Police Officer Remarks About Recent Shootings

Any loss of innocent life is a tragedy that tends to incite visceral, knee jerk reactions from all those who experience it. The media and snippets of video footage disseminated on the internet have painted two recent incidents as national tragedies, and the backlash has been quick and violent. After the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, groups like Black Lives Matter and individuals across every media outlet have been spreading mass amounts of hate toward police across the nation. In the days following the deaths, multiple shootings of police officers occurred, seeming to be a retaliation effort.

During one such protest in Dallas, Texas a sniper opened fire, shooting twelve police officers, five of them fatally. Resa Willis, a Texas resident and fellow writer for The Libertarian Republic, commented on the situation saying, “People in Dallas protesting the police, running to seek safety from gunfire behind the police officers who are running toward the gunfire. Ironic.” Social media warriors began calling for a nationwide police purge.

A vast majority of these anti-police individuals claim that they are against the police state of America today and that their hate is justified based on the corruption within the police force. They say that the police are the bad guys, taking every opportunity to shoot innocent Americans because of racist motivations. A source within the police force says otherwise.

Deputy Sheriff P is a Kentucky police officer and soldier in the Kentucky Army National Guard. A father and soon to be husband, Deputy P was nervous to talk to me because of the possibility of repercussions from his superiors, as well as the possibility of making himself or his family a target for the now ever-present police hate. With an assurance of anonymity, he was willing to answer a few questions.

To begin, I asked the deputy if he was aware of the killings that had been happening recently in America. His initial response caught me off guard. “So many officers have been shot that it’s hard to keep up with the names. It’s sad to say, but when you are talking to other officers or family members about the shootings you say numbers now and not names.” When I told him I was speaking of Sterling and Castile, not the cops who were killed, Deputy P first apologized for the confusion then went on to say that “All of them (deaths caused by police) have the same ending. Mass looting, rioting, property damages.” The majority of deaths caused by police in recent times have received mass media coverage. Those civilians killed become household names while officers who die in the line of action pass without fanfare.

As both a cop and a soldier, Deputy P was able to give insight into the rules of engagement (ROE) for police officers as compared to those of the military. According to the deputy, “The number one rule that all officers follow is that you and your brothers go home at the end of every shift.” He elaborated, saying that, “Every time an officer uses deadly force an investigation is conducted. Just like if anyone else uses deadly force. The case is presented before the grand jury and they vote if the force was justifiable or not. If not, the officer is tried and convicted of a crime just like anyone else. They don’t get special treatment because they are officers.” His last words on the subject were, “If an officer feels like he needs to escalate to deadly force he has to justify his reasons for doing so. He has to justify everything he does.”

To close our conversation, I asked Deputy P where he believed the hatred for law enforcement comes from. Is it racism or a power struggle?

“The whole racism thing is very difficult to deal with, but it’s not a race issue. I feel it’s a power struggle. The media paints a race picture so that people of color will become enraged. I feel that they use skin color as an excuse, but deep down people just don’t want to follow rules. There are white people in the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s not a race issue. People have figured out that if they scream racism then they will get their way, and so far it’s worked.”

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