Come on, Central Missouri newspapers. Enough with the editorials from a privileged point of view that fail to consider that your own experiences are not everyone’s experiences.
Today I refer to your opinion published after the ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, certainly a valid tribute. But you ventured out of bounds when you intimated that everyone should appreciate and respect all law enforcement officers all the time.
Exhibits A, B, and C:
• Execution of suspects in the street without due process.
• Failure to secure a suspect with a seatbelt, resulting in his death.
• Racial profiling, threats, intimidation, brutality.
There is ample documentation, including video evidence, of all of these infractions and more. By failing to acknowledge this reality and insisting on blanket respect and unquestioning homage, you contribute to an atmosphere that endangers honorable law enforcement officers. Upstanding officers cannot safely report their rogue colleagues when the realities I have recounted are not recognized as problematic.
Too often, there are acts of disrespect — large and small — by officers that create a them-versus-us mentality. It shouldn’t be that way.