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On the evening of April 19th, after the capture of Boston marathon bomber “suspect #2” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Bostonians took to the street to celebrate. Facebookers and tweeters filled the internet with celebration. Police officers were cheered as heroes. Fallen MIT officer  Sean Collier was commemorated along with the other victims of the attacks.

My call is, remember this. Remember how it felt to know that there was this veritable army of brave men and women between American civilians -- perhaps you and your family, or at least your fellow countrymen and women -- and the terrorists who had no qualms about maiming and killing them. Remember how proud you were of our police forces.

Remember this the next time you hear about some incident where a police officer has abused his authority. Remember this the next time you hear about a township or city where graft or crime has corrupted the police force and its officers. Remember this the next time you have a run in with a schmuck in uniform.

365 days a year, 24 hours a day, these men and women are out there, on the streets of America. Yes, there are racist cops, and even entire forces full of racist cops. Yes, there are corrupt cops. Yes, there are abusive cops. Yes, they piss us off. And they get headlines. And they should, because police power is great, and abuse of it is extremely dangerous. But when the next headline comes along, if you feel inclined to issue a sweeping condemnation about law enforcement, remember those cops you were so proud of, who put their lives on the line to protect American civilians. Corrupt cops and police brutality should enrage us, against the guilty party. But the guilty party is the individual (or the individuals) responsible. Not cops in general.
In Boston, cops in general were the guys out there keeping civilians safe, and dodging bullets to do it. Like cops in general do every day, all around this country.  Remember that.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you! (9+ / 0-)

    I'm so disgusted by all the hate towards cops. There are good ones and bad ones just like in every other profession, but mostly, cops are good.

    I just got three, yes three tickets in one month for seatbelt violations as I pulled out of work. It was almost $300 altogether.

    Now I didn't like that cop very much, I'll admit it. But I wear my seatbelt now, so. And I kind of like how he doesn't take any shit in his patrol area. It's a good message for the crooks who work near where I work. I nod at him when I see him, but I don't think he believes me.

    I'm afraid that my signature won't match the mood of my comment.

    by heybuddy on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:16:21 PM PDT

  •  What else is forgotten… (10+ / 0-)

    …is the mediocre pay and the shrinking retirement packages. Municipalities all over the country have been carving large swaths out of public employee compensation and retirement packages because unions/deficit/austerity (pick one).

    There was a magazine ad years ago which had an image of a uniformed cop standing in front of a "dark alley". The caption was

    You wouldn't go down there for a million dollars. He does for a lot less
    It's reprehensible that any public employees (teachers, air traffic controllers, firemen, etc.) should be vulnerable to the fiscal fanatics, but the least defensible of their cuts is law enforcement, in the light of your diary.
  •  Thank you (10+ / 0-)

    Police are human beings, just like anyone else. Subject to flaws and failings and idiocies.

    There are some who take the job so they can have power over others, but there are just as many (if not more) who want to "protect and serve".

    Painting any group with a broad brush is ridiculous.

    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

    by Diogenes2008 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:47:02 PM PDT

    •  ^^^^^^^THIS, Diogenes2008^^^^^^!!! YES (5+ / 0-)

      There are people inside cops.

      I took it up figuring I might be able to help somebody.

      And let me tell you, yesterday in Watertown, well ...those cops rocked.

      I ain't sayin' every cop there never did -- or does, or maybe will do -- anything wrong or boorish or poorly thought out or reacted out of adrenaline. They more than likely have, do, will -- just like all the rest of us.

      But when they get it right, like they did yesterday, damn if they don't deserver a celebration.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 04:40:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't "cheer." (7+ / 0-)

    A bright young man has thrown his life away, for reasons that his own dumbfounded friends can't even begin to understand. Another man's wife is widowed and their daughter has no father but only his terrible legacy.

    One police officer and three civilians are dead; two hundred more injured, some very severely so.

    I didn't feel much like cheering.

    I feel respect for Bostonians, the citizens, their police, first responders, state police, mayor and governor. I appreciate our president and federal law enforcement that rallied to Boston's aid. I admire that huge swath of Americans that prayed and cried and held Boston in its huge collective heart all week. And yes, that big-hearted part of America includes every cop I know. They would have rushed to Boston in a minute, if someone simply gave them the word.

    When a 19 year old refugee-turned American citizen turned his back on America, I find it profoundly sad. I felt relieved when they captured him. But I'm sorry. I didn't cheer.

    I'm certain that if I lived in Boston, I would have. But I guess distance gave me too much space to mourn what has been lost.

    Thanks for your diary.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 04:10:20 PM PDT

  •  I also didn't cheer . (5+ / 0-)

    I was arrested for a crime I didn't do .
    The officer got on the stand and lied his ass off , he said I did things I did not do , he made a 100% fake photo , he presented false evidence , he did everything he could to get me convicted , he pulled the wool over the judges eyes .
    So I have a good idea what some cops will do when no one is watching .
    His partner backed him up and also lied .
    That cop ruined things , when I see cops ,
    I think of the sobs and what they did .

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 04:37:39 PM PDT

  •  grover, maybe the youngster's life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    can still be salvaged. It was apparently his brother who didn't merely pitch his own chances, but try to bring down everything he disliked or didn't understand.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 04:41:33 PM PDT

  •  Very nice diary and well said. I second your (4+ / 0-)

    words of respect and appreciation for those who choose a life of service.  I certainly do not want to live in a world without law enforcement officials.  I often wonder what those who seem to hate all police officers would do the minute they all walked off the job.  While I hate that Ayd Rand scenero, just imagine a society without police officers. Who would you call for help?

  •  I still think Boston is different... (0+ / 0-)

    As a friend pointed out in the days after the bombing, the marathon is a unique event; there's zero degrees of separation with it.  EVERYBODY knows somebody that was running, working, or 'just there'.  

    I think the police around here are a little like that, too.  It's not many degrees of separation to find a friend, family member, or classmate that wears the uniform.

    Does that make us respect them more?  Honour them more?  I don't know.  But it's not a closed society.  Most of us do know somebody on the inside, and have maybe the tiniest inkling of what it might be like.  So we're willing to cut them a little more slack than in other places, I would think.

    I prefer to remain an enigma.

    by TriSec on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:04:33 AM PDT

  •  Cops are human (0+ / 0-)

    And do good and bad. Treat them as human.

    Means, give them recognition for the difficult job they do, respect as you would anyone else, but not a free pass when they do bad.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

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