,26 24:7 the King James Version), meaning "leader of a thousand men" (tribunus, Vulgate), indicates that this body of soldiers was a cohors miliaria. Claudius Lysias sent Paul to Felix at Caesarea under escort of 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen (Acts 23:23). The latter (dexiolaboi, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek) are thought to have been a party of provincial militia. Several centurions of the cohort at Jerusalem appear during the riot and subsequent rescue and arrest of Paul (Acts 21:32 22:25,26 23:17,23). The cohortes miliariae (of 1,000 men) contained ten centurions. A centurion, doubtless of the same cohort, was in charge of the execution of the Saviour (Mt 27:54 Mk 15:39,44,45 Lk 23:47). It was customary for centurions to be entrusted with the execution of capital penalties (Tacitus Ann. i.6 xvi.9 xvi.15 Hist. ii.85).
The the King James Version contains the passage in Acts 28:16: "The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard" (stratopedarches), which the Revised Version (British and American) omits. It has commonly been held that the expression stratopedarches was equivalent to praetorian prefect (praefectus praetorius), and that the employment of the word in the singular was proof that Paul arrived in Rome within the period 51-62 AD when Sex. Afranius Burrus was sole praetorian prefect. Mommsen (Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie (1895), 491-503) believes that the sentence in question embodies an ancient tradition, but that the term stratopedarches could not mean praefectus praetorius, which is never rendered in this way in Greek. He suggests that it stands for princeps castrorum peregrinorum, who was a centurion in command of the frumentarii at Rome. These were detachments of legionary soldiers who took rank as principales. They served as military couriers between the capital and provinces, political spies, and an imperial police. It was probably customary, at least when the tradition under discussion arose, for the frumentarii to take charge of persons who were sent to Rome for trial (Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, II, 491-94).
Comprehensive discussions of the Roman military system will be found in Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, II, 319-612, and in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopadie, article "Exercitus."
George H. Allen Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'army, roman'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE 1915.
© International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
Ancient Police Compared to Today’s Police
In all communities’ people understand that they must abide by rules and are restrained to certain impulses. Each ancient civilization has had their own form of police and law and each of these ancient police had their own way of handling situations.
In the origins of cultural behavior was watched by MA ‘at as the harmony and balance or life. Ancient Egyptians believed that they could live by this law and their next life in the spirit world would be paradise.
After time Egyptians had to introduce a police force to make sure laws were abided by. Many officers were used originally to guard tombs and wealthy homes. In the years 2040-1782 BCE Egypt saw its first army under Amenemhat I. Throughout the years the police force became more organized with the judicial system around 1570-1069 BCE.
The army and security guards were used to police the borders, guard homes and tombs, and police the markets. While there is not as much history as one would like about the ancient police force of Egypt, we do know some of their tactics.
Known as the Cohortes Urbanae (urban cohorts) were the troops of Rome created between 27 BCE – 14 CE. The original troops were created by Augustus for extra security for the city and emperor. The Cohortes Urbanae protected the capital and other large cities in the Roman Empire. These troops not only acted as a police force, but also in battle when needed.
This group of officers was commanded by Praefectus Urbi (urban perfect). The commander of these cohorts held a lot of power in the capital. These cohorts mostly consisted of Italians to guarantee a stronger sense of loyalty.
There are currently no records as to what the ancient police of Rome exactly did however, as with many police there were most likely many crowd control instances. This was especially true for large public events at the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. The only evidence is from writers of Rome allowing the assumptions of ancient police to arrest criminals and bring them to trial.
Stemming from the Latin word “politia” (forming today’s word police), the Greeks used politeia for citizenship, administration, and civil commonwealth. However, for police the Greek word is astynomia.
Until 5th century BCE the police force in Greece has no known history. From this on the ancient police force began to form in Athens. During this time slaves were often used as the police force. The Greek police force was used to guard markets, hygiene, morals, supervise construction, watch foreigners, and prevent accidents. The ancient police force in Athens was monitored by the Athenian supreme court.
However, in Sparta the police were run differently. The police in Sparta were run separately than under one body of government. These officers maintained public order, the city-state regulations, and ruled as judges. There were also officers who supervised agriculture, children, and women.
In Colonial Americathe police force was very informal. This was a for-profit and privately funded system. Many of the officers were only part time workers as they often worked elsewhere. The police force also had volunteers for the nights looking out for gambling and prostitution.
