I am a 13 year veteran dispatcher of a city police department and when the subject of anything criminal justice comes up, I tend to see blue. I loved my job and even though I am no longer able to do it, I still have dispatching in my blood and in my heart. Any time I hear of police in action, police in trouble, police doing good things, police doing bad things, my mind snaps to attention and my heart pounds a little faster. Being a news junkie, naturally this happens to me quite often, as the police are in the news a lot more often than I’m sure they want to be. The good stories are wonderful, restore.-your-faith-in-humanity kinds of stuff. Cops pulling people from burning cars, talking people down from suicide, arresting domestic abusers and drunk drivers, catching killers and rapists and thieves, buying shoes for homeless people, taking time out to play ball with neighborhood kids. Little things, and big things. They all add up to our image of police as heroes. But not everyone has that image. Why? Because there are those who wear the badge who do not behave honorably, and they drag down the image of the whole department, of the name “police”. There are mediocre cops, who do a half-assed job of law enforcement, leaving a bad impression with the public and there are actual bad cops, cops who do not deserve to wear the badge and uniform and most definitely don’t need to be carrying a gun. These are not the majority. The majority of the cops I have known are the hero type, and I believe this to be true nationwide. But there are the “bad seeds”.out there, and we must stop looking the other way. “Cops don’t rat out other cops.” Right? You watch television or movies, you know that’s the way it is.It has to change. Good cops need to tell the truth, no matter what. One of the biggest problems in law enforcement is racism.
All of this has been on my mind lately because of the dreadful police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and the shootings of unarmed black men by police officers that preceded them. Let me say firmly that in no way, did one shooting justify another. All of these deaths were tragic and wrong. In the cases of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, where they were shot by police, those cases are under investigation and the families must wait for justice. Shooting a random cop in another city is not justice for anything; It’s just murder. The perpetrators of these murders were violent, racist, psychopaths and not affiliated with Black Lives Matters, the group that has been protesting the unarmed black male police deaths. Of course, many don’t believe this, so there has been increased strife between the police and the black community. But the reason for BLM in the first place is racism within law enforcement. I found out the hard way, through my connections, that you cannot so much as imply the possibility of racism among police officers without receiving a very negative, defensive response. The whole ordeal has put me in a very tight spot. I still consider myself part of the law enforcement family, but for some, I am the prodigal daughter, and my return is not welcome. Part of this is because of the way I left, a mistake I made that can never be forgiven, but most of it is my support of black people. I love cops, but, I love black people. How am I supposed to choose between them? If a black person aims a gun at a police officer, then I feel that officer is within his rights to shoot to kill. But it’s rarely as cut and dried as that. Which brings me to my story of the day.
Korryn Gaines was not an innocent woman. She needed to be arrested. She was armed. She did in fact, allegedly fire her weapon at an officer. But my question is this:Was everything possible done to extricate her from that apartment without anyone being shot, including her 5-year-old child? In my experience with law enforcement, this would have been a tactical team operation. Why was there no SWAT team? Look at the OUTSTANDING EFFORT made to keep Jessica Sterling alive, despite her disregard for her own life and others and threats made to kill an officer. What was special about her? Why did they promise her they weren’t going to kill her? Why did she live to see her day in court, despite her efforts otherwise? Korryn Gaines deserved to go to jail. She had an arrest warrant on a past traffic violation. But she was SCARED of the police. Her five year old son was SCARED of the police.Why? Because her experience, and that of other black people, with police was different. She believed they would shoot her. And she was right. Her arrest warrant became a death warrant. Korryn Gaines deserved to go to jail. SHE DID NOT HAVE TO DIE. But she did. In front of 5 year old Kodi, who was also shot in the cheek. And now he will ALWAYS be SCARED of the police. This happened Monday. I just read about it today. If Korryn was white, how fast would it have been on the news? If Kodi was a white child, what kind of outrage would be going on? Ask yourself these questions and one more: Do Black Lives Matter?