Who Will Defend the Defenders?

How many times have you heard people say that they would defend their family against attack, be it physical or verbal?  That they would fight to the death to protect their loved ones?  Perhaps you have said it yourself.  If you have children I am willing to bet you have said it more than once.

I am no different than you.  I will defend my family, too.  It happens that mine is quite large.  My family consists of hundreds of thousands of people, and they are a mixed bag of races, genders, ethnicities, and religions.  This is my law enforcement family.  It is made up of those who serve and those of us who love them.

They are the ones you call when your husband has too much to drink and shoves you down the stairs.  They are the first on scene to cut you out of your seatbelt and pull you from your car before the gas tank explodes after a collision.  They are the people you rely on to find and safely return your missing child who wandered off in the blink of an eye.

They used to be your heroes.  Now the media has turned them into monsters.  Public officials and “community leaders” with agendas far different from yours incite you and turn you against them.  Cop bashing seems to have become the new social media national pastime.

I ask you to understand that when you attack police officers you are not only targeting them.  You are hurting their loved ones- their husbands and wives, their mothers and fathers, their children.  You are hurting me.  The venomous words you hurl at these officers stick us all like poisonous darts.

I ask that you choose your words carefully, and that you consider how you would feel if they were directed at a member of your family.  Before you speak, or before you type, pause to think about the emotions those same words would evoke if they were directed at your loved ones.  If you would not want them said to your family then do not say them to mine.

Are you careful enough to speak of the tens of thousands of good officers for every one bad seed?  Are you vigilant in citing facts and statistics while you use trigger words like corruption and racism?  Do you take care not to label and stereotype an entire profession as you would ask that an entire race or group not be labeled or stereotyped?  Do you understand that in doing so you are no better than what you proclaim to fight against?

There is no place for evil in this family.  We do not want it here, we do not shelter it, and we do not tolerate it.  We will drive it out and fight against it.  We defend the righteous, and we do not want evil “on our side”.  They are impostors and interlopers, and they are not members of our family.  Evil can work its way into any profession or any group, but it cannot be allowed to define in its entirety that profession or group.  It is our job to rid society of that evil, no matter where it is found.

Can we come together instead of drawing lines in the sand?  Can we work together and not push harder to separate and isolate one another?  There are issues to be addressed.  There is dialogue that must take place.  There is room for improvement and change on all sides.  We may not agree on the outcome of every situation, but we can approach each other with mutual respect.  This can only be accomplished if we are all willing to stop speaking in anger.  It can only begin when we cease the use of blanket statements and judgments.

I will defend my family with every last breath in my body.  I will defend them until I can no longer put pen to paper.  I will defend them because, just as you do yours, I love and believe in my family.  I will defend them because they are worthy of my defense.

Who will defend the defenders?  I will, and so should you.  They are a part of your community.  They are your neighbors.  They attend your church, and your children go to the same schools.  They are my family, and they could be your family if you let them.  They defend you.  Will you defend them?

All photo credits to:  www.pixabay.com

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52 thoughts on “Who Will Defend the Defenders?

    • Hi Sandi,
      I appreciate your thoughts, and I hope you are well! Personally, I find the actions of the officer in North Charleston to be 100% indefensible. I am proud of the way it was handled quickly and decisively, and I hope he is fully brought to justice. There is no place for that kind in law enforcement.
      Karen

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Despite how the media is quick to vilify the police, and people are quick to condemn ALL of them for the actions of a few, and despite the fact that I was once on the wrong side of the law , I still have the greatest respect for them, not all police are armed thugs with a gun and a quick trigger finger, more often than not , they are quite compassionate and understanding PEOPLE, in a life threatening and highly stressful job, everytime they put on that uniform they put their lives in danger…. for what? to protect us, society from itself, to maintain law and order, they are the people who stand on the front lines, willing to die for us all to protect us from a complete social breakdown and utter anarchy ! with out law and order and those who put their lives at risk to keep it, that is exactly what would happen, we as a society would turn on each other and tear ourselves and each other apart…. it’s simple human nature, the police, they stand there and prevent that from happening every day, all day , month in month out year after year.

    Of course a few are going to snap and people are going to get hurt or killed, it’s not an excuse for a cop to use lethal force when it’s not needed by any means, but keep in mind a cop is only Human, and how much stress , sorrow, heart break at seeing society for what it truly is can one person take without coming unglued? they try so very hard to keep us all safe from each other, they try to keep themselves safe, they see things that most people would never see or turn a blind eye too, they are there for countless tragedies, they are there trying to save lives lost, they take the bullet meant for you , for me, for everyone, they protect you with little or no regard to their own safety… why? they have to ask themselves why they do it day after day when the world is only getting worse not better, yet they willingly , selflessly put on that uniform every day and go out into a vile cruel society and try to make a difference, they may not make much difference to the world , but for that little child, that woman, that one man, even that family pet , to them they did truly make a world of difference.

    so instead of crucifying and condemning every police officer for the actions of a few… stop and think, that though they are scared they may not go home at the end of their shift… they will be the first to come when you call or need them most. be thankful for them, even if you never need to call for their help, be thankful they are there defending you and your family .

