April 16, 2021

Who'd have predicted this? Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski introduced a segment with a critical Pat Robertson attacking the police.

"Longtime televangelist and conservative host of the 700 Club Pat Robertson surprised just about everyone yesterday when he sounded off on the state of policing in America," she said.

"After reporting on the killing of Daunte Wright, he did a demonstration on set, showing the difference between a gun and a taser. He then said this."

ROBERTSON: I am pro police, folks. I think we need the police. We need their service and they do a good job, but if if they don't stop this onslaught, they cannot do this. The police in Virginia picked up a lieutenant in the Army and began to give him trouble and our state police are highly trained, but why they don't stop this and this thing that's going on? Derek Chauvin, they ought to put him under the jail. He has caused so much trouble, kneeling, on the death of George Floyd, on his neck. It's just terrible, what's happening. And the police, why don't they hope their eyes to what the public relations are? They've got to stop this stuff.

CO-HOST: Maybe they need more training. Consistent training.

ROBERTSON: I think the problem is, we've got to pay them more. We don't have the finest in the police department. They're low-paid people. They don't get adequate. It's not a question of training, it's a question of hiring a more superior workforce and we aren't doing it. But we need police! We need them. And we need to honor them. And I'm all for it. But at the same time, we cannot have a bunch of clowns running around who are underpaid and who are really not the best and brightest. We've got to have the best in there.

He's not completely wrong. He's wrong about what they're paid -- the average annual wage for a police officer in the U.S. in 2019, not including overtime, was $67,600, or $71,840 in Minnesota, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In small towns, they probably earn a lot less.

But he's right that they're not necessarily the best and the brightest. Standards vary greatly from place to place. Some police forces require a four-year college degree, while others ask for no more than a six-month certificate from the local community college. And in at least one famous case, police departments refused to hire applicants whose IQ is too high.

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