What i have seen is police groups and unions demonize protestors and antagonizing them with “Cops Lives Matter” and “I CAN Breathe,” blasting anyone who would sympathize with people protesting brutality. They want us to care about their suffering, without showing an ounce of care about our grievances.
It’s an atrocity that several cops have been murdered in as many days. No doubt about that. So why is it anything less to point out how many young Americans across the country are dying in the custody of crooked cops monthly, annually, for decades? Why are we not allowed to express our frustrations, our outrage at police targeting citizens and the lack of accountability? When a cop is killed, we spare no expense at dispensing justice until someone is killed or captured. Yet, when we see example after example of young Americans breathe their last breath in restraints, tazed or shot in cuffs, heads slammed into sidewalks, the rebuke is that the victim probably deserved it, the justice is that the officers face no punishment. And when we speak up about it, we become the enemy of the state, instead of just citizens exercising democracy.
Why won’t the police listen? Why are they so hellbent to defame us, like the CHP officers in Oakland who were trying to incite a riot among peaceful protesters? Why are they so dismissive of cases of young men committing suicide, even though they had their hands cuffed behind their backs in the back seat of a patrol car, with a gaping hole in their chest? Why are we allowed to grieve ONLY for slain officers, and not for slain citizens?
I don’t want a war. I don’t even want retribution. I just want justice. I want equality. I want to be able to see something wrong and be able to see it right. I want to report police brutality I witnessed without fearing even more brutality. I don’t want to fear for my safety, or for my life, while in handcuffs. I don’t deserve to be mocked while getting the shit kicked out of me while in cuffs. I am not an animal. I am a human being. I am a citizen. All I want is to be treated like one. I want to trust any police officer that crosses my path. I don’t want to feel that knot in my stomach whenever one starts walking my way. I want to be relieved when I see him coming towards me, not as he’s passing by.
My life matters. Just as much as anyone else’s in this debate, on either side. I am not expendable just because I don’t wear a badge.
I am not a cop killer. I am not a cop hater. I just hate bad cops. That should mean I am a good citizen, not an enemy of the state. I have given far too much of my life to the service of my country and towards the betterment of my fellow Americans to be treated any less. If I am an enemy of the state, then there is something very wrong with the state of our nation.