Last year, I wrote an article in the school newspaper about police perception in light of a horrific event (the most timely at that point: Baltimore and Freddie Gray). When interviewing a Officer Andrew Herrlinger of the Mason PD, one quote stood out to me: “Are there bad apples? Absolutely…We’re just people…This career field is no different than any other field.”
And here we are, one year later, dealing with scarily similar events. Two innocent citizens murdered within a day of each other at the hands of the policemen because of the color of their skin. Now, I’m not going to post a long-winded explanation of why we should respect the police despite all this and not let the few “bad apples” be indicative of the entire force because frankly, I shouldn’t have to. Every law-abiding citizen should have no reason to fear the police; most of them are here to help us.
I respect law enforcement and of course we can not judge the entire police force based on the actions of a few. But, if that is going to be your argument, you must acknowledge there are bad seeds in any group of people that do not represent the entire demographic. That goes for Muslims (whose entire religion is often condemned because of terrorists–who aren’t even any kind of representation of Islam, but that’s a different discussion), Christians, Atheists, Democrats, Republicans, white people, black people, etc. You can’t use the argument that police officers are mostly good, minus the few bad ones, and not also give other groups more credit than the terrible things you’re seeing on the news.
Unfortunately, there will always be certain people with the inclination to do evil. The best we can do as emphatic citizens is not attack each other out of anger and fear.