I ask that if you have any negative comments, that you keep them to yourself, and if you don't respect my opinion, I ask that you find a spot deep in your soul that allows you to remember that we are all imperfect humans, who serve a perfect God, whom in Mark 12:31 says "The second is this, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" And, again, comments will be disabled.
The story of Michael Brown saddens me for many reasons. I will start with the first, the most tragic. That a human life was taken. A mother and father have to bury their child. A community has to mourn a loss.
The second, that it was an officer involved shooting. This always saddens me. As a wife of police officer, I know that no officer wants to be involved in a shooting. At least my husband doesn't. I guess I should speak for him. He has told me since day one, his mission is to come home to his family at the end of the day. There are many days he goes to work that I am overcome with anxiety, and I have to pray about the dangers of his job. I also pray often for his mind to be alert, aware, and for him to remember his training.
When he was going through the academy, he would come home and tell me all about procedures, and protocols. He would "frisk" me and show me how he learned how to tell if someone is hiding a weapon or not. He explained how he was never allowed to go to a domestic call by himself, and why he had to wait for backup. I often would get worried, when he was on patrol, because I would think of situations in my head.. What if he was waiting on backup, and heard a child screaming for help from the house he was responding to? Would he run in try to save the child, forgetting about his training? What if he were just sitting at a stoplight, and a vigilante came and shot him in the head, because he didn't like police officers?
So many other situations I let go through my mind, and thank GOD I have learned to pray my way through these make believe horrors that I would allow to take over my imagination. Being married to a police officer has not been easy. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing husband, who never brings work home with him. If he has had a bad day, I would never know. Often he unwinds and he will tell me "Oh, by the way, someone I was arresting told me I should kill myself today.." And I am just SHOCKED!! He goes through this on a DAILY basis. Yes, he signed up for it, Yes, he loves his job, but would that not wear on you after a while?
From what I see, I don't see him take it like I would, which is why I am not a police officer, obviously. I cry over MUCH less. I respect my husband for his role in our community. Often he helps parents find their children, console loved ones who have lost someone, and, not to mention, he now focuses on keeping drunk drivers off of our roads. He is saving lives. He does that for a living. Saves lives. That's the man I'm married to, and essentially, that's what all Peace Officers mission is supposed to be. To help insure that our community is safe, make our citizens feel protected, and to come home, safe and sound to their families every day.
Many police officers don't make it. There is one police officer killed in the line of duty every 58 hours in the United States! That's the statistic that our family lives with. That knowing every single night, when we kiss him goodbye, that he may not come back home the next morning.
Now, I'm getting to a point here. I say all this, because, I had to explain my position. Now I can continue with my opinion. Some police officers should not be police officers. Just as with all positions of authority, there is always a person that abuses it. No matter what their title may be. We've all had a boss that should not have been in charge of a group, or a nurse that treated you badly. Because I was not there, On August 9th, when a seemingly innocent young, black male was shot and killed, I cannot make an assumption about the police officer that was involved. Was he a noble, man of integrity, like my husband, or was he an officer that abused his position?
It hurts my heart that what happened did happen, but I am a person who always tries to see how to make a bad situation into something constructive. What can we do to ensure that things like this happen less. Because, the truth is, as long as we are imperfect human beings, who make mistakes. This will continue to happen. Regardless of race, gender, whatever, we are all imperfect people. Bad things will still happen. Our hearts will get broken, people will die. It is life.
It also saddens me that when things like this happen, the retaliation is not thought out. We, as a black community, want to be held to a different standard, yet we continue to set ourselves back. Rioting? Looting? That's illegal. Yes, you will get hit with tear gas! Would I want my husband to throw tear gas if his life was in danger? YES! Is a crowd of angry men and women rioting enough for an officer to fear for their life? YOU BET! Especially in light of recent events. Why hate all police officers? Because a few do bad, you forget about the ones that do good? Come on. I know when you are mad, you may say and feel things that you may not usually, but lets make some educated decisions.
Instead of raising our children to be afraid of police officers, lets teach them how to respect them. Or, how about have respect in general? Just a few weeks ago, I drove down my street, and honked my horn at a few black teens because their door was open, and I did not want to hit it. What was my courtesy returned with? THREATS! They yelled at me through my car, and wanted to fight me. Once they saw that I was a woman, that changed NOTHING. These are the black men that we are raising?! I know I am not speaking for everyone, and no, no one deserves to get gunned down, I would not wish that fate on anyone. But, can we get a grip?
Can we teach our toddlers about Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, our ancestry, about Jesus Christ. Teach them to spell, to read, to draw? Instead of teaching them how to turn up?.. I have a heavy heart, because I have FOUR black boys. Am I afraid that they have a target on their back? Not really. Why even focus on that? Do I feel that way because of my Law Enforcement affiliations? Maybe.
We have just got to do better. Let's stop the ignorance. Stop the harsh words, stop the hatred, the violence. It get us nowhere. Be a beacon of light. Raise your boys, and girls, the way they should be raised, and pray to God daily, hourly, to protect them, and their decisions. Teach them what is right, and what is wrong. Teach them to be smart, to be kind, but not naive. Teach them to respect authority, but to know when that authority is being misused. Our kids learn from the examples that we set for them. Think about the example you are setting for your children.
The intent of this post is not meant to take away from what is going on in Ferguson right now, because I believe it is a matter that is far beyond my reach. I can only speak on what I feel to be the most important to me, and right now, I fear for my husbands well being because of the backlash our community has had on police officers. I do this, in honor of him, and all of our men and women in blue, who put their lives on the line daily. Know that there are noble, decent, officers out there who really are here to protect and serve their community. Pray for their discernment, and ability to react as they are trained, and to have the highest level of integrity that they are able to uphold.
Pray for Ferguson. Just pray.