To Protect And Serve, With Their Backs To The Wall
By Curtis M. Hendel
On the morning of November 2nd, 2016 I awoke to the news; two police officers in Des Moines Iowa were killed by gunfire while sitting in their police cars. Two Peace Officers, civil servants, assassinated. Check that, two more police officers had been assassinated.
This seemed to be a pinpoint and very efficient attack. The suspect was taken in to custody later in the day when he turned himself in. The victims were Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin, 24, and Des Moines Police Sergeant Anthony Beminio, 38. They were killed in separate attacks about two miles apart. The assailant was 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, a man that had several run-ins with police in the past.
There have now been 16 officers killed in ambush style attacks this year alone. In the month of July alone five officers were killed in Dallas and three more were killed in Baton Rouge. This is not a trend; this is an actual part of the War on Law Enforcement.
Our Law Enforcement Officers are the thin blue line between the citizens of this country and those that would do them harm. It takes a special person to dedicate their lives to the safety of people that they will never meet and many that hate them just for wearing a badge. They see the worst of humanity and run to the sound of gunfire and danger, not away from it. They also cover horrible shifts, terrible weather, and protectants that are rarely appreciative to them.
The LEO community has been under fire for decades, and the danger inevitably leads to the death of officers in the line of duty every year. It is a dangerous profession. But in the last several years the relationship between officers and communities has been taking major damage from many sides. It really started to get out of hand in Ferguson Missouri. The death of Michael Brown was reported as an African American boy (who was legally a man at 18 and huge in stature) who was oppressed by Officer Wilson (for walking down the middle of a street with a handful of stolen cigars) and subsequently shot in the back while he surrendered with his hands in the air (actually he was shot in the torso going for the officers gun after beating him pretty good). Michael Brown tried to steal an officers weapon while punching him in the face, which is a crime, among other things he was doing.
The country took it differently though. Ferguson was torn apart by its residents, small businesses burned to the ground, riots and the much necessary looting (stealing stuff, you know, as a protest). Sports teams did the “hands up, don’t shoot” thing, and our national legislators entered the halls of Congress with their hands in the air. When the premise was proven wrong not a single one of them took a second to say “my bad”. The mistreatment of the Police has spread like wildfire from there.
Any time a white suspect is shot and killed you hear nothing on the news. But if the perp is African American it is put front and center and race is the key to the problem, even if the officer is also Black. Leaders of the Black community, mostly those of the Black Supremacist and Separatist movements push these deaths and use them to stir hatred of Police. Islamic extremists overseas have called for the assassination of Police also. These are just some of the tactics used as weapons in the War on Police.
The results are equally terrible. In Baltimore police have pulled back from Black neighborhoods, knowing that each time they interact with any person they will be under intense scrutiny, could be provoked to action, and likely filmed for the next headline. Across the country the number of young people willing to raise their right hands to swear to Protect and Serve their community is falling fast. And across the country Law Enforcement Officers are being forced to worry about their own lives, as much or more than those they are there to protect.
Let’s face it; we here in the United States live pretty good and safe lives because of Law Enforcement, not in spite of them. The more we push them in to a corner the more vulnerable we all become. Maybe that is the reason this is happening. Maybe those pushing this War on Police are looking for the opportunity to see millions of vulnerable Americans that they can take advantage of.
A War on Law Enforcement is national suicide. Removing or displacing the thin blue line between good and bad will leave our neighborhoods in chaos, our children in danger, and criminals from the corner dealer to the king pin smiling. What have we become when those that protect us are living with targets on their heads? And for those living off of these lies, what do you think you are accomplishing here?
There is little most of us can do to actually stop this. But there is much we can do to at least stem the tide. The assassinations of our Law Enforcement Officers and the hatred in our communities have got to end. Every person in this country has the ability to do the small things that could help to beat this situation back. In the least, just be nice when you see them, and if you are speeding and get stopped, understand that this is their job, not their hobby. It is time that we stand up and have their back for once. It is time that we show those wishing to tear our society down that we will not allow it, today or ever.
Hey, Johnny Law, We’ve Got Your Back!!