Now the media is finally noting the underlying violence and open threats against officers that have been quickly building during protests and on all forms of social media. Now that at least 2 officers are dead in the name of these protests, the media is “shocked” by the violence. I don’t usually wade into issues outside our little sphere, to keep it simple, but I’m going to break my rule on this one.
There are many who have been protesting police who are increasingly outraged that people are blaming the violent voice that has been riding the protests around the nation. How dare we place any responsibility on those trying to knock down the wall of civilization with “kill the police” rhetoric! While I agree, let be blame be placed appropriately on the shooter, let us also ask these people in return — have you spoken out in regards to the accusations that have painted most officers in this nation as a “danger” to black men? As violent psychopaths looking to bully, harass and even kill for amusement? Have you placed the blame on the sole bad apples? Or have you found ways to blame all officers for those without honor?
I wasn’t going to post for a few days, I’m working on some things to put out and as far as the blog is concerned I’ve been focused on making those whole; the news about the ambush and murder of two officers in New York City caught my attention and my ire; Officer White of the San Jose PD was immediately brought to mind with his comments currently being argued over in our local media. This morning I woke up to another officer murdered in Florida, though the details aren’t out yet, the implications are disturbing.
My question has repeatedly been — we’ve seen Officer White’s posts, but we have not seen what he responded to with those posts. Today we see the results of so much divisive rhetoric — from epithets to death threats — on social media.
I want people to see some of the hate on twitter and how quickly it spreads and how it has justified killing two officers in cold blood, sitting in their vehicles doing nothing to anyone in the minds of some people. How the comment from the killer about “putting pigs in a blanket” is found to be humorous and the actions just in the minds of some.
So let me share here…Let’s start with the chant in a recent New York protest just days ago: “What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!”
I’ll add my favorite last… comparing cops to the mass killings of evil regimes and how to justify when you kill a cop by our favorite people — CopWatch.
Please understand, this is not the view of all protesters. There was a news interview on the street in NY after the shooting with a black man who had been helping to organize protesters. He was passionate in his condemnation of what happened, he was vehement in the condemnation of violence and he was disturbed by the methods of protest used by what he stated as “young people.” He called for people to work to “get to the table” and work out solutions. That these types of protests weren’t going to help the problem. I am embarrassed to say I have lost the video of this gentleman’s interview in the morass of the internet and was unable to relocate it to share.
This all puts a bit of a perspective on the potential of Officer White’s conversation. It’s telling that even our local media, notorious for bashing local cops whether justified or not, fails to show us what White was responding to… we’re to believe that he was screaming into the vacuum of social media. Maybe he was… but gee, why do they only want us all to look at all the evidence when it’s the other side? Why are we supposed to pretend there was no one else on twitter? Perhaps there is no mitigating conversation for Officer White. We simply don’t know because the media has chosen to use that vacuum to gin up emotions to sell their product. Like the media has been doing, nearly daily, around the country.
Either way, if we’re calling for fairness and justice it should apply to everyone. Everyone. Because all our lives matter last I knew.
Is what happened in New York the solution protests are offering? Is inciting violence through an increasingly violent social media and protest rhetoric really where this situation needs to go? Is the media ignoring that violence even as they feed it in their greed part of the solution? Is this nation choosing an eye for an eye, quid pro quo, look we have news to cover, over the choice to push solutions, find better ways to police, better ways to engage the community and police together? Do they think that more violence is the answer they really want? Do they believe that they are going to get better police to take the job if they are going to be shot for doing nothing more than sitting in their vehicle? Does every officer now have to increase the expectation of ambush and heighten their response with the increased threat of violence on every call?… or just sitting in their car?
Whatever the outcome of Officer White’s situation, I certainly hope that, in light of 3 fallen officers in the last handful of hours, SJPD and the City of San Jose consider the entire conversation that White was involved in, whatever it may have been, consider any threats that may have been made against White or other officers, and react appropriately in regards to repercussions rather than over-react in favor of people who would use the threat of violence to get their way.
In closing, our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with the NYPD and Tarpon Springs officer’s families and fellow officers. May these men rest in peace and may their families find peace in the senseless violence against their loved ones who were doing nothing more than their job.
May cooler heads prevail in the face of the violent rhetoric so many are promoting; threatening each other will get us nowhere. Be above, be better than the venom. Allowing the media to turn us against each other for profit will get us nowhere. Allowing agitators to goad us into angry response will get us nowhere.
Overall, be safe out there.