Being a Cop in America these days is a fragile bargain, rescindable at any time. It seems there are no mistakes allowed. William Choslovsky a Harvard taught lawyer from Chicago recently asked this question in a brilliant OP-ED In the Chicago Sun-Times 'WHO WOULD EVER BE A COP." His question was precipitated in response to a Fort Worth Texas Police Officer being charged with the murder of a woman in her home on Saturday. He asks the question that certainly is on all the minds of those who have ever served or are serving in a law enforcement capacity in the United States "What's next? he asks. Should doctors be charged with murder when they make a mistake and someone dies? Is professional malpractice really now a strict liability offense for murder whenever someone dies?" Make no mistake I am not judging that incident from 980 miles away, that already has been done. See the photo below.
This incident provided the perfect storm for those with agendas, a white cop on duty and a black citizen in her home. Before all the facts were even known the MASTER-BAITERS TOOK TO THE AIRWAVES AND PRINT. The details have since become known and the officer indeed has been charged with murder. The facts are as follows. The officer and his partner were responding to a call of open doors in a resident by an alarmed neighbor at 2:30 am. To most cops, those circumstances have great potential for a break-in or home invasion. The officers parked the police vehicle away from the scene, so as not to alert potential suspects until an investigation is conducted.
When they crept into the yard, they had to pass a window that was partly covered by a shade, one of the officer's when passing the window saw a figure holding a gun and pointing it his way. It's dark, it's 2:30 am but he could see the gun and the figure holding it. He fired his weapon and what could only be described as a horrible accident played out. Both Cops are being highly criticized for not announcing their office, not following the rules was one of the criticisms, so be it. I will give an alternative rule that is used by cops when confronted with similar circumstances at the end of this column. But the perfect storm was there, white Cop, black woman, in her own home no less, tragically dead.
At 2:30 am a cop answering a call while serving and protecting, and within 24 hours is charged as a murderer. Cops make 55,000 traffic stops a day and responds to twice that in calls for service from, dog bites, domestic disturbances, robberies, to murder, you name it they see it, without a wisp of controversy, but it's that one that goes wrong that sets in motion all the baiters that see the evil white cop committing injustices upon people he is serving and protecting.. When that happens we all have to wear the collar and feel that sick feeling inside. That's how I felt when I saw that headline above. LATEST COP SHOOTING IN TEXAS MAKES IT CLEAR, AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE RIGHT TO FEAR THE POLICE." Yea it did hurt, I'm guessing that that cop didn't even have time to see skin color, one usually doesn't, when a gun is being pointed at you, but nevertheless the bashing started almost immediately. It does beg William Choslovsky's "WHO WOULD EVER BE A COP" question.
I'm going to try to answer that question because in today's current atmosphere it needs and begs for an answer. Ask yourself what kind of person runs towards gunfire when everyone else is hiding and fleeing? What kind of person spends 10 to 12 hours a day in a constant state of alert, and never knowing what the next call or incident will bring. The constant drumbeat of violence and man's inhumanity to man is an everyday occurrence and its memories just don't vanish when the end of a watch comes. The answer is, its people that have an unbridled "URGE TO SERVE" and that is how 98% of Cops perform their duties across America every single minute, hour, and day , every day.,
I spent 33 years as a Chicago Cop and my wife has served 34 years and we have had first-hand glimpses of thousands of cops through those years. If I listed every single police officer that we served with who never made it home to their families, I would need another hour to list their names. Rest assured we never EVER thought about the color of a person's skin. Justice is blind and to suggest that white cops are a danger to African Americans is not only repugnant but painful to hear, even for those of us with the thick skin of an Elephant. To constantly scan the American press and cherry-pick incidents when there is a controversy involving skin color and Cops is a slippery slope and often boarding on its own type of racism. All across America and especially Chicago, it is dangerous to be around violence no matter the skin color of the cops and citizens.
The officer in Texas is charged with murder. Both officers are being criticized after the fact of not announcing their presence, but let me offer up 33 years of experience. Break-In calls or home invasions late at night and early morning are the second most dangerous calls for cops behind street stops. Most cops responding will not announce their presence because to do so puts them in harm's way. The advantage favors the person in the structure or household. They know where they are at, you don't. They are familiar with the circumstances they are involved in, the cops are clueless up to that point. So an alternate way is to take up a position at the exist and wait for the offenders to leave. In most cases, if in fact, it is a burglary or home invasion they will exit with the fruits of the break-in, TV sets, sound equipment, etc and that gives the cops their advantage. The threat of violence is lessened by having a bit of patience and the surprise upper hand. I'm not saying that was the case in Texas, but it's what a lot of savvy cops do.
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