Like everyone else I've been watching the news about the protests, the movement across the nation. I am actually FROM St. Louis so I'm more aware of the goings on than some of the other news outlets. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about the videos I've seen coming out of people shouting "what do we want? Dead Police. When do we want it? Now." I've seen videos of people spitting in police officers' faces, saying "F*ck the Police", etc. I have a great appreciation for police, although I'm fully aware not all police are the good guys, anymore than every doctor, teacher, preacher, nurse, mom, etc are good guys/gals. Here's a shortened version of my story:
We'll start at the age of 15. My mom was married to my step dad who wasn't exactly kind to us. On more than one occasion the police had to be called because he was beating up my mom, or brother, or whomever. I got into the habit of sleeping in my clothes because I was tired of being in my nightgown when the officers showed up. They were nice to us, they protected us.
Fast forward to the age of 22. I haven't made it a secret that I was in an abusive marriage to an alcoholic. There were many occasions where I feared he'd strangle me to death, or beat me to death. I had my fair share of injuries, although most were easily hidden beneath clothes or by wearing my hair down. He never seemed to beat me where anyone could see. The police always seemed to get there in time, and I eventually became friends with a few of them. They helped me find my strength to finally get a restraining order and leave him. Now, not everyone knows that the most dangerous time in an abused woman's life is the first two weeks after she leaves her abuser. The police who had been to my house so many times would make rounds down my street periodically, making sure he wasn't lurking around or showing up uninvited. These men and women truly saved my life in more ways than one.
Again, I totally get that there are bad cops out there. Seriously, I do. But it's not the profession that makes someone bad. There are bad people in every profession, every walk of life, every race, every sex. The same people calling for dead cops, the same people spitting, throwing things, and screaming f*ck the police would have no problem calling them to come save the day.
This post wasn't written to change anyone's minds, rather to explain why I will always support my local department, why at Christmas time the kids and I deliver cookies to them and the fire department. They aren't paid nearly enough for the dangers they encounter on a regular basis, and things are only going to become more dangerous as time goes on.