    Sorry about the long assed reply, but it sickens me on how quick to condemn we are as a society, and how quick to crucify them the media is. most people wouldn’t last a day in a cops shoes, I know I wouldn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Karen. I am also thinking of you at the moment. It is not right that all law enforcement officers should be stereotyped. The media have a lot to answer for when they stir up hatred against all of them .They so not understand what is means to do that job, or to have loved ones that risk harm every day to protect others. I admire you for defending your family, and appreciate how hard it is for you all at the moment. Keep strong, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well said…blessings my friend and beautifully written!

    In American Sniper there is a scene where the father sits at the dinner table with his sons and explains…
    “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs,” the father intones grave reflection. “Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.”
    He continues:
    “Then you’ve got predators, who use violence to prey on the weak. They’re the wolves. And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men/women are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.”

    For some reason it resonated strongly within me. Much <3!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No one knows what it means to be a police officer or their family unless you are one of them and face a life changing experience each and every day. No one knows the courage it takes to walk up to a car at a traffic stop, not knowing who or what is waiting for you inside. No one knows what it’s like to walk into a domestic abuse call, a drug bust, standoffs, or any number of potentially violent situations, unless you have been there and faced the risk. It’s easy to point fingers without knowing the facts. It’s easy to say a person should have reacted differently when it’s not your ass on the line, when it’s not your family you want to return to that night, when it’s not you that has to make a split second decision that will alter your life and everyone who loves you. Yeah, that’s easy. So you grab some headlines and broad stroke every police officer with the same characteristics, go ion a national media campaign to suggest things you don’t really know anything about and when the true facts come out you bury the story because it’s not as sexy.
    What happened in North Charleston this past week was horrible. It makes me sick when I watch it or think about it. It was cold blooded murder and he should get what he deserves. But placing all police officers in the same category is ignorant. Are there bad ones out there who should not be carrying a gun…absolutely. Just as there are bad doctors, lawyers, journalists, business people, teachers, etc. You don’t like the job police officers do, how about we let those people who trash them, replace them for a couple of days and see how that works out. Let’s see what kind of decisions they make with a gun in their hand and a confrontation in front of them. Yeah, I’d like to see that. Sorry for the rant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No apology needed, and I think I should have let you write this post! I agree 100% that the incident in N Charleston was nothing short of a brutal murder. That officer is a stain not only on the profession, but on society as a whole, and I hope he pays a heavy price.

      Thank you for helping me to say what has been turning over and over in my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Not all police are bad, that is a given. Most police just want to help people, and do a great job of it. But when entire departments and unions close ranks around the ones who are, it doesn’t help their PR any.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would think that it is a given, Josh, but anymore I am not so sure. I see nothing but the most negative of portrayals out there these days. It is difficult to remain open and not to close ranks when it feels like an entire nation is railing against you. When something evil happens, as it did in North Charleston, you quickly see that there is no support for that officer in the law enforcement community. I choose not to debate on a case-by-case basis here 1) because it does not fit the tone of my blog and 2) it is not good for my sanity. I only ask that we all take care not to paint with broad brushstrokes lest we be painted the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I’m only reacting to New York police turning their backs on the mayor for admitting the systemic issues that exist between some police and minorities and wanting that to change. The nationwide support those officers got really irked me. It’s not like he ever said all or most police were bad.

        Like

      • Ah, here is where that tricky word “perception” comes into play. In my eyes, and in the eyes of many officers and their families, the mayor figuratively turned his backs on the NYPD. His remarks on Dec. 4th after the grand jury results concerning the Eric Garner case came out were, I feel, at best ill-timed and ill-advised. You don’t support your police by saying that you teach your son “to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.” For him to then show up at the hospital after the two officers were shot was a sad media ploy, and I believe the literal turning of the backs was justified. (I am not dismissing the possibility that there are always issues for all parties that can be addressed and rehabilitated.) Having said this, I do understand that others may have a completely different view from mine, and that is perfectly okay provided that a calm and respectful dialogue ensues, as it has here. Anything else can be saved for the trolls on social media and news sites.

        Thanks for a healthy and appropriate conversation,
        Karen

        Liked by 1 person

      • With respect, I disagree, because the NYPD have a history of corruption and racism within their ranks. For him to show up at the hospital acknowledging that despite an over all culture within his city’s department, does not take away from the work of good individual officers and certainly doesn’t warrant them getting ambushed and shot was the only reasonable thing to do. That doesn’t take away from what he has seen from the police in his city and the incidences of racism and brutality that he feels it was necessary to warn his adopted son to take special care.
        In addition, in any police interaction, regardless of race, it is a good idea to take special care around them. Why wouldn’t you be careful around someone you know to be armed and, (if they are smart), sees you as a potential threat?
        He called out the culture of his department, called for retraining, and acknowledged that he believed the majority of police in his department wanted to do the right thing.

