Ferguson, New York, and beyond…

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So it may be beyond the point now, but with the shootings in New York and the officers turning their backs on the mayor, maybe it’s still relevant. Who knows, maybe you’ve moved on, maybe you’re still spun up too.  Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
 
When I first heard about Ferguson, my husband was at the Academy to become a State Trooper (he was injured and will have to return at a later date), and I couldn’t help but view it through the lens of a future LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) wife. My husband will be out there in that world soon, and he will face the scrutiny of the public in a very real way. There are times when he will have to make tough calls. Will he make the right ones? I don’t want him to have to worry about the color of the criminal before he arrests someone for committing a crime.  Crime is crime, right? If a criminal commits a crime, he or she must be caught and punished accordingly.  If a man is going to choose to act as a thug, he will be treated accordingly.  Anyone can act like a thug, seriously. Thug doesn’t mean “big scary black male”…right?  Laws are in place for a reason – anyone of any color or gender or sexual orientation, etc is held accountable to the laws of the area. This isn’t rocket science.

There are other things that people say about the cops being corrupt.  Well that is going to happen no matter where you go, actually.  Governments are corrupt, you know? If you don’t know that, you’re not paying attention. Guess what.  The media is corrupt too. Yes, okay – there are other things in Ferguson that had to be dealt with that came out after this shooting happened, so that’s one good thing that came out of it.  How many black cops shot white men, though? Probably a lot. How many of those did we hear about on the news? None. Double standards anyone? Why is this acceptable journalism?
Racial issues are going to go on and on until someone stops.  From what I’ve experienced as a white woman in an area with a high black/Hispanic population, I’ve not seen white people propagating racial issues.  It seems that white folks tend to be as politically correct as possible, lest they be labeled as “racist”! Black and Hispanic people of all ages call each other “nigga”. Why is this suddenly acceptable? You know Dr. King would be ashamed. Suits and ties and clean cut looks have been replaced with saggy pants and grilles. There was a young man that used to go to the school I work at, he’s a black guy, and he always dressed sharp while he was in the classroom. He’d try to encourage his fellow classmates to step up their game and look the part of an upstanding citizen. We need more kids to take this attitude!  Respect. Dignity. Quit playing the victim. Take responsibility for your actions. This goes for any one of any race. Blame stops with yourself. Do you know it’s against the law to steal cigarettes from a gas station? Yes. Then don’t do it.  Do you know it’s against the law to do/sell/etc. drugs? Yes. Then don’t do it. Do you know it’s against the law to commit tax fraud? Yes. Then don’t do it.
Ultimately, the problem with Ferguson was that Mr. Brown attacked an officer.  Whether he was armed or not, or put his hands up or not, he attacked an officer. When LEO recruits go to the academy, one of their challenges is to be sprayed with OC – what we call Pepper Spray, and hit with a taser.  They’re trained to know when to use OC, when to taser, and when to use deadly force.  If Officer Wilson felt threatened enough to use deadly force, he did not do so lightly.
As a future LEO wife, I feel I can speak for other LEO families, though I don’t have the experience yet: At the end of the day, do what it takes to come home safe. They are the thin blue line between monsters and the rest of us. Every day, they walk that line for our protection. I read a quote on Pinterest that said “A Police Officer must make a decision in seconds that Judges and Lawyers will fight over for years.”  God bless the LEOs.
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