To the editor:
When a doctor is caught overprescribing pain pills for profit, we don’t believe that all doctors do this. When an accountant is caught embezzling, we don’t believe that all accountants are embezzlers. When it is discovered that a teacher doesn’t care about either teaching or their students, we don’t believe that all teachers are like that. When an Asian person is caught robbing someone, we don’t believe that all Asians are robbers. When a Black person kills someone, we don’t believe that all Black people are killers. And when a white person kills someone, we don’t believe that all white people are killers either.
People are not perfect. A few are truly evil but most are just humans that may make mistakes but usually strive to do good. So why would anyone condemn all of the police because of the actions of one murderous, twisted police officer in Minnesota, Derek Chauvin? Overwhelmingly, just about everyone, including other police officers, found Chauvin’s actions profoundly immoral and heinous. No one is condoning his behavior. There was absolutely no justification for the killing of George Floyd. So what is right and just? Biblically, you could say “an eye for an eye” and our justice system seems to concur. Thankfully, Chauvin will be tried for first degree murder and punished.
I know that some will still pigheadedly say that the police are the problem but the facts absolutely do not support this false narrative. In general, police officers are thoroughly screened, background checked and evaluated before they become officers. They are also monitored during their service. Can a “bad” officer still get hired or a good officer turn “bad?” Certainly, but this also applies to judges, lawyers, teachers, doctors, politicians, and all other positions, nationalities and races — in other words, all of us. But bad actors in any profession must be “weeded out” to protect the perceived integrity of the group. This is particularly important with the police since a just perception must be maintained to insure our trust and support. As a whole, I do believe the police want this too but lawyers and the unions sometimes get in the way.
Although there have been improvements in policing practices through the years, more improvements will always be needed. But they must be examined from many viewpoints to insure the well being of the citizenry, our country and the police force itself.
Overwhelmingly, most police officers are good, brave, honest and conscientious individuals. In general, they want to protect us and uphold the laws that we put in place. Just like us, they have friends, families, children and significant others.
How many of us could professionally and effectively deal with the thugs, murders, drunk drivers, “entitled” people, pampered teenagers, mentally ill, domestic abuse, “chip on their shoulder” crowd or grumpy senior citizens? For the most part, the police face this and more every day and courageously handle these cases appropriately. In some cases, the police are dealing with a life-and-death situation requiring immediate action. How many of us could make the right decision most of the time under this type of stress? The police do. The police are putting their livelihood and lives on the line for us every day. I, for one, am very grateful.
What has become an unfair and dishonorable practice is that some sleazy, gutless politicians or our one-sided news media will unfairly blame a police officer even when he does everything correctly. These unscrupulous politicians and the news media may possibly do this to avoid potential “backlash” or to show their phony “virtue signaling!” In any case, it is simply wrong and should be rejected. We need politicians who will do what is right and that will follow the laws they swore to uphold. We need the news media to present all sides of the story and the basic, impartial facts. Then, we can make some real positive progress in this country!
John T. Kolackovsky