151 Band

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cop-Bashing: The New Dance Craze

He wakes up every morning long before the sun even considers rising, dons his uniform and heads out the door.  The senses alert when others would still be wiping sleep from their eyes, his focus is both natural and trained.  He knows where he's going, he knows that at any given time throughout this and every other day, he faces the specter of death - his own and others.  The uncomfortable and queasy feeling in the pit of the stomach that began on the first day on the job never really subsided, but instead a numbness, a tolerance has blanketed those feelings because he must survive and in the process, save the lives of others.  It's a job few want and even fewer could handle.  He took an oath to lay down his life if necessary to protect the innocents and that oath drives him, pushes him to survive yet another horrifying day. Today could be his last.  But he goes to work anyway.

So, I ask you:  Am I talking about law enforcement or am I speaking of a service member standing a post?

The trend today, particularly in communities overrun with poverty, it has become trendy once again to hate "the man" and "the man" wears a uniform, puts his life at risk every day so the same people who hate him may live under the blanket of safety he and his fellow officers provide.  Whether it be the destruction in Ferguson or even the outcry over parts of the O.J. Simpson trial, people are lashing out at authority and doing so with no thought whatsoever of the consequence.

As a member of the United States Navy, I had the privilege of seeing foreign lands, to experience a piece of different cultures and I assure you that our law enforcement infrastructure is nowhere near as terrible as what I've seen.  Granted, it's not much to compare to, but if we are to take the issue of law enforcement misbehavior seriously, we have to measure it against the reality that yes, the vast majority of officers are good people, doing a good job.  We live in the greatest country in the world, experience the greatest freedoms, and we have the best trained law enforcement officers as well.

Here is an example that should put to rest much of this new dance craze of cop-bashing.  Take the case of Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City.  He is a young law enforcement officer who has been charged with some horrific acts of sexual assault and the most recent woman to come forward was 17 years old at the time.  And she was allegedly assaulted on her front porch.  From Newsok.com:
The 32 prior counts against him include rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, burglary, stalking, indecent exposure and procuring lewd exhibition. There are a total of 13 victims reported in court documents.
Why is this case significant?  Because the officer accused of these crimes was handled by his coworkers and the chain of command by the numbers - it was a textbook example of how law enforcement didn't clamor to protect one of its own, but rather allowed the process that they themselves are a part of, work itself out.

What's the bottom line here:  Before one begins to partake of this trend of cop-bashing, get the facts and not some contrived bullshit from some obscure website on the Internet whose owners wear tinfoil hats, and run around in the grandmother's basement playing Minecraft.  We have access to the truth - we just have to apprehend it and allow ourselves to be apprehended by it.  When this happens, we see the light and we realize that police officers do a job that most of us don't have the balls to even consider.

Are there bad cops who have done bad things?  You bet your ass there are.  But are we so stupid as to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater?  I pray not.  A few bad cops do not speak for the rest of the law enforcement community nor should they be the poster children for law enforcement.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.  But I seriously doubt it.