“As human beings, we suffer from an innate tendency to jump to conclusions, to judge people too quickly, and to pronounce them failures or heroes without due consideration.”
Well guys, I woke up the last few days and quickly realized that it is that time of the news/lunar/lunatic cycle. I have not had much to say about it, which is very uncharacteristic of me. I have seen the fanning of flames of tragic police involved shootings and deaths for as long as I can remember. This latest instance, I was just going to let it be. Then, I ran across a social media post by someone I grew up with and well; I suppose it just aroused what I try daily to suppress. The intolerance of ignorance, the trough slopping of the corrupt and biased mainstream news media.
To be clear, the line in the social media post that spiked my blood pressure instantaneously was, “If you are one of the people out there that says All Lives Matter, you are part of the problem!” Once my forehead got to be a lighter shade of magenta, I muttered to myself, “Ah, so all lives do NOT matter. Okay. I got it”.
I mean, all lives don’t matter? That statement is not really drawing any lines on a battle ground as far as humanity and common sense is concerned. All lives DO matter. No matter your color, race, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or any other check box on the census form. All lives do matter. That was not always a radical thought in this country either.
I am certain the immediate rebuttal to that sentiment would be, “The statement belongs to Black Lives Matter, and any other variation is a misappropriation of what their movement is all about”. Fair enough. But, my answer to that would simply be, no single organization or group of people has a patent on ideas or on the English language.
For a group that is so anti community policing, it has been my observation that they certainly love policing free speech and the freedom of thought. As an old partner of mine used to say, “How does that work?!”
I won’t wax philosophical all day on this subject. My intent is to make this a shorter piece to save some time for a longer one tomorrow (if my schedule cooperates). I want to make one single, very clear, very concise statement, the central point and thesis of my work today.
Listen folks, the situation in Minneapolis that has just occurred this week, I don’t know what you want me to say about it. I have been in this business a hell of a long time. I could not tell you how many customers I have put cuffs on or have played a game of Wrestlemania with. I lost count several years ago. It is definitely in the thousands. That having been said, out of the five law enforcement academies I have been to and the numerous use of force certifications I have; I have not ONCE seen the “knee-in-the-neck for five minutes” technique sanctioned ANYWHERE. For a law enforcement officer, I just don’t have much to say. The choice to use that maneuver was absolutely inexcusable and appalling. It is a move that not even a rookie would be so ill advised to do. There is no excuse here friends. None. Even if Mr. Floyd had seriously injured or killed a member of the public or an officer, and was safely taken into custody, at that point the encounter is over! There is ZERO justification for using that kind of maneuver on a suspect who is in custody or detained or compliant. NONE. Flabbergasted does not even begin to cover it for me. Something like this, gives all officers a bad name and gives the public a bad taste in their mouth about us. I hate that. Now again, that being said, listen to me carefully. I am going to make that thesis known and state a very unpopular fact.
THERE IS NO SYSTEMIC RACISM IN POLICING!
What do I mean by that? Well let me put out the first fire. Are there racist police officers? Yes. Absolutely, without a doubt. I have seen it with my own eyes. You may be surprised that in my experience, the majority of racists I worked with on the job were Hispanic. Next, Black Americans. Then, white/Caucasians. But, I thought only whites could be racist? I digress. Take it as you will, that is just simply MY experience in law enforcement. Next. What was the percentage in my approximation? Pretty damned few and far between! I would say not even 1 in 500 during the course of my career. This also is not to say they were not good cops. However, in my view there is no room on the job for a jaded racial lens of the world. It simply isn’t good for business.
Folks, I am giving it to you as straight as I can. The truth with no brown sugar, and no varnish. Cops are not inherently racist! There are cops of all races, and all walks of life. Different ethnic back grounds, different religions, different everything. Not all cops are white, and not all cops are racist! It is simply not true folks. The police do not systematically go door to door seeking out those in which to perform indiscriminate hate crimes on. That is scare porn that CNN wants you to believe in order to keep you in FEAR and DIVISION.
Next, the practice of policing is not systemically racist! That is simply not true. Nowhere in any training manual, in any state, in any academy, in all of the United States is racial profiling or racist police tactics taught, anywhere! That is a lie. We have departmental, county, state regulations, POST regulations, there is even FEDERAL LAW that prohibits even a scintilla of that behavior. This talking point is another lie parroted out by the media in order to divide you. I am there, I am on the front lines every day. Trust me, I know. I have walked a hell of a lot more beat than Chris Cuomo or Anderson Cooper.
Next, not everyone gets it right. Absolutely. Neither does the news media! Yet, they never have to apologize. Look folks, we have bad convenience store workers, bad CEO’s, bad mail carriers, bad electricians, bad janitors, bad soldiers, bad plumbers, we have bad in every single damned profession! Why would you think law enforcement is any different? Yes. Some slip through the cracks. But eventually, believe me, they are weeded out. One way or another. Also, we don’t cover for them. They bring shame to the badge, and we want them gone more than anyone!
We all get it wrong. Every single one of us. I understand the trust placed in LEO’s and the weight of the badge more than anyone. I get it. We aren’t perfect. Then again, we; denotes that NONE of us are perfect.
Don’t believe me? Does anyone remember this fact pattern? A seasoned officer was patrolling and got a call of a suspicious person lurking near a house and possibly breaking and entering. The officer responded and commenced a standard identification and challenge procedure of the individual. The individual immediately became irate and non-compliant with the officer. He was promptly arrested, and it promptly made national headlines. Why would it you may ask? The suspect was a prominent Harvard University professor name Henry Louis Gates. Henry, also happens to be a Black American. Who was one of Henry’s buddies that he called immediately. None other, than the President of the United States.
Barack Hussein Obama did what most people do. He rushed to judgement on the word of his friend, without a review of the facts. He condemned the arrest and said the police quote, “acted stupidly”. Hmm. I will leave that one alone. But what I will say, is that upon a thorough review of the incident and the actions of Sergeant James Crowley, Obama patently got a wicked case of foot-in-mouth disease. Does anyone remember this little scene below?
The infamous “Beer Summit”. This is political speak for a term I like to call “saving face”. That is, when you screwed up a local police incident so badly due to your incompetent boobery and your bias, you need a photo op to save some of your standing in the eyes of the voting public.
See? Even the President of the United States can screw up. Why wouldn’t the police be able to also?
My final thought however, is that we are focusing on the wrong things. Do police officers need to be held accountable when appropriate? Absolutely, I will slap the cuffs on myself. However, we also need to recognize that they deserve a little humanity, and that they aren’t all murdering racist gangs of filth. In fact statistically, next to none of them are. Check the Department of Justice’s own statistics! They do an impossible job under the largest microscope in the world, of any profession. Let’s cut them a little slack when slack is due.
Also, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s not punish the whole due to the actions of one or two. Save that practice for the military. Finally, forget the fear and divisiveness porn we see on CNN every day. Their job is to lie, scare, and divide. That is how they get clicks and views. That is their stock and trade. Ours, should be to stick together no matter what may happen, like Americans do. That, we remember who we are, and that there is nothing we can’t do, together.
Here, enjoy this clip of police work that the mainstream media will never show you!