I have been associated with the Law Enforcement community for over 47 years. As a former career Law Enforcement Officer I have had the honor to not only play an important role in that profession , I continue to stay involved as my son and daughter-in-law are current Law Enforcement Officers. In addition, I know many more who are currently working in the Law Enforcement community who go to work everyday and attempt to complete that job even in lieu of the current attacks being taken against them. I can tell you with all honesty that most of these officers feel alone and greatly unappreciated for the job they do everyday. Today people are ambushing/attacking police officers…..where does that leave the average American citizen when it comes to their protection? Please take a close look at the video of the Phoenix Police Officers attacked in the parking lot yesterday morning….see how many of our concerned citizens helped any of the downed officers.
What is currently going on in the United Stats of America and directed at our current Law Enforcement Officers sickens me. The uneducated rhetoric that has been directed at our law enforcement community which fuel the flames and put our men and women in danger has never been encountered at this level prior to 2016. What is the goal of that segment of our American society that expects to achieve from such rhetoric and behavior? If it is to make change and bring all of us together it is not working! America is dying.
New York City, Dallas, New Orleans, San Diego, Phoenix and all over this country what has become the norm is open attacks on police officers…..American police officers. Attacking police officers who are sitting in their patrol vehicles or just driving by. Attacking police officers as they respond to shots fired calls, or man with gun calls. Attacking police officers who just happen to be holding a conversation in a gas station parking lot. I listen to all the rhetoric from members of our society about why this is happening. Unjustified police shootings of black Americans is the number one reason for these retaliatory attacks. Black Americans are also the main suspects taking part in these attacks. I suspect most, if not all these individuals who are attacking our police officers have mental issues.
I watched an interview of a well known former NFL black football player. Most of what he said I agreed with. Some I did not. He made mention of a female police officer who did not shoot and kill a white male suspect in Florida who had stabbed two people, but rather attempted to use her taser. He mentioned the white male suspect taken into custody after the deadly Colorado movie theater shooting suspect who was taken alive. He mentioned how in South Carolina the white suspect who killed the people in the black church was taken to a fast food restaurant for something to eat prior to being taken to jail. What he was indicated that treatment of white Americans is different than black Americans. What he fails to understand is that in each of those incidents were different circumstances. It had nothing to do with the use of deadly force. It had to do with using the force necessary to effect the arrest. For all anyone knows, taking the white suspect to get some food may have been part of an effort to get his cooperation and talk to investigators. The former NFL player also mentioned that more whites are killed by whites in their neighborhoods and more blacks killed by blacks in theirs. I agree with that statement so can I ask why the police are being attacked? Or why any justification can be given for such attacks!
Where I did agree with him was regarding the black inner cities of our country. The frustration of perceived injustice at the hands of police. The lack of jobs, good schools and education. The lack of family values, the violence and continued death at the hands of fellow citizens. The people who live in these areas live it on a daily basis. The police officers who work in these areas also see it on a daily basis. In our country we have approximately 750,000 sworn police officers…. protecting and serving our citizens. The problems and solutions are in the hands of our politicians who have continued to do nothing to come up with an answer….they instead ignore it. So here is a fact to ponder. So far in 2016, over 224 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty. Police have investigated well over 10,000 deaths at the hands of citizen on citizen and almost 21,000 injuries related to gun violence (Gun Violence Archive 2016). Police officers have also been involved in approximately 1,304 deadly encounters with suspects of all race and sex. While not being a statistician it appears that nothing, absolutely nothing can justify these blatant attacks on our Law Enforcement Officers.
Michael S. Smith