The ambush shooting of two New York City police officers who were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon was a horrible incident. And in no way should it reflect on the protests going on in New York and elsewhere regarding police brutality and mistreatment of minority communities.
By equating the action of one clearly criminal misfit with the actions of thousands of peaceful protesters is ridiculous. Even the families of Brown and Garner issued statements denouncing the attack on the police officers. President Barack Obama also condemned the murder of the officers and said the police officers “deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”
I agree. Police officers have a very difficult job to do and they do deserve our respect. But it is also true that peaceful citizens have a right to speak up and demand that their police officers treat them with respect and know that they deserve to have the right to carry those guns on their hips. No one should be in fear of the police. And the fact that many do means there is a problem -- a big one.
How very ironic it is that those who are so quick to blame the Brown and Garner protesters, and even their own mayor, for this tragedy, cannot see that their reaction is no different than that of the protesters they condemn. Both sides see the environment as the problem that led to innocent people being killed. Yet I don’t recall police officers standing up and apologizing and calling for peace in the wake of the Brown and Garner killings the way protesters are having to denounce the action of one crazy criminal.
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Police officers should not be targets for people who have a grudge against cops. And neither should innocent citizens be shot by officers for being the wrong color at the wrong place and time.
If police in general should not be blamed for the actions of a few bad cops, then let us not paint all protesters and those wanting police reform and justice with a brush that equates them with murderers. If we do that, this battle will never end and can only get worse.
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