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      • Thanks for the response. Let’s agree to leave it here as we are veering away from the intention of my post. It sounds like you have strong feelings on the subject that you may choose at some point to address on your blog. If that happens I’ll be there to read it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I won’t agree to leave it here, because I do want to to wish you and your husband the best. I hope things calm down and everyone has an easier time of things.

        Like

    • Thank you for sharing your link- I love that post. It touches on the fear we all feel on a daily basis, even when we try to push it way back in our minds.

      It looks like you are a part of my family, too. 🙂 Thank you for the support and know that it is returned!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Unfortunately it’s the same in all professions. We get the same in the nhs.
    One person I came across who is a police officer had a bad experience with a member of the nhs then went on to say the entire organisation is useless. When I said the police make mistakes too and that people have wrongly been killed, he then basically said they deserved it. There was no wrongdoing. Personally, not the attitude I’d like from an officer of the law.
    But the police have always helped me when I’ve needed them, the same way the nhs has helped me and my family.

    It would be nice if people looked past the few negative people and see the bigger picture. All professions and agencies have bad seeds. It doesn’t mean the organisation is bad.

    C.x

    Like

    • What that officer said to you was dismissive and just as wrong as the people who make blanket statements against the police.

      Yes, it is the same in most professions. I work in insurance, and believe me it is an industry subject to daily complaints. Luckily for most of us our jobs are not subject to the same national and international media scrutiny, vitriolic death threats on social media, retaliatory attacks, stalking, and threats to our children and loved ones that police face on a daily basis.

      It certainly would be nice if we could be judged as individuals for our actions rather than as a part of a group based on the actions of another. Thanks for reading and participating in the conversation!

      Like

    • I’m glad to have you as a member of the family. 🙂 I am glad that your uncle and stepfather served during a time when the police were still treated with respect and honor. I hope we can get it back there someday…

      Like

  7. I too hate to see the amount of hate that cops go through because of the actions that only a few have done. It sucks that it takes the actions of many to bring out a positive outlook, but it only takes one to bring negative feelings towards everyone.

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  8. Beautiful, Karen. There definitely is a lot of hatred towards police in pop culture, but we forget that ultimately most policemen and policewomen are committed to protecting us.

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  9. This is a very powerful post Karen, thanking you so much for defending our family of law enforcement officers. I have 2 close friends who are police officers. One recently retired. The last few years before retirement he was in administration. He had to step down from being a constable, because of the traumatic effect on him of seeing his partner shot. My other close friend is on Special Forces (similar to SWAT) in the U.S. He never talks much about this work, but I know every day he has put his life on the line for our protection. He is the father of a young girl who was killed in an automobile accident just over a year ago. This is one the 1st posts I wrote in the blogoshere, about 9 months ago in tribute of this lady and her family. http://theoldfellowgoesrunning.com/2014/07/19/tribute-amanda-kelsall/
    All that John has gone through with losing his daughter, he still goes in to work. Since Amanda’s death, he is now training others in the Special Forces, so he can emotionally heal.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    ~Carl~

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    • What a heartbreaking loss for the family, and for those of you who knew Amanda. I am so thankful for people like your two friends for the dedication they show to us all. Even if the face of adversity my husband and his fellow officers continue to selflessly don the uniform each day. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Thank you for sharing Amanda’s story. Best, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you to your husband and to you Karen. For your dear husband, it can be a thankless job, but he faithfully dons the uniform.
        Thank you for being there as support when your husband comes home at the end of his shift. Much respect for sharing this from your heart.
        And Karen, thanks for reading Amanda’s story. Means a lot!
        ~Carl~

        Liked by 1 person

    • Laurie,
      I was trying to leave a comment on your ballerina post, but it is giving me fits. When I log in under my WordPress account and check the box for “I’m not a robot” it keeps bringing up pictures of food. It tells me to pick one below that matches the one on the top right, but when I pick one it won’t let me go any further. It could just be me being dense, but let me know what you find out!
      Karen

      Like

  10. Pingback: Free-For-All Friday #6 | Edwina's Episodes

  11. It’s a shame that the few that dishonor the profession make the job more difficult and dangerous for those who do a wonderful job protecting and serving their communities.

    I can say that those I have worked with truly care about the community they serve, and they deserve to be commended.

    Like

    • I am so glad to hear that your experiences have been positive. Hopefully we can weed out the bad seeds that are a curse on the profession and get things back on an even keel. I would love for our officers to be seen in a positive light again.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! Best, Karen

      Like

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