In the beginning of the U.S. police force many policemen chose not to wear badges. This was due to the fact that police officers did not have good reputations and did not want to be associated with that. However, as the nation grew, and cities became more urban night-watch volunteers were rendered impractical.
In 1838 Boston created the first official full-time officers. Before the first official force was created private security guards were used to watch over transported goods and property. The wealthy of the city decided to create a police force to save money for themselves from private security guards to guards that are meant for the city. However, down south the police force was used for different reasons. The police in the South were used for preservation of slavery. Their main tasks were to patrol runaway slaves and prevent uprisings.
After Boston New York and Philadelphia followed suit of police forces in 1844 and 1854 respectively. While police still refused to wear uniforms NYPD required that their officers wear uniforms as of 1854. Many of these were Civil War hand me downs creating the iconic blue uniforms.
Today’s US Police:
Not much has changed with ancient police to todays. All over the world police are modernized and wear uniforms to show their position. Depending on the country the police force takes on different roles. In Europe many civilian police enforce local law where larger tasks are federal or military. However, in less developed countries these police forces can take on multiple roles. From ancient police to today’s police there are many ways in which they are similar – keeping the peace – but also many ways in which they are different.
Be sure that you are protecting your home and your family, no matter the security and police you have nearby. You want to be sure you’re doing your best with an alarm system to fend off thieves. Give us a call and we will provide you with a top-notch security system.
Since its creation, the army of ancient Rome has undergone many transformations. As the Roman state took form, its military was being shaped by the wealthiest citizens. In time this trend was reversed, as members of the poorest social strata became prevalent in the Roman army. It took its final shape in the 2nd century B.C.E, when it became professional, and the citizens started considering military service an occupation.
In the 1st century B.C.E. the army became sole vessel of power in Roman state. Ambitious leaders like Sulla, Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar or Augustus used the legions to expand the borders of Roman state considerably. The Mediterranean became the Empire’s inner sea.
Modern Roman army also largely contributed to the outbreak of civil war in 1st century B.C.E. The consuls came to consider professional army to be their personal guard. The soldiers, dedicated to their commander, went on to regard him as a true leader (Pompey the Great, Gaius Julius Caesar). All this resulted in a rivalry for the position of the most powerful man in the country, who would decide the future of the “inept republic” In a way, the professional army was the force behind the creation of a new form of government, the principate During the Empire period, entire Roman army was under sole command of the emperor.
The creator of a permanent, levy-based army was Augustus. The regular army, which by the end of Augustus’ rule consisted of 25 legions, was stationed in border provinces (mostly along Rhine and Danube). Later the number of legions increased to 30, and additional support troops (auxilia) came into existence. Overall army count was up to around 250 000 soldiers. Under the rule of Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 – 68 B.C.E.) recruits mostly originated from among the citizens of Italy.
With the rule of Vespasian (69-79 C.E.) came recruitment from among the inhabitants of provinces, and after Hadrian (117-138 C.E.) residents would serve in the province from which they originated. The auxilia units consisted of non-citizens, who were awarded full civic rights upon completion of their tour of duty which lasted 25 to 30, but upon some instances even 40 years. Praetorians, who were always stationed in the immediate vicinity of the city of Rome, were at an advantage. Other special troops kept order in Rome – urban cohorts and firemen (cohortes urbanae and cohortes vigilum. Upon completing their tour of duty the veterans would receive severance pay and plots of land, where they would settle down, usually near their former legions.
After the Empire was established, the army became the foundation of the emperors’ rule, while also playing an increasing role as a political factor, often prevailing in the inner workings of the state. The reforms of Diocletian (284-305 C.E.) and Constantine the Great (306-337 C.E.) divided the Roman army into border troops called limitanei) who were permanently deployed to the border and field army (comitatenses), which were strategic reserves kept further within the country to be moved from border to border as needed. The numbers of the army were increased to well over half a Million soldiers by introducing compulsory recruitment. Barbarians, of even whole units thereof, would also be drafted.
The fleet, on the other hand, had only a minor role in early Roman military. It was as late as 260 B.C.E, during the First Punic War, that first bigger fleet was created, to be further developed by Pompey the Great and Caesar. A permanent fleet was established during the rule of Octavian August. At a later time province fleets were established – (classis Pontica, classis Britannica) as well as river fleets on Rhine, Rhone, Danube and Euphrates. The navy was chiefly based at harbours of Misenum and Ravenna.
During the time of the Empire reinforcements were called supplementum. An aged soldier, who stayed with the legion after completing the mandatory duty was called emeritus. Men of 17 to 46 years of age, who could serve in the army, were iuniores.
