We never could have imagined that we would need to use space in the 200th edition of this newspaper to defend this country against the notion of defunding the police.
Yet here we are.
After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hand of abusive police officers, protests and riots broke out across the country. We watched in horror as a police station burned down and the WWII Memorial defaced with graffiti. The message of the rioters was that all cops are racist, all cops are bad, and American mayors should defund law and order in our neighborhoods.
Let’s make something perfectly clear, only criminals and those who hate this country want to get rid of the cops. Nobody who loves this country would even entertain the notion.
Without the police, violent drug cartels would run your neighborhood while you and your neighbors cower in fear, afraid to leave your homes. Take a look at the lawlessness south of the border. So many of the police forces in Mexico are on the payroll of drug cartels that most murders go unsolved. That’s what the ‘defund the police’ advocates want here in this country.
These same people also want to close all prisons and let every violent criminal back into your neighborhood.
We find it sad for this country when any police officer engages in police brutality. It’s even sadder when someone dies as the result of that police brutality.
Protesters all over this country voiced their concern about “racist” officers and a “police brutality”. Their argument is that we cannot have cops who label and stereotype people based on their skin color or the demographic group they belong to.
But, we also believe that this goes both ways. What is happening by those who don’t want to be labeled and stereotyped is the labeling and stereotyping of police officers, specifically white police officers.
No society can engage in racism as a remedy for racism and survive as a free and peaceful nation.
While we acknowledge that there are individual police officers who abuse their authority and that some are racist, we strongly reject the notion that it is systemic or that the American police officer is inherently racist or abusive. Every legitimate study has proven that.
Nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop. Bad cops make it harder for good cops to do their job. When investigating a rape or a home invasion, they need the trust of the community to find justice for the victims. They also have to look over their shoulder when calling for backup if there’s a bad cop working their shift. In fact, most bad cops are turned in by good cops on their department because they don’t want their lives put in jeopardy by a rogue criminal with a badge and a gun.
The American police officer makes great personal sacrifices every single day to protect the people in their community. While the rest of us are enjoying Christmas or Mother’s Day with our families, the American police officer is spending time away from his family to stop a domestic abuser, or pulling a 12 year old out of a burning car. Police officers have a high suicide rate, an extremely high rate of injury and disability, and one of the highest rates of divorce.
On top of that they get it from all sides. They get attacked by the criminals, the public, politicians, the media, and are always the target of bad cops on their department.
Yet, every day the good men and women of law enforcement continue to put on a badge and a gun, kiss their loved ones goodbye not knowing if they will ever come home, and go out to protect the victims of violent crime in our neighborhoods.
Nothing exemplifies this more heroically than the six Dallas Police Officers who were murdered in the line of duty in 2016 protecting Black Lives Matter protesters who were literally calling for the murder of cops.
Just think about that.
They died protecting the very people calling for their deaths.
THAT is the American police officer.
Not the four criminals who killed George Floyd. ◊