AN OPEN LETTER TO MY FRIENDS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Dear Good Cop,

You may remember me, I was the kid who shared his peanut-butter sandwich with you on our first day in kindergarten. Later, in high school, you saved me from being “trashed” by a group of ravenous upper-classmen during our freshman year. It doesn’t surprise me that you chose to become a police officer, there’s always been something of the hero in you, but as I’m sure you know by now, not all police are made of the same stuff.I know you’re busy, so I’d like to keep this letter brief. Lately there have been some disturbing stories circulating on the news and through social media about some of your co-workers, and as a father, a husband-a protector, I am compelled to appeal to you my friend, and my neighbor.   During the discussions I’ve heard debating Michael Brown, Kelly Thomas, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Troy Goode, and most recently, Sam Dubose, I’ve heard this idea that police officers are just humans under enormous stress trying to do an extremely difficult job under impossible circumstances. I would agree with all of it, but I happened to know you when you were the chubby kid with bad knees, glasses, and a heart so big  he would sooner take a butt-stomping than watch a kid he didn’t even know get tossed down a hill in a trashcan, and because of you I’m a believer. I believe that there are “good cops”; uncommon men and women that are compelled to put their lives on the line everyday in order to “Serve and Protect”, people who would sooner die than betray the sacred endowment of the public trust. My hope is that you, and officers like you, will reach out to your community, and remind those that may have forgotten that  the responsibility they bear is bigger than them, and that choosing to be The Hero is choosing to be something more than human. Remind them before it’s too late that without the public’s trust, America becomes just another police state, no different than any of history’s totalitarian regimes. I don’t want another Ferguson, Watts, Los Angeles, or Baltimore- I’m no revolutionary, but I have a family to protect; a family of fine young men, and beautiful and talented women who all deserve the opportunity to make this world a better place, and I would rather see riots on every corner- from Los Angeles to D.C., before I’d see any of them come to unnecessary harm. In short my friend- be the hero I know you to be, and set the example; hold accountable those that would use The Shield you were born to wear, as a mere prop to mask their cruelty, prejudice, and fear. Be blessed, and be well.

In Service and Friendship

C.

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