Our men and women in blue have a difficult job. From time to time they get things wrong. From time to time there are bad cops (sometimes very bad cops). However, most of the time these officers are just doing the job that we’ve asked them to do.
In our current culture the police have become a highly charged topic with Americans lining up on both sides of the police aggression debate. We at Eagle Rising have voiced our concerns about police militarization, excessive and unwarranted force, civil asset forfeiture and other problems arising out of the culture of policing in America today.
However, we are not anti-police. We know that being a police officer can be a very dangerous job and that it is a very difficult job. This is why we can also become very defensive when we feel our police are attacked unfairly.
Recently in Milwaukee a mentally ill man by the name of Dondre Hamilton was shot and killed by a police officer (who was eventually fired from the force). During a community meeting about the shooting, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn was seen reading a message on his cell phone – which angered some because they thought he was being disrespectful. (It turns out that Chief Flynn had just received notice that a child had just been shot in a drive-by.)
Some activists turned the situation into a racially motivated incident – which is when Chief Flynn lost his cool. We can only say — he should lose his cool more often. This short response to the activists trying to use tragedy to further their own causes should be heard by everyone…
“Well, I hear a lot of things. Certainly there are some folks in this community that are legitimately grieving, and we’ve heard from them. We heard a lot of people who believe the First Amendment only applies to them, and took great pains to shout down anybody who disagreed with them. Despite my ongoing disagreements with the police union, I’d have to say that their members tonight conducted themselves, I thought, with great restraint given the ad hominem invective that was being unleashed on their ward personally and the police department generally.
So, you know, this is a controversy, this is a tragedy, I’ve said it over and over again, this is a tragedy for the family, a tragedy for Officer Manney, a tragedy for the community. But I’m not blind to the fact that there’s a lot of people lining up to take advantage of this tragedy to flog their own agendas, and that was clear tonight, as well.”
“Well I was on my phone, and yes, that’s true. I was following developments with a 5-year-old little girl sitting on her dad’s lap who just got shot in the head by a drive-by shooting. And if some of the people here gave a good g*dd*mn about the victimization of the people in this community by crime, I’d take some of their invective more seriously.
The greatest racial disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting shot and killed. Hello! Eighty percent of my homicide victims every year are African-American. Eighty percent of our aggravated assault victims are African-American. Eighty percent of our shooting victims, who survive their shooting are African-American.
Now they know all about the last three people who’ve been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department over the course of the last several years. There’s not one of them that can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city.
Now there’s room for everybody to participate in fixing this police department and I’m not pretending we’re without sin. But this community’s at risk all right. And it’s not because men and women in blue risk their lives protecting it. It’s at risk because we have large numbers of high-capacity, quality firearms in the hands of remorseless criminals who don’t care who they shoot.
I’m leaving here to go to that scene… and I take it personally, okay? We’re going there and there’s a bunch of cops up there processing the scene of a dead kid. And they’re the ones who are going to be out there patrolling and stopping suspects who may have guns under the front seat. They’re the ones who are going to risk their lives to clean this thing up. Alright?
We’re responsible for the things we get wrong and we take action. We’ve arrested cops, we’ve fired cops, and so on. But, the fact is, that the people out here, some of them, who had the most to say, are absolutely MIA when it comes to the true threats facing this community. And it gets a little tiresome, when you start getting yelled at for reading the updates of the kid who get shot… yeah, you take it personal. So, no offense, I’m going up there now.”
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com