The Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri found no evidence to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Officer Wilson was defending himself against Brown, who had just robbed a store. Eye witnesses testified that Brown had rushed Wilson as if he were a “football player.”
As an officer myself, working for three separate agencies over the past 25 years, I know the dangers of the job. Each officer’s top priority is to serve the community and help people. As officers, we also know there are bad people out there that want to hurt others.
Each year, over 100 officers are killed in the line of duty and in 2012, 54,774 officers were assaulted. The average age of an officer killed in the line of duty is 42 years old, leaving behind two children. Due to the stress of the job, most officers’ marriages end in divorce.
The job of an officer is even more difficult in a high crime area. In these communities, many children experience a loved one being arrested. These children grow up hating the police. They are entertained by gangster rap, video games, and movies that promote violence against the police. Children are taught to rebel against society and criminal activity becomes a normal way of life.
Others are using race and racism as an excuse for rebellion. In the case in Ferguson, a white officer shot a black youth, although Brown was reportedly 6’4”, 250 lbs. However, about the same time, an unarmed white man was shot by a black police officer in Utah and the media was silent. There have been white officers that shot white suspects and black officers that have shot black suspects. There are thousands of black youth killed every year by other black youths. Yet, the media is silent since it doesn’t fit their narrative. Instead, politicians and the media are selectively using race to promote violence. There was no racism in the Ferguson case. The rebellion only destroyed businesses that supported the community, endangered officers, and raised more tension between the community and the police.
President Obama had the perfect opportunity to acknowledge that due process was completed through the Grand Jury’s investigation and should have made a call for peace. Instead, Obama said that “communities of color aren’t just making up these problems.” Sure, there are instances of mistrust between some communities and the police; but from the investigation in Ferguson, this was not the case. Now, Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, is investigating Officer Wilson to see if any federal charges may be brought against him. If we were a color blind society, certainly none of this would be occurring. And this is not the first time Obama has belittled a police department. Obama said the Cambridge Police Department had “acted stupidly” after his friend was arrested, admitting later that he did not know all the facts. It is horrible that this administration has hindered and criticized law enforcement’s ability to check immigration status, conduct crowd control, or an officer’s ability to defend himself.
Our politicians and the media should be embracing the police as heroes in our community. Reports should be provided on those that received “Officer of the Year”. Each year, thousands of other officers have risk their lives to save the lives of others. Many officers volunteer their services to assist the community and youth through the Police Activity League, Christmas functions, scholarships, Cops 4 Kids, dinners, charities, and so many other community services.
I personally know a few of the police officers here in Manteca. I have always taught my children to respect and shake the hand of every veteran, officer, and fire fighter they see to thank them for their service. Unfortunately, our media and politicians rarely focus on the positive thing officers do, instead they promote the violence that brings more division between the police and the community.
Frank Aquila is the president of the South San Joaquin Republicans and author of the book, “Sarah Palin Out of Nowhere”. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org