I have to say this. I have personally, never had a negative encounter with a police officer. Quite the contrary. I have met police officers under less than ideal circumstances and been encouraged by them to apply for their police force (younger days). I have the pleasure of being friends with excellent law enforcement officials who love what they do and are good at it. I am thankful for everyone of them. All this does not negate the fact that as in any profession, there are bad elements. Whether this is due to poor training, poor judgment, or just being in the wrong profession. They are out there, and we can’t pretend that they’re not. We can’t overlook the bad 1% and focus on the 99 like the others aren’t there, wreaking havoc on the public. When an officer engages in misconduct, it is our responsibility to ensure that he/she is held accountable, not cover it up. When an officer commits a crime, it is our duty to ensure that he/she is convicted, not try to justify it. I want to believe that our system is here for all of us. I want to trust that justice is blind. I want to be certain that every individual who has sworn to uphold the law and protect the rights of all citizens recognizes that me and people who look like me, are citizens first. Shining the light on the bad elements should not be divisive. Everyone should be able to view the inappropriate acts of individuals (from any group) as just that, the acts of individuals. It does not become an indictment against the entire group unless the group attempts to cover it up, excuse it, applaud it, or discredit the revelation.
My heart aches for all the fallen citizens, during this month of the celebration of our independence; those with badges and without. It is true, you can grieve for an Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, while you grieve for Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola, and Matthew Gerald, along with the five officers killed in Dallas Texas.
I pray for a day when we can all acknowledge our differences without grading them. No need to pretend that there are no differences in pigmentation, just understanding that we are different, not better or worse, by virtue of our skin color, just different.