Jonah Goldberg: The history of policing gets unfairly twisted
“Policing itself started out as slave patrols. We know that,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) declared in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier. Clyburn, the House majority whip, is the third highest ranking Democrat in Congress.
He’s widely respected. And he’s wrong. Or, to be more generous, he’s being irresponsibly sloppy in making a point he’s right about.
A USA TODAY article headlined, “Law enforcement's history of racism First police departments date back to slave patrols”: “Across the U.S., black Americans lived in fear of law enforcement officials armed with weapons who monitored their every behavior, attacked them on the street and in their homes, and killed them for the slightest alleged provocation.”
One has to read deep into the piece to discover the important caveat to a legitimately significant historical fact. Yes, policing in Southern slave states has some roots in slave patrols.
Policing — enforcing the law, preventing crime, apprehending criminals — has a very long tradition of existence. I don’t know where it started, but for our purposes we can note that Augustus Caesar, born in 27 B.C., created the cohortes urbanae near the end of his reign to police Ancient Rome. Policing in England takes rudimentary form with Henry II’s proclamation of the Assize of Arms of 1181. In the 1600s England established constables and Justices of the Peace to oversee them. The Metropolitan Police Act created the first recognizable police force in the UK in 1829.
Meanwhile, in America the first constables were created in the 1630s in what came to be known as New England. Boston has the oldest “modern” police department. It was created in 1838. New York and Philadelphia soon followed.
They were not created to search for runaway slaves.
It is true that slave patrols were created in slave states and they were an early form of policing. How much that taints the police forces of modern-day Atlanta or Charleston or any other state is clearly up for discussion.
But it strikes me as somewhat far-fetched to argue that police in Minnesota or New York are imbued with the spirit of southern militias tasked with tracking down slaves.
Indeed, there’s something uncomfortable to the idea that attempts to prevent rape, murder, robbery, etc. have some obvious racist intent behind them. Black people are just as deserving of protection from crime as anybody else.
Rep. Val Demings, reportedly on Joe Biden’s vice-presidential shortlist, is the former chief of police of Orlando, Florida, and an African-American. Do people really mean to say she ran the moral equivalent of a slave patrol? Really?
One of the arguments made by both advocates of reasonable police reform — like Demings — as well as proponents of abolishing the police is that cops do too much. They reasonably note that police are expected to be first-responding mental health professionals, dealing with homeless people, possible suicides, etc. Why send people with guns to do that?
It’s a fair question. But by even asking it, you’re conceding that police are not, in fact, behaving like slave patrols.
Jonah Goldberg is editor-in-chief of The Dispatch and the host of The Remnant podcast.
The Brotherhoods Of Corsica Honour The Madonna De Noantri
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BLM Issues Absurd List of Demands for America
Like a child throwing a temper tantrum, Black Lives Matter has once again updated its list of demands to the United States of America.
As the organization seemingly tears itself apart over its leaders’ antithetical stunts, it’s somehow still deadset on tearing down former President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress who joined him in questioning the integrity of the November election.
Among other things on the list of demands on its website, BLM declared that Trump must be banned from ever holding political office again and permanently banned from social media.
The first demand, titled “Convict and ban Trump from future political office,” sets the stage for an insanely radical list.
“We are joining Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and others who are demanding Trump be immediately convicted in the United States Senate,” it reads. “Trump must also be banned from holding elected office in the future.”
The organization then calls on readers to call their representatives and “demand they support” Trump’s conviction.
From the onset, BLM’s confidence is made apparent, and it is infuriating.
This is the same organization that threatens to destroy the nuclear family, the free market and many other Judeo-Christian values upon which the United States was founded, and whose supporters have caused violence and destruction in cities across the country.
Now it demands that the government bend to its will? Who do these people think they are?
The second demand is equally ridiculous: “Expel Republican members of Congress who attempted to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist attack.”
Yes, BLM wants to expel a majority of the Republican House and eight U.S. senators.
“More than half the Republican representatives and multiple senators stoked Trump’s conspiracy theories and encouraged the white supremacists to take action to overturn the election,” the demand reads. “We are supporting Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution to expel them from Congress for their dangerous and traitorous actions.
“We also support steps to bar them from seeking another office.”
The resolution in question was announced in a January news release from the office of Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, alleging that more than 150 Republicans attempted to “steal this election and invalidate the votes of millions of people, especially Black, brown, and Indigenous voters.”
