It is deserving of our highest respect to know police across the nation still put on their uniform and go to work. What has been a calling for many, often a family tradition passed down for generations in many cities, has been tarnished by the actions of so few and blown totally out of proportion. Yet, they still come to work knowing their safety and even their lives mean very little. Even less than a violent criminal it seems.
Lately, I have been thinking how easily segments of the American population turn on those who spend their lives defending them. What it has forced me to consider is how easily it could be the U.S. Military and me who could be the group hated and condemned. The target of a mob of violent people, highly emotionally charged and who care nothing about the facts, dialog, justice, and the rule of law.
My career could very easily have been turned upside down if these same groups had reacted similarly to incidents such as Abu Ghraib and others. Incidents of torture, murder, rape, and totally vile conduct by members of the Armed Forces of the United States do occur. Yet, we are not all judged by them. Society rightly reserves judgement for only those involved, and seeks full accountability from them only, exactly as we should.
So, why do we judge all cops as one? These men and women put their lives on the line every day, unlike our military who are mostly safe and living normal lives when not deployed or conducting hazardous training. Cops and Fire Fighters put their lives on the line daily with the single purpose of keeping their city and you safe, even at the risk of their own lives. They go to work every day willing to die to keep you safe!
In what headspace does it make sense to treat them badly and lump them all together as one "bad apple?"