Ok. I am going to get on a soapbox. And I am sure I am going to be pelted into the dirt. Here is my OPINION. Remember, you can throw egg at me I don't care. They are just words.
Just because cops are getting the brunt of harassment and blanket parties of hate, does not mean they (the police) need to video tape all their good deeds and display them on the internet (although some are priceless quips of candid camera and not planned) in hopes to show the world the nice side (it looks fake, although I know it is not) nor make up signs, shirts, banners, carry on bad attitudes, and "what not" which includes twisting the "hands up" crap or the "breathe" crap onto advertising materials. Sometimes our sick humor is not appreciated by all.
All of the above things make law enforcement look sensitive and insensitive at the same time. I'm not making it up. I see it. I hear it. Even my good friends who support law enforcement are crumbling and falling into despair over it.
I would wager most of America is slipping down a slope of division. Pitting two sides against each other is not going to help even if we feel one way or another. We have to come up with some solutions. One of those might be taking the high road.
I understand the anger and disgust because common sense is not prevailing in society and some of the attention is misdirected, BUT, joining the ranks of bottom feeders and throwing tantrums is no better than the looting fools. Be positive change.
Rise above it. Hold your heads high. Do your job with pride and honor. You have a shield. Let the crap bounce off of it. I know the men and women I worked next to back in the day had the utmost integrity. I was proud to serve my community and with my blue brothers and sisters.
I can't tell you how many snarly cops I have run into lately and the nice ONE I met yesterday...I enjoyed his conversation. I still smiled at the snarly ones, too. I am a huge supporter of law enforcement, duh.
All during the duration of our careers we are told to take it and we do. It is a crap philosophy because cops are people, not robots. I know the breaking point has been met...but don't go down that dark road. You don't have to agree with the opposing masses. You can tackle opposition with the right tools.
What I am most angry about is the amount of fallen officers. I don't want it to be a trending news story every day. I don't want evil to prevail over good.
You can lead by example.
Ok. I am done. Citizen Fargo out.
Whew. I need a drink.
This was in response to seeing this all over Facebook....
Photo credit: Policeone.com and South Bend Uniform Company Facebook page
And shortly after that the news hit with this breaking story from Indiana. This is now national news.
1. Absolutely the t-shirt should be allowed as free speech and the officer should be allowed to sell it at his store.
2. I don't like the "I Can't Breathe" and "Hands Up Don't Shoot" slogans either. They are stupid and don't tell the truth of any matter, but are only geared to harass and slam cops. They could have come up with a different slogan to make their points...well, maybe...because their points are the issue. What I mean is the protesters could protest the issue, not the false truths. I know that would be asking too much. I know our humor is jaded and people are plastering the net with all kinds of comebacks to these words. They aren't good either. This is not positive to move forward and get beyond this chaos.
Let me tell you I am at odds with my fellow law enforcement buddies. Some agree with my viewpoint, but most who have contacted me via phone, IM, chat, email, etc. ...disagree with my opinion and support the sale of this t-shirt and chant the slogan or post it on their timeline. They have purchased shirts. Now...for souvenir value...they might have some historical value. Put them in your closet and support the dude's livelihood.
3. I don't personally NOT support the sale of the shirt....first, I am poor even though the guy has to be losing money at the low price...second,because I think it puts law enforcement in a greater negative light. I feel the guy can do whatever he wants. I support free speech and free enterprise. I just don't support the cops wearing that nor would I wear it to support them. I just think it is an insensitive response to the mayhem.
4. Scream and jump up and down at the world because it isn't making sense but don't post vile things on your social media if you are a cop. It comes back to haunt you. Even my internet life will haunt me in new job possibilities right now. Don't post in anger, despair, frustration...any negativity. Let me do that for you. Let your family do it for you... unless you later want a job with the FBI. Let your non-cop friends do it for you. Cops really don't have free speech even though your administrator says you do...you don't. Even if the book of cop's rights says you have the right to free association and free speech...you don't. It's something you gave away when you signed up. Look at it as a small sacrifice. At least no one can ever take away free thought. Get used to being Switzerland. For life.
That's my take. I think cops have a shield for a reason and not just the image from the Crusades, but because you have to let things bounce off you even if it isn't fair. Life isn't fair.