It is clear that within the past few months, Ferguson, Missouri has allowed for the doors of history to creep open once more to reveal what some would call the same acts as the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s from emotional distress for the loss of Michael Brown to the continuous rioting for what many would see as injustice in regards to Officer Wilson’s final verdict. For many months, my sincerest apologies and prayers have not only been for the people of Brown’s family, but for the people of Ferguson as well. Coincidently, that is where my expression of view will begin.
I would like to formally state here and now that what I am writing about is not opinionated against one side, or for another. My intentions are of a different standpoint, one in which I believe may help explain the logic of how many police officers come to reason in any scenario.
I was raised into a divorce household where later both my mother and father remarried. As of present day, I now have a stepmother, stepfather, mother, and father. Now, here is the fun part, all of my parents are police officers. Needless to say, this always makes for good conversation when people ask me what my parents do for a living. Typically, I always respond with “Oh, all four of them are cops. It’s kind of like being the preacher’s kid.” The look of surprise never fails to come over people’s faces when I tell them this. My Mother is a 20-year veteran and the chief of police in the small city of Morgan’s Point, located near the bay city of La Porte, Texas. My stepfather is an 18-year veteran and sergeant for the city of La Porte. My stepmother is an 18-year veteran and a certified bilingual officer who works for the city of Houston. Finally, my father is a 23-year veteran and narcotics officer under the city of Houston.
As a child of law enforcement, I have experienced many matters that are out of the norm. I have also been told stories that are so crazy that they just cannot be made up. My father likes to say that our family is a magnet for bad luck and in many ways he is right. For example, when I was in the sixth grade, my dad had picked me up from school and drove me back to his house, which was a 45-minute drive to the other side of Houston. As we left Beltway-8 and landed on the feeder road, we came to a red light. The Light was congested with heavy traffic. My dad’s truck was in the furthest lane to the right closet to the curb. To our left was an eighteen-wheeler and behind us was a minivan with a mother and three children. As we sat in traffic, I noticed that the driver of the eighteen-wheeler was trying to force his way into our lane, coming close to hitting my dad’s truck, and then suddenly pulling back into his own lane. Not once did the driver do this, but he did it three times, and by the third time my dad was forced to drive onto the curb in order to avoid the eighteen-wheeler from crushing us. It was obvious that the driver’s intentions were to take us out. By the grace of God, the light turned green and we were able to take off away from the danger. My dad was furious by what had just happened. He took out his cellphone and called the nearest police unit to follow the trucker and pull him over. I was frightened to death. I had seriously believed that I was going to lose my life that day because of the carelessness of a truck driver. We followed the truck driver and the police car that would later pull the truck over into a Burger King parking lot located near downtown Houston. When we stopped, my dad told me to stay in the car and not get out. The moments after that happened so fast. I remember my father and the truck driver yelling at each other, the wife of the truck driver (who happened to be with her husband the whole time) speaking calmly to two other officers while another officer cuffed the driver.
To make a long story short, the man had stated to the officer that was placing him under arrest that he was not only trying to demolish my dad’s truck, but he wanted to take out the minivan full of children behind us. His wife stated that she was in tears begging and pleading her husband to stop. She said to my father later after the truck driver was inside of the police car that her husband wanted to kill us all and that he did not care about the consequences.
This is only one story to which I have lived to experience like this and there are many more just as bad.
The reader might question why my father felt the need to follow this truck driver and have him placed under arrest even while my father was off duty. In my opinion, it is the same reason that officer Wilson felt the need to fire at Michael Brown. It was not because my father wanted the man arrested, it was because he knew that if he allowed the truck driver to go any further that some time, some where, that man would have killed someone just as innocent as the children in the van. Though the situation is different, the circumstance of decision making are not. Officer Wilson’s actions, by no means, were fed off of stereotyping, but by what he felt was a decision that needed to be made given the circumstances of what he felt was a threat. It is what officers and veterans call ‘taking action’. This means that one must do what is right in order to silence the harm.
On the other side of this, no one can say what happened that lonely night in Ferguson except the people involved in the situation. I cannot defend Wilson for his actions because I was not there, but I can say that whatever he did was for the benefit of others’ safety and for the sake of no more blood being spilled then there already was.
It hurts me to know that people in our generation feel the need to degrade officers for what they see as a lack of social justice. That is not the case at all. My parents, just like many others who have police officers as parents, willingly sacrifice their lives every day for everyone in their community, to give us all the chance to roam safe in our every day lives. This means they do it for blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Arabians, and Indians etc. Yes, it is obvious that not every location is a safe one. There is not a day that goes by that a crime is not committed, whether it is something minor such as theft to something as drastic as murder.
And to answer your other question, yes, there are such things as bad cops. These are the people lower then the criminals they place behind the bars. I have witnessed my parents many times throughout my life converse over certain people they once worked with that are now behind bars because of poor decisions they made on the job. But I ask the reader this: Who is it that runs toward the evil when we all choose to run away from it? Are we dull enough as a society to continue to accuse every officer of being faulty because of past events? These are questions I ask myself often.
With all of this said, I leave you all to reflect on what you know and to feel what is best. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and that is the beauty of our country. Let us not linger over the evil left behind by racism and the unjust, but instead let us walk with justice and peace.