Book Review: ‘Justice for All: How the Left Is Wrong About Law Enforcement’

BY Linda Wiegenfeld TIMEFebruary 8, 2023 PRINT

“The center pole of the American way of life is freedom, but liberty must be paired with respect for the rule of law or else we will descend into chaos.”—Greg Kelly

It can be quite overwhelming trying to understand all the problems that are currently besetting the United States. In Greg Kelly’s debut book, “Justice for All: How the Left Is Wrong About Law Enforcement,” he helps the reader to understand fully one issue: the cultural and racial issues that have plagued law enforcement in America.

Kelly has the experience to take a firsthand look at law enforcement. His current work is as a Newsmax TV anchor and WABC radio host. He was a Marine pilot, a news reporter, an embedded war correspondent, and a morning talk show host.

Perhaps most interestingly, he’s the son of former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the longest-serving commissioner in NYPD history.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly attend a news conference in 2002. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

He writes in a fascinating way about three mayors of New York: David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg.

He also covers many other topics. Among these are the Black Lives Matter movement, the difference between equality and equity, progressives not holding criminals accountable for their actions, and the politicization of the police.

Much of Kelly’s book focuses on what happened after the George Floyd riots at the end of May 2020. Kelly calls the occurrences “a kind of mass hysteria across America.”

While the country remained locked down because of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, massive protests were exempted from the general prohibition on the grounds that “the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”

Exposing Myths

Kelly’s book explores the key myths surrounding law enforcement in the United States:

Myth: The United States “overincarcerates” its population.
Kelly: The United States puts a lot of people in prison, but also has a high crime rate compared to other advanced nations.

The fact is that black criminals are responsible for a much bigger share of crime than you would assume, given the relatively small size of the black population in the United States. There’s no category of crime where blacks are underrepresented, though they are about at par when it comes to pornography offenses.

Myth: Property crimes don’t matter. That isn’t violence.
Kelly: There’s no connection between saving lives, black or white, and destroying property or stealing. It’s not either/or. Yes, life is more valuable than property, but property sustains life. Kelly says “there’s a reason why we call someone’s business or profession their livelihood.”

Kelly quotes Nikole Hannah-Jones, the brains behind what he calls “The New York Times hallucinatory 1619 Project.” When asked to offer her opinion on the ongoing riots, she said, “Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of the life is leached out of his body.”

Kelly observes that radicals such as Hannah-Jones think violence is only the killing by police. Not only do leftist radicals not care about property, but they don’t necessarily think it’s bad when people hurt or kill other people—as long as it’s done by the right people.

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Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gives a thumbs up after voting. (Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images)

Myth: Black crime is so high because of poverty.
Kelly: Kelly believes crime has a lot to do with the epidemic of fatherlessness among Black families. The United States leads the world in single-parent households, with the highest rate being among blacks, but the rate is rising among whites, too.

Myth: Antifa is a myth or fantasy cooked up by hardline conservatives overdosing on cable news coverage.
Kelly: America used to have a lot of anarchists roaming around throwing bombs and killing people. In 1901, a crazed anarchist even killed President William McKinley. The difference between the anarchist mayhem of the past and what we see today is that past political officials and members of the press didn’t deny the terror seen.

Myth: Black people are routinely murdered by the police. The police are corrupt and immoral and need to be defunded.
Kelly: This statistic is not true. The main purpose of the “defund the police” movement is not really to eliminate police; it’s just to change who the police are and whom they answer to. Progressives don’t like the idea that police aren’t under their control.

At the end of his book, Kelly has a picture of a tourist snapping a photo of an NYPD officer gifting a homeless man a pair of boots on a cold day. Kelly says that “this image exemplifies the spirit of service that animates police work.”

Kelly has it so right. The problems that he mentions in the book are not easily solved, but the reader never gets the feeling that Kelly believes that they can’t be. He tells the truth but never abandons hope. A great read.

(Note: Greg Kelly works for Newsmax, which AT&T DirecTV has “deplatformed,” that is, taken off its lineup. This is the second conservative news channel dropped. One America News Network was dropped in 2022.)

‘Justice for All: How the Left Is Wrong About Law Enforcement’
By Greg Kelly
Threshold Editions, Jan. 10, 2023
Hardcover: 224 pages

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Linda Wiegenfeld is a retired teacher. She can be reached for comments or suggestions at
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