I don’t believe I’m the first one to do something like this, but I want to speak from the heart and let you know at least where I’m coming from.
I know that today, many of you current police officers may feel a lot more pressure to do your jobs effectively, considering what’s happening and how you’re portrayed by the media and a lot of uninformed citizens. Mainly those who are too ignorant to address only the police officers doing the wrong thing, rather than making it an “overall police force” issue. Many of these are the same people who would hate to be grouped into any group based on the negative actions of a few, yet these seem to have no problem doing it themselves.
For you future police officers, I can imagine that some of you are seeing what’s going on and are wondering if all the stress and negativity is worth it. Many of you would also like to do your jobs effectively and wonder if you’d be able to as well.
To both of you, please do me and many citizens a favor…
HANG IN THERE. WE STILL NEED YOU.
I know that is certainly easier said than done and it certainly won’t take just one person writing a blog post to make you feel any better about things. I understand that. But hopefully it does help a little bit.
I am a 36-year-old black man. I grew up in Baltimore City. I’ve been many times wrongly profiled for “matching the description” of another black man, along with being pulled over for no good reason simply because I “looked” suspicious and because of the car I was driving.
Needless to say, I was never happy when this stuff happened. In fact, I was quite annoyed.
However, never once did I group you all together or berate the whole “police force.”
The reason is simple. Number one, as a black man, I know the feeling of being grouped in with other black people because of how certain fools want to act. That woman who clutches her purse when I walk near her. That look I get when I’m in public with my wife who happens to be white. The belief that I have a police record. I do understand all that. Even though I’m not so much bothered by it anymore, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, because it isn’t fair.
Next, I’m one of the seemingly very few people in society who doesn’t let the media decide anything for them or persuade them to “pick a side.” I don’t make decisions based on how something “looks” or what “may have happened” or any of that. I look at ALL the facts, not just the ones I want to hear. If all the facts aren’t present, then I leave it at that. I don’t “fill in the blanks” with nonsense just because I THINK I know what’s going on. I understand the police force, like any other group out there, has bad apples that make the rest of you look bad and you obviously do not support them. I’m intelligent enough to understand that and be able to separate you from them. People like to focus on what some of you do that’s wrong rather than what many of you do that’s right. I don’t do that.
When you’re out there and doing your jobs, you have to do what you have to do and I greatly respect that. There are very few jobs out there where the job alone means that you may be leaving your homes and family for the very last time each day you leave. Most of the people in the country could never hack it as police officers. It is a special job and a lot is expected out of you.
Many of us do understand that.
So please, for those of us who do, keep doing what you’re doing. We greatly respect and appreciate your hard work and the sacrifices you make each day. We don’t buy into the negative stereotypes and understand that MANY of you are looking to do the right thing and protect us.
Especially in the black community. It may seem like many of us don’t support you, but a lot of us do. I’ll say for one thing that I don’t have any sympathy for those criminals who have lost their lives at the hands of police. It’s that simple. These people were NOT out there and innocently minding their business. They were doing what they had no business doing. That doesn’t mean that certain police officers were necessarily innocent, but one thing I’ve always believed is that many of them reached that point because of the choices THEY made. Many of them had rap sheets for a reason and THEY are the ones at fault for things getting to where they did. It’s amazing how so many people avoid talking about that, all because the media and society puts the police in a bad light. But criminals really don’t have a leg to stand on. They’re where they are, ultimately by choice. You break the law, you deserve what you get. End of story.
This will likely not go very far or be shared as it should be, but hopefully this gets to those of you who could use it. Please…for those of you current police officers, remember why you decided to begin doing the job and keep doing what you see fit. As long as you’re doing the right thing, you still have our trust and support. For those looking to become police officers, keep at it and you’ll get there. Remember why you wanted to do it in the first place and keep that in mind.
For now and always, we all still need you. Especially me as a black man.