Greetings & salutations dear friends! Your presence brings joy to my soul. I pray my writings bring some value to our time together.
Wow, life. Big subject. It sure has a way of changing your plans, doesn’t it? Take mine for example. When I took on the commitment of blogging I choose to make it a weekly thing.
I have done well doing just that for quite a bit of time. Then life hit. Things at work have gone nuts. Let me see if I can explain.
I work at a District Attorney’s office in SoCal. I like to describe my job as the stage manager for the Deputy District Attorney’s show. I obtain the digital or paper discovery, make copies for the DDA & defense, convert formats for DDA ease of use, redact from audio & video recordings so the jury doesn’t get bored, video tape hearings in case we “lose” that witness before the trial, take photos of defendant tattoos (regardless of what body part it may be on), serve SDTs for hospital records, serve subpoenas for uncooperative witnesses/victims (after using numerous systems to locate them) & then have the privilege of transporting these delightful folks to & from court. I think that covers it in a nutshell.
Now, if any of you have heard of the political atmosphere in California lately, you know it is not geared towards curbing crime. An example is how the liberals of this state decided that if a convicted felon (or anyone else) steals a gun, it’s only a misdemeanor. Seriously, a misdemeanor. When people are stealing guns & killing other people, but it’s ok. We’ll just slap you on the wrist.
So, surprise, surprise, crime goes up. Now, let’s throw in that Law Enforcement is getting a really bad rap for enforcing the law. Yes, I know there are bad cops out there, but not all, not even most are deliberately using force under cover of authority.
I caught a news story the other day. A convicted gang banger, out on parole & later to be found under the influence of a controlled substance, &, oh yes, had a hand gun, lead the cops on a high-speed chase through a residential neighborhood. For the record, the cop cars were using their attention-getting disco lights & loud ear-shattering sirens as their way of asking him to stop for an amicable chat. He crashed the car, jumped out & started running, giving the appearance he was declining the invitation. Cops stop their cars, jump out & give chase. Now the cops are vocally telling him who they represent & asking him to stop for their little chat. I’m sure you’re as surprised as I am that he kept running. They caught him on the sidewalk in front of this lady’s house. She had heard the commotion (difficult not to hear it) &, out of natural curiosity, steps out of her front door to watch the proceedings.
Now, for whatever reason the news channel decided this is what the people want to see, so they send a news crew out. This lady now has her 15 minutes of fame. How is she going to play it out? She decides to tell the camera how, in her opinion (based, I’m sure, on her experience deeply involved in the Law Enforcement) that the Officers used excessive force to ensure they had the opportunity to speak w/the gentleman. That’s it lady, go with the herd, it’s safer.
Now, I will step onto the other side of the fence & speak of the tragedy of the lady in Minneapolis recently. Yoga instructor, soon to be bride, planning the wedding, all shows a young woman who is an asset to the world. She’s heard negative sounds. Her moral compass calls upon her to call those whom we trust “To Protect & Serve”. She gets involved.
We know what happened, but let me explore how it could have also played out. She runs out of her house to flag down the officers. They see her, stop the car, jump out, chase down a bad guy & put him away. Our Yoga Instructor now has the appreciation of a grateful community. Happy, & preferable, ending.
May we now take a look at the cops’ viewpoint? I’m just guessing on this, of course, but from my years with the District Attorney’s office, around these men & women who live this job, listening to them tell their stories, I might have an idea.
We have two young men. Both have been on for less than two years. Between them they have under 4 years of experience. I’ve heard that to be considered to be a “seasoned cop” you need at least 5 years on the force.
In the last few years the news has been full of stories where people in this career of Law Enforcement have been shot, execution style, while answering calls for help. I don’t know about you, but I could see where they might be a bit on the jumpy side.
So, it’s dark, probably one of the nicer neighborhoods, but, still, a call for help has gone out, a bad person is out there. These men are on high alert. Someone comes running at them. One of the officers reportedly heard a loud bang & he reacts. A young woman is now dead.
Just in case you’re wondering, I do not condone this officer’s actions. As a Monday morning quarterback, I think he should be invited to seek out a different career. From the information I’m going off of, what he did was not a criminal act. Of course, I wasn’t there, so I’m just guessing.
I’m not sure what my point is for this rant. I guess the theme is to give the cops the benefit of the doubt. Geez, you may know you’re not out to hurt them, but let your actions reflect the same. If a cop asks you to stop, then stop. If you’re asked to show your hands, then show your hands.
One last story & I’ll step off my soapbox. Some public skatepark somewhere USA. Skaters gather to say good-bye to a friend. Some of the skaters choose to permanently mark up the cement as a memorial to their friend. What some of us would call “graffiti”. As I understand the news report, other folks who were visiting another part of the park with their small children, grew concerned at such a large gathering & call Law Enforcement.
The cops showed up & asked the crowd of skaters to disperse. Instead of gathering up their personal items & heading for another location to continue the mourning process, they choose to surround the officers. Then they started banging their skateboards on the ground, while surrounding the cops. No, that wouldn’t appear threatening to anybody, would it?
The kid whose interview showed up on the news couldn’t understand why Law Enforcement should have started taking a more aggressive stance. I guess he thought the skaters should be allowed to do what the skaters wanted to do & never mind how it might affect other folks.
Ok, I promised to step down & I will keep that promise. My point, when I started was how busy it’s gotten at work. We’ve been pulling a lot of overtime & with my commute it’s just wearing me out.
Also, recently, I discovered the atmosphere in our work place is receiving some negative energy. You know how wearing that can be also.
Bottom line, I can only work on the blog every other weekend, so for a while, I’m only posting bi-monthly.
Look for me in two weeks.
Til next we meet, Be Blessed