I don’t generally wade into the culture wars, but I am compelled to join those who express profound sympathy to NY and to the families of Officers Liu and Ramos who were assassinated for no other reason than that they wore the uniform of the NYPD. Perhaps those who have painted all law enforcement officers with that broad brush of evil will stop and reflect on what they’ve spawned. They’ve made a dangerous job even more dangerous.
In my 15 years working as a volunteer for the LAPD, I became friends with officers and detectives who represented many communities, including black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, gay and lesbian. I count them among the finest people I’ve ever known. Now, many in law enforcement feel under siege because too many people have lost their ability to think critically, to look at all sides of the story, to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes and say, “What would I have done in the same circumstances?”
One of my close friends was shot in the line of duty. He was a patrol officer, making a routine traffic stop. When he and his partner ran the license plate, they found that a car with the same number but from a different state had just been used in an armed robbery nearby. Coincidence? They thought not. As they approached the car, without warning the driver pulled a .44-caliber handgun and shot my friend’s partner in the chest. Then he fired at my friend. The bullet hit him in the shoulder and deflected into his neck, where it remains imbedded to this day. Despite being gravely wounded, he survived but not without both physical and emotional scars.
There is nothing that justifies the murder of these two NYPD officers. Nothing. My best hope is that their deaths becomes a teachable moment. Otherwise, I fear for our future.