License To Kill
Remember that movie? Well I don’t; I was never a James Bond fan, I vaguely remember the song, and I had to research it to find out who was singing the song. It was Gladys Knight. I also found out that Bob Dylan wrote a song with the same title different lyrics. Neither is pertinent to this piece, except they share the same title.
Who are these people charged with the task “To Protect and Serve”? In a time of controversy or civil unrest we may even ask ,” Who do they protect and serve?” Think about this one; what do you think about police in general and specifically related to YOU?
Many years ago I thought about becoming a Los Angeles County Sheriff. I did a little research, registered to take the exam, but when the time came I decided that I was not really interested in being a part of law enforcement, all I wanted was the money that was promised in salary. I knew at that point in my young life, money alone should not be the reason one gets into law enforcement.
I had a friend who went a bit farther than I did, she was a beautiful young woman with gorgeous hair. What impacted me, what made me know that she was serious was, when she cut her hair off to wear a short cropped afro because she wanted to be a part of that community. She did the ride-alongs first, she took the exam, and even passed the interview. On her was to the psychological testing, the next thing I heard was she decided against moving on. Now we can guess at or assume what may have changed her mind, but this was just a personal tid-bit as to why I am here writing this piece now. My turning point was the idea that one day I might have to pull a person from a car who had been fatally injured, or having to aim my weapon at a suspect with the intent to “stop” them and by mistake or intentionally end their life, or knocking on the door of some unfortunate survivor to tell them a loved one would not be returning home to them.
Police/law enforcement officers are a special breed, in my opinion I was NOT that “kind” of special. Strong, stoic, yet compassionate. Honorable and trustworthy, calm and well trained. I am so very happy we have them, but when you find them abusing the power they are given, it frightens, angers, and appalls you. Why shouldn’t it. They are entrusted with our lives. When they take that power and use it incorrectly, use it against the very ones who are looking to them for help; what do you say about individuals like that? The officer who demeans a man in the presence of his child, the individual who places an individuals life in danger by using a hold that has been forbidden and illegal for decades, the individual who hides/misplaces evidence, the wife beater, the alcohol abuser and yes this same individual still has a badge. Common sense, sensitivity, and reasoning are no longer the tools of their trade. Yet the public is told these are community leaders and turn to them for help. These are the individuals who look at their positions and think in a manner that demonstrates they think they do in fact have a license to kill and it is open season on citizens. How safe do you feel?