The resolution called on the House Committee on Ethics to “investigate and issue a report” on whether the actions of said Republicans “violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution or the Rules of the House of Representatives” and said they should face punishments including and up to expulsion from office.
So, because Bush, the newest member of the “squad” of leftist representatives, doesn’t like what these Republicans said and did, they should essentially be removed from government life for the rest of time.
Whatever one may believe about the integrity of the 2020 election, it ought to be clear that elected officials shouldn’t face punishment for their viewpoints.
BLM next called for a “full investigation into the ties between white supremacy and the Capitol Police, law enforcement, and the military,” claiming, “We know that police departments have been a safe haven for white supremacists to hide malintent behind a badge, because the badge was created for that purpose.”
The organization also said it supports New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s “COUP Act,” which aims to “establish a national commission to investigate the seditious attack on the United States Capitol and Congress on January 6, 2021, address the systemic failures in the United States Capitol security and intelligence apparatus to accurately assess outside threats, and study and propose recommendations to realign the mission of the United States Capitol Police.”
Of course, BLM’s statements are supported by thin air. It uses anecdotes to prove its points until there are no anecdotes to be falsely misconstrued, at which point the only way forward is to lie.
The fourth demand, quite simply, demands that Trump is “banned from all digital media platforms” — despite his presence already being severely limited by Big Tech.
BLM claimed that the former president “has always used his digital media platforms recklessly and irresponsibly to spread lies and disinformation. Now it is clearer than ever that his digital media is also used to incite violence and promote its continuation.
“He must be stopped from encouraging his mob and further endangering our communities, even after inauguration.”
Reminiscent of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, Black Lives Matter literally aims to silence one of its chief opponents by permanently removing his main path of communication.
A classic piece of “racial justice” rhetoric returns in the fifth point, as BLM demands to “defund the police.”
The demand reads, “The police that met our BLM protestors this summer with assault rifles, teargas, and military-grade protective gear were the same police that, on Wednesday, met white supremacists with patience and the benefit of the doubt, going so far as to pose for selfies with rioters.”
The “protestors” BLM speaks of here were, in fact, rioters, intent on attacking people and destroying property. Meanwhile, the supposedly “white supremacist” Trump supporters who breached the Capitol in January were met with teargas and flashbangs, and one of them was shot dead by police.
Black Lives Matter refuses to acknowledge the facts of the situation, most likely because they harm its narrative.
Despite its tyrannical demands thus far, though, BLM is opposed to legislation from Democrats with the stated goal of fighting domestic terrorism.
With its sixth demand, titled “Don’t let the coup be used as an excuse to crack down on our movement,” the organization vilifies the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, which aims to “strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism” and combat the threat of “white supremacy,” according to Illinois Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider.
According to BLM, such laws are “used to target Black and brown communities for heightened surveillance.”
“Republicans are already busy trying to create an equivalence between the mob on January 6th and our Freedom Summer,” it says. “We don’t need new domestic terror laws, facial recognition, or any other new police power for the state.
“Our government should protect righteous protest and stay focused on the real issue: rooting out white supremacy. There are enough laws, resources, and intelligence, but they were not used to stop the coup. Our elected officials must uncover why.”
The final demand might be the worst of them all.
Titled “Pass the BREATHE Act,” BLM begins by claiming that the police force was “born out of slave patrols.” Of course, this simply isn’t true.
As columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2020, “Policing — enforcing the law, preventing crime, apprehending criminals — has a very long tradition of existence.”
He explained that policing can be traced back to Augustus Caesar’s “cohortes urbanae” of Rome and King Henry II’s “proclamation of the Assize of Arms” in the 12th century.
In other words, policing was born out of a societal need to prevent crime and destruction, not out of a need to catch runaway slaves and return them to their owners.
The rest of the demand goes on to claim that the current system — obviously built on white supremacy, according to BLM — cannot be reformed. Instead, there must be a “new, radical approach to public safety and community investment.”
BLM, for all its faux outrage and baseless claims about intrinsic white supremacy in men and women who risk their lives daily for the protection of minorities, has inspiring confidence. Mere months after the organization’s supporters caused destruction across the country and upended countless lives, it is demanding the same country play legislative “Simon Says.”
Thankfully, these demands will most likely be thrown out as too radical, at least for now. However, it’s important that BLM and similar organizations are monitored, as more and more radical leftists demand change and will seemingly stop at nothing to attain it.