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Blatchford: Don’t paint law enforcement officers with broad brush

Written commentary by another will serve as the jumping off point this week, but first a statement about one current event. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis is an outrage. It was cruel and inhumane. Equally outrageous was the complicit behavior of at least three other fellow police officers. The maximum punishment has been earned by the perpetrators, and the maximum punishment should be served to them.

But, back to the jump off point. Another writer addressing the subjects of white America and black justice recently got my attention. Two of his thoughts were particularly attention grabbing. He asked, “Why is it that white folks can take semi-automatic firearms into state capitals to protest … but not see police brutality of black Americans as a threat?”

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The response to part one is simple — because it’s legal. OK? Additionally, the writer failed to note that when those peaceful, gun totin’ protesters left the capitals no property was damaged, and no one was hurt or shot. Not one of those “semi-automatic firearms” was discharged. As to the second part, it appears that the writer has some erroneous, preconceived notions about those he calls “white folks.” I’d have to challenge his notion that rifle totin’ protestors have no concern about police brutality of anyone. He provided not one hint of any correlation between gun owners and support of police brutality — there is none. Lastly, the writer’s choice of words was interesting and possibly revealing. He refers to whites as “folks” and blacks as “Americans.” This distinction is thought provoking.

Later, the writer asked “Where is the outrage by White America…” over the murder of George Floyd? Can he possibly be serious? Does he own a TV? Has he seen the crowds’ composition? Again, it’s interesting that he capitalizes the word “White” in that query. Is that a subliminal indication of superiority? In his earlier quote about “black Americans” he used a small “B.” Maybe a small thing — perhaps a typo, perhaps not.

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Moving on, some people seem to be incapable of recognizing that only a handful of cops are responsible for Floyd’s death. None in New York, DC, Miami or elsewhere participated in that evil deed. Innumerable law enforcement officers (LEOs) everywhere condemn the act and similar actions. Since Floyd’s death, innocent and uninvolved LEOs have been wounded or killed — supposedly in retribution. Those perpetrators are as wrong and as evil as the police involved in Floyd’s murder. One LEO, for the sin of wearing the uniform, has been stabbed in the neck. Innocent LEOs have been isolated from their partners, over-powered and dragged through the streets. Is this the “new normal?” If it is, God help us all. Do the demonstrators know that they serve as cover for terrorists? Do they even care?

Police procedures and police union procedures must be reviewed critically — preferably by police and non-police personnel. Even LEOs have stated that certain procedures currently in place make it difficult to weed out the bad apples. Yup! Police have ‘em.

To those who choose to paint all LEOs with the same broad brush, let’s consider some truths. Every barrel contains some bad apples — even your barrel. Who hasn’t read about errant ministers and priests, teachers who cheat or engage wrongfully with minor students, bankers or accountants who steal, financial advisors with pyramid schemes, computer geeks who hack for profit or to create havoc, home contractors who do shoddy work, airline pilots who would fly while intoxicated, quack doctors and innumerable others.

In which barrel do you live. Do you give others the right to sully your reputation because of the actions of a few?

Lastly, rioters/terrorists are camouflaged by legitimate protesters. The bad ones hide behind the well-intended and care not one whit about others — any others. This is a long-standing practice utilized by terrorists worldwide. For years, they’ve used schools, hospitals, churches, and the like as camouflage to hide behind. Legitimate protesters need to plan with the diligence used by the bad guys. Should violence in any form break out, legitimate protesters should disperse and disappear. Leave the Antifa types out there by themselves. That done, the LEOs will have an easier job identifying and taking into custody the actual perpetrators. Simply put, when it hits the fan, go home — quickly.

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy.  His column appears every other Tuesday. Contact him at rpblach4d@comcast.net.

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