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chickenissiriat asked:

What's your opinion on the situation in Ferguson as a police officer?


Hand me a live grenade, huh?

As a police officer, I have learned more about the inner workings of departments. So things I was formerly unsure of, things that struck me as callous, or unnecessarily cruel, make more sense. I know, that were my family member to be shot in the street, I would be devastated by the fact that their body would be left lying in the streets. I would be heartbroken…but it was a crime scene, and they must remain as unaltered as possible.

We had an officer, responding to a domestic violence call, on his police motorcycle, when he was struck and killed by a motorist who simply wasn’t paying attention. His body lay in the streets for hours as well…because it was a crime scene.

These two instances are not the same. One young man lost his life while doing a job in which he knew such a thing were possible…the other for doing nothing more than what at this moment, is Living While Black.

As an officer I am trying to wait until as many facts as possible have been gathered before deciding one way or the other.

As a black man who is an officer, I realize it is often incredibly difficult to separate oneself from the badge. As a black man, I am horrified because I understand all too well that could be me when I’m not at work, when I’m out of uniform. That could be me, if I run up against an officer who does not know me. I know that could easily be me.

I also know that donning a police uniform, pinning on a badge, does not make you either bad, nor good. Power, authority, merely exacerbates the qualities that are innately within you. If you are kind, if you a good, it will bring out the best in you, so that at times you shock even yourself. If you are cruel, if you have drank from the poisoned wells of systemic racism, the societal rebuffing of blackness that marks us as less than, as animals, as things to be contained and caged, then being an officer does not change your attitude in that matter. It merely gives you the authority to act on those biases, those prejudices.

As a black man? I am saddened, that even still, in 2014, they are killing us. As an officer, I am furious, because this does nothing but continue the erosion of public trust in officers, but this isn’t the time to talk about the good officers that exist, because I know people understand that, but speaking on it derails the pain, and the anger, the heartbreak that we as Black Americans are once again facing. Which is why, up until now, I have not spoken on it. I have been watching. I have been listening. There was nothing I could add that had not already been said.

I know why I became an officer, because I was tired of reading headlines like these…and because institutions change from within.

What is happening there now? What the department is doing, is a gross violation of civil rights, and they will reap the consequences of these actions. You cannot prevent peaceful assembly. You cannot impose martial law. You cannot prevent the media filming your actions as an officer. If you are doing nothing wrong, then you need not move in shadows. If you are doing nothing wrong, you need not fear the recording of your actions.

As a black man, I stand with my people, and I hurt. I ache. I feel my spirit within me screaming at this further injustice.

As an officer, I am watching. I am learning, and I am processing, to ensure I can be better, and so I can make sure those I work with are as well.

I hope this answers your question. I doubt I’ll speak on it again.

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