To the editor:
Mr. Casey (July 2, “Appreciate the sacrifices of cops”) missed the point of the problem. I, too, have been deeply grateful for having an officer on hand. I don’t complain about tickets. I’d prefer to write letters commending police heroism. But he’s blind to the elephant in the room.
There have been so many instances of lethal misbehavior by police in some jurisdictions that many citizens are afraid to call for help. He is either unconcerned about or unaware of Mr. Floyd’s execution by four officers of the Minneapolis Police Department or their support by the police union, or the U.S. Attorney General’s Office undertaking a probe of the department, or that a local TV station documented racial profiling in traffic stops.
I talked to several officers after Floyd’s murder and got no inkling that they were personally angered or upset by the criminal taking of life by four of their own. Nor was there any hint of sorrow in the Anoka County sheriff’s note to this paper. Mr. Casey ups the ante by comparing police criminality to grousing over a traffic ticket.
It’s unfortunate that Mr. Casey is oblivious to the tragedies that rogue and bigoted officers inflict on individuals, families and society.
Police work is far more than John Wayne bravado. Officers are where the rubber meets the constitutional road. Few careers require such an advanced understanding of a “free society.” Few careers have the potential for causing or preventing personal tragedy. Even fewer careers have the routine potential for damaging the entire nation. Police work requires genuine patriotism and a heart open to all lives.
Or, more succinctly, “… You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments rest all the laws …”