The headlines have been pretty rough on cops lately. The reaction to officer involved shooting (or in an custody death) from within the Black community has been resounding rush to judgment. The mob has been proven wrong so often you would think they would be ready to let the facts surface before they act.
The reality is, cops are tasked to do a job most of us wouldn’t want to do, even if we could. The reality is, the overwhelming majority of law enforcement are good people who never abuse their authority. Statistics prove that very few officers make bad decisions out of malice. But, the narrative today paints an opposite picture. Way too many spokespeople on TV and for the Black community behave irresponsibly and the cops suffer for it. The pundits try to sell us on the idea that cops are out of control. They’re killing Black men recklessly because of their racist attitudes. Wrong, wrong and wrong!
When the facts finally come into view, in almost every case of alleged police misconduct it turns out that what the public thought was wrong: ”Hands up don’t shoot!” The stupidity of that one still stings because it cost a good officer his career…over a lie!
Of course any profession has their bad characters. But when it comes to law enforcement everyone who carries a badge is tainted in the eyes of the public when one of their number does something criminal. What if this knee jerk kind of judgment was applied to ever Black person? Wouldn’t we call that bigotry?
Now on a personal note, my son is going on 16 years as a veteran officer working most of those years in a big city riddled with hard crime. He’s been involved in more than his share of confrontations with criminals. Thankfully, and due mainly to his own restraint, he has not had to kill anyone….yet. However, it’s come close a few times.
Last week his partner cornered a knife wielding kidnapper. After a brief foot chase, the bad-guy turned on him and charged with the knife in hand. He was brought down less than 5 feet from the officer. That was one step away from being stabbed.
These are challenging times for police officers. Crime never takes a day off, so the risks to officers never end.
For example in the last few years my son rescued the teacher and kids in a 2nd grade classroom from a crazy parent with a knife. Not long after he was the first officer on scene as the three armed bank robbers tried to flee the scene, but they ran right into his path and they were captured without incident. Another time he was the only officer present when a gang fight erupted at a high school. He rushed to the scene as some punk pulled a pistol and tried to assassinate another 15 year old gangbanger. He would have succeeded too, however this time my son grabbed the gun, a second later it would have been too late. I could fill pages with such stories, this is just every day stuff for most city cops.
Skill helps keep them alive, but you have to know sometimes it just comes down to luck (or divine intervention). Doesn’t that [reality] warrant a little thoughtful consideration before judging law enforcement before the facts are even known? The public’s opinion weighs heavily on the people of law enforcement and right now they’ve been beaten down pretty good by all these race baiters and the media. But, the truth is, cops overall are doing a good job and they deserve better than a rush to judgment.