Well, I guess you can tell I haven’t much to do since I’m writing again. Just waiting for the kid to come home from school now. In the meantime, yes, I know there are probably other things I could be doing rather than watching TV and writing dumb stuff here. But, here I am! This one will be short, but I would ask my readers to stop and think about this topic and yes, please comment as to your own experience.
We always hear about how bad police are. We’ve even seen video of what could be encounters with the public that goes above and beyond what that encounter should have been. I recall a few years ago a video of a young woman protesting. She had a nerf (yes nerf) sword and was bopping a police officer (in body armor, a helmet and face shield). Of course this young woman was annoying but the video showed how the officer simply pepper sprayed her. The audio was frightening. The screaming of this young woman. It doesn’t matter if she was wrong . What I took from that is the officer, at least what was captured on video, never spoke, said a single word to that young woman. He could have blinded her.
There were conservatives on Twitter (where I saw this) that were laughing. I’m a conservative and I was not laughing. In the context of the video I saw, the young woman wasn’t hurting the officer by tapping his helmet with her nerf sword. His response, in my opinion was way over the top . He could have ask her to step back. He could have forced her to step back. Instead, he commited a felony assault on a mainly peaceful protester.
Heh. I said this was going to be short but probably not. I know police officers where I live: local, county, state, and yes, federal officers. All of these men and women are great people to know. They have families and do that job because they want to protect the public. Let me just say that none of these friends are getting rich by being in law enforcement And so when I see something like the video I described, it makes me angry. I actually sent that video to those I know and the response? At a minimum they would’ve been suspended. One friend, a Deputy Sheriff was sure she would’ve been fired. I live in cowboy central where you’d think the police could act as they please. Not even close.
I think we’ve become to used to those fictional “cop shows” on TV. In fact there’s a couple of officers I know where we comment to each other on certain shows. Note that these shows have to introduce some level of drama to retain viewers. In reality, most police officers rarely, if ever, draw their weapons and almost never come into a physical conflict with a member of the public.
Remember when, I think it was Katy Tur of NBC spoke about reporters being those than ran into the burning building? Seriously. It is the police and firefighters, and firefighters don’t rush into buildings, but yes, both go towards the danger. That’s what they’re trained to do to protect the public. Are there bad police, bad firefighters, bad accountants and company CEO’s? Should we expect law enforcement to be perfect in every encounter? Of course we can’t unless we’re going to program some AI machines to take over being a first responder. no one knows how they will respond to an imminent threat of death until they are exposed. Trust me. I know.
What we should be doing is trying to get to know our local precinct officers and they, too, knowing those they’re responsible for protecting and serving. It used to be called community policing and even though, where I live for instance, that is a more difficult because we’re a small, spread out city, but police as well as community leaders can do more to work together. What we have to remember though is that the police are not the bad guys and when one or more come to light, they need to be prosecuted no differently than any felony offender.
I believe those are few, by the way. The media tend to overplay some police encounters with the public. Remember the Freddie Gray death in Baltimore? All of those officers were found not guilty, but if you’d have watched TV or read anything in the press, these were all racist killers. Police are your neighbors, their children probably atend the same school yours do. they go to work everyday, just like you do, with the exception that because of their job, they may not return home after their shift.
Police don’t look for black or brown people, singling them out because of their race or ethnicity. Police go where the crimes are committed. If there was a high crime rate (murder, rape, theft) in Beverly Hills, that’s where we’d see a lot of officers. But we see more officers in areas where more crimes are reported. Reported. Until about a year ago, a next door neighbor was a federal agent. They’re still friends, just live a mile or two away. A couple blocks down the street is that Deputy Sheriff and also a State Deputy who’s daughters attend school with my own, Good people. Heh. Both of those were a bit sketchy about me because of my look. But they soon realized I was just like them, a parent.
It’s actually nice to have police as friends – not that it’s done anything for me directly, except for once when my friend pulled over a car and my daughter was in the back seat. The driver was drunk and wasn’t even old enough to drive. My friend brought my daughter home and yes, there were some consequences for my kid, but what was really nice is that my friend recognized my kid and brought her home to me. I have a torture room in my house where these things are arbitrated. No. I’m lying. I don’t hit, nor do I yell, but yes, there was punishment, as there should have been. what you should take from this is because I knew the officer, my daughter came home safe. That’s what communities and police need to do when a kid, a spouse, or significant other is in a situation. When you and they know each other, there’s less a chance for an arrest and going into the criminal justice system.
We need to learn to trust one another to be able to end crime in our specific communities. It’s not about black, versus anyone, or brown, or even asain or white. It’s about Americans, together, wanting to end the scourge of drgs, murder, rape, where we live. Where are kids are able to go to school, down the street, without the parents having to worry whether or not they’ll make it, bot ways. a lot of bad has happened in the past and it’s incumbent on the police to begin to heal woulds, but the public is not without blame. When a crime goes down on your street? Talk to those that will solve it. If you don’t help the police, you resign yourself to whatever it is that exists where you live.
All you’re saying is that you’re willing to live in a war zone. I’ve been in war zones and bullets don’t know race, religion, or ethnicity. No amount of prayer is going to keep someone from burning down your home, or will keep rounds from penetrating walls and windows. You know who is there to help you? Someone that will rush into bedlam to save lives? Your police.
One thought on “Want to Protest? Thank Your Local Police Officer”
I submit to everyone that what might be seen on any video is a tiny bit of what happened during that time period. Out of context, the wildest accusations might be imagined. In context, what is posted on video, might be reasonable and rational behavior. That said, how are any of us to know if anything we see is truth? Is there a reason to assume that someone staged a video for a particular reason? Has a photo been doctored? Has the truth been distorted? Has the rumor become mythology? Even what we witness with our own senses sometimes is not the full story or become distorted within our mind’s bias.
Yes, there are assholes in every profession, but in general people try to help those who come to them for help, even if they are having a “bad day.” Law enforcement officers have, with my family, always been polite and acted with compassion and respect, even the assholes among them, who may have copped an attitude, have still been restrained. But then, so were we on those few occasions where my family interacted with them.
Okay…if there was pepper spray on that woman, who was only bopping him on the head with a nerf sword, the officer was over reacting and deserved suspension, at least. If that is a true video of actual events and represents the entirety of the situation. I have a manic-depressive younger sister. Police/security have interacted with her recently on several occasions, and a few times in her youth. Nothing but compassion in their actions, even when she had to be physically restrained by them. So far, only one asshole attitude security officer at an ER, but nothing physical. But she was in distress from a hypermedia condition, not disrespectful assault, not drug-addled attack and not resisting arrest. We have no experience with police/security under such conditions.
And…you are correct; most officers have rarely ever pulled their weapon and many never do throughout their career.