I am an unapologetic supporter of the police. I think they are doing a thankless job in a society that values their worth less and less with each passing generation. My heart bleeds for the 12 cops in Dallas who were shot last night when a peaceful protest over the latest shootings of black suspects by white cops turned deadly.
I came into work this morning and two of my Boulder coworkers were opining that a federal investigation should be launched every time a police officer fires his/her weapon. Really? Would said investigation be conducted by the FBI, who just let a terrorist slip through their fingers; a terrorist who went on to shoot over 100 people in an Orlando night club? Or maybe the DOJ, who is likely going to no-bill a high-ranking official who carelessly, deliberately passed classified information through her private server, despite warnings not to do so? I am unsure of much in this life, but I am damned sure that the tensions between the police and minority communities will not be eased by our federal government. I firmly believe that they are best addressed on the local level.
As people view the videos of the shootings in LA and MN, it is important to remember that we are not getting the full context of the situation. Civilian videos are generally taken after an incident starts, so we almost never see the prelude to the shooting. This problem would be solved if body cameras were mandatory for all law enforcement officers, whether they live in New York City or Beatrice, Nebraska. In our instant digital age, body cams would provide constant video footage for both perpetrators and victims to use as evidence. It would give the general public a far better picture of what cops have to deal with on the streets where ambiguities are omnipresent.
The sniper who shot the 12 cops in Dallas did the Black Lives Matter movement no favors. If BLM took a King-style approach of ‘peace and love through strength’, they would’ve gotten much further with their message. Riots, looting and the retaliatory murders of police officers, who were merely trying to protect those exercising their First Amendment rights, changes the focus of the narrative and sets them back. As long as they continue to take their cues from Malcolm X., and as long as President Obama continues to lend them his tacit approval, they will be rightly labeled as a fringe organization bordering on terrorism.
As an aside, can someone please tell me what the hell Mark Fuhrman (a documented racist) is doing giving commentary on Fox News? I don’t care what his theories are about the O.J. case. He is part of the problem, not the solution.
God bless the five police officers who gave their lives in the performance of their duties. Prayers to their families and comrades who will never see them again. God bless the other seven officers who are recovering from their wounds. God bless Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and prayers for their loved ones.