December 23, 2014
The War On Policemen Is A War Against Humanity
Anyone of sound mind should realize that we must have Law and Order to maintain a civilized society. Are there bad cops? Yes, just as there are bad apples in every business, organization and community. But without rules to follow, and boundaries to control our impulses, chaos would reign. Remember studying Lord of the Flies in school? The author, William Golding, showed us just what happens when the savage side of our human nature is not constrained.
I'm tired of hearing all the blame for the deaths of Brown and Garner laid at the feet of the cops. I happen to agree with the decision rendered in the Brown case, and disagree with the result of the Garner case. But there were two parties in each circumstance! Can you honestly say that neither of the men who died contributed to their own demise?
And, yes, I believe that policemen who use excessive force should be carefully examined to see if they still meet the psychological criteria to "protect and serve." But I want to see the NYPD police itself -- and there are ways to demand that; and it is not any ol' citizen reaping vigilante justice as he sees fit.
As a matter of fact, I want everyone to consider what it takes for a man to decide to become a policeman. I know from personal experience what kind of man answers that call ... I have three nephews, all sons of my middle sister, who have answered the call to put themselves in danger to serve their fellow man. I know their hearts, and I think I know why they took this path. I remember when the oldest one was around eight-years-old, and attending Catholic grade school. He was having trouble sleeping at night and when my sister asked him why, he revealed that there was a young black boy in his classroom that was being bullied by the other kids, and the injustice bothered him. After talking over his feelings with his mom, he decided he had to go talk to the Monsignor the next day and stick up for the tormented child. That's the kind of child who chooses to be a police officer when he becomes a man.
My youngest nephew loved to hear my dad's WWII stories and what it meant to be brave in the face of evil. When he was in junior high, he watched the entire series of Band of Brothers several times; once with my husband, his uncle, and they discussed the character of the men of the 101st Airborne's Easy Company; that band of heroes that fought from D-Day through the Battle of the Bulge and to the end of WW11. They discussed what would make the Greatest Generation continue to fight the bad guys, even when all the odds were stacked against them. That's the kind of young man that wants to live up to an ideal. He followed his two older brothers into the Police Academy, and graduated last year.
My middle nephew is the one that marches "to a different drummer" than the other two; not in an unorthodox way -- maybe just in a little more daring way. Last year, I wrote a blog post, about his mindset as a police officer. I shared an essay he wrote while at the Police Academy. In it, he revealed two of his important influences: 1) a book by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, titled: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, and 2) the very wise words of his father, who counseled him every day to "Be a leader, not a follower." This is a young man who sees himself as a leader and isn't afraid to say, "I want to be the person people look to in a time of crisis. I want to stand up for what I believe to be morally right." And he thinks that being a police office is one of the best ways to accomplish this. And he is currently trying to be that leader as he serves in the Ferguson, Missouri area.
While I am extremely proud of my nephews, they aren't the only examples of what makes a good policeman. In 1970, radio legend Paul Harvey wrote an essay in honor of his father, a policeman who had been killed in the line of duty when Harvey was three years old. In part, it reads: "A policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity ... What is a policeman? He, of all men, is at once the most needed and the most wanted. A strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “pig” or worse to his back ... He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer ... The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal.” If you hit him … he’s a coward. If he hits you … he’s a bully. He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache, to build a case against some felon who will get “dealed out” by a shameless shamus. The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And of course, he’ll have to be a genius…for he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary."
The men who were shamelessly killed this week for being nothing more than a policeman, didn't deserve to be singled out. Charles Kondek, an officer near Tampa, Florida was gunned down and then run over by the perpetrator after responding to a disturbance call at 2 a.m. Charlie "K" was a 17-year police veteran, and worked the midnight shift so that he could watch his 15-year-old daughter Aleena’s soccer practices and travel with her wherever she played. New York City officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered as they sat in their patrol car, by a man determined to take revenge against cops for the death of Eric Garner. Ramos was a Christian who would have been officially commissioned as a lay chaplain on the very day he died. As evidence of their legitimate faith, his family is calling for peaceful co-existence, saying they've already forgiven the murderer.
But, as expected, policemen across the nation are on high alert and the threat of violence against them appears to grow. How do you make angry people realize that policemen are not the cause of the injustice they feel? How do you make them recognize that it is an immoral system that keeps them enslaved to a government handout, and robs them of dignity, opportunity and self-sufficiency? How do you do that when there are corrupt politicians and social agitators who benefit from perpetrating the lies of injustice?
I have a genuine fear of where all this is leading. I can see chaos and anarchy on one end of the spectrum, and over-reaching authority and power on the other. And somewhere in-between lies you and me, the average citizen who still observes and respects law and order; and the men and women who stand in the gap against the law of the jungle. I pray that law and order will prevail, and we don't descend into that madness.
Psalm 94:16 "Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?"