Friday, February 05, 2016

I'm ashamed of my former profession

As most of you know, I served much of my adult life as a Law Enforcement Officer, in the U.S. Air Force, in Montana and in Oregon. Over 14 years wearing a badge.
In all those years, I served with many honorable and honest men and women who were not just there for a paycheck, but believed in the job we did. Without saying it at the time, we believed in our oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the citizens of our jurisdictions. 
Certainly, there were little things that most non-police citizens don't agree with. For instance, I never had to worry about getting a ticket for some minor traffic offense. My roommate got a ride to our apartment one night in another jurisdictions patrol car because of his off-duty conduct. Not arrested; just brought home.
But, major offenses? Hurt someone else? Forget it! You'd be arrested in a heartbeat and your badge taken for storage along with your watch and wedding ring. Violations of peoples rights on duty? Your partner might not "rat you out" but he'd sure as Hell make sure you knew not to do it again! If a supervisor did hear about you overstepping your authority you'd be in big trouble and I mean maybe not only lose your job but your freedom as well. CRIME by police officers is just not tolerated by other police officers, no matter what you see on TV.
That's probably one of the big reasons that this murder of LaVoy Finicum has been weighing on my mind so much this past week.
How could that many corrupt officers be found and work together in one place? Fifteen or twenty (or more) law enforcement personnel went along with the attack and now the coverup. Finicum was murdered, the vehicle shot up and people terrorized by the very men and women who have sworn to PROTECT us from that kind of thing! And now, all those officers are keeping their mouths shut, waiting for the furor to die down and the coverup to take effect.
In over 14 years of Law Enforcement, I cannot think of one officer with whom I served who would have gone along with this attack. I can think of several who would have moved to protect the innocent victims of this ambush. Why wasn't there one honest, courageous officer who would have moved between the vehicle and those shooting at it and stood to defend the two women and a man who were cowering on the floor of the truck, in fear of their lives? Why was there not one officer there who would move in and provide aid to the man who had been gunned down? Why is there not one officer who's concience has forced him to come forward and testify against those rogue killers he watched deliberately kill one man and try to kill another man and the two women?
I'm sad and ashamed about this. Even with the murder of Jack Yantis in Idaho and the questionable shootings and beatings we've seen by police this last year, I continue to stand up for Law Enforcement. My experience with the breed was such that I knew in my heart that most of them are good, honest, honorable and courageous people doing a dangerous and dirty job in service to their fellow men. What possible threat or bribe can buy these officers honor and integrity?
I've seen it postulated that the majority of those involved were hired mercenaries, not actual sworn law enforcement. Although this seems like far fetched conspiracy theory BS, I'd rather think that than think that such a noble profession has been corrupted to the point where, even in a group this large, there are no good and true officers who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and against such brutality and criminal behavior.

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