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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another man down

Once again - fourth time in the past six months, sixth time, I believe, in the past 18 months to two years - a Miami area police officer has been gunned down.

And once again, another dumbarse is in jail on account of the shooting. This time, police believe the alleged shooter thought off-duty Miami PD Det. James Walker was an enemy who had participated in a gun theft from a friend of the shooter. Apparently the "enemy" drives a car nearly identical to the unmarked car Det. Walker was in. And so the alleged shooter opened fire on Walker's car. Wrong guy.

Even though Walker may not have been the intended target, for the world of me, I still don't get it.

You shouldn't shoot anyone, outside the realm of self defense, saving another person's life, or war, unless by "anyone" you mean a tasty, tasty animal. But you definitely don't shoot cops.

When I was a kid - which all kidding aside, wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme - you were taught to respect cops the way you respected the elderly and the clergy. If you wouldn't swear at or within earshot of a grandmotherly woman, you wouldn't shoot a cop. If you wouldn't shout "screw God" to a preacher, you wouldn't shoot a cop.

It was understood that disrespecting folks in those categories was taboo, just because, they're service people of the highest rank, people with thankless jobs, more thankless than that of your waiter or your letter carrier or your garbageman.

Somehow, I know we'll get at least one comment alluding to the notion that some cops are crooked or violent, or whatever, so somehow violence toward cops is to be expected.

But don't kid yourselves. Someone who shoots a cop isn't doing it 'cause they're pissed off about being frisked one time too many for no apparent reason or pulled over one time too many for no apparent reason. If those were good reasons, I'd have shot a half dozen or so cops over the past 19 years, since I've been driving.

No excuses. People who shoot cops intentionally do so because they lack respect for what good police do.

And people who shoot anyone "accidentally," do so because they simply lack respect for life. Sad upbringing and bummed out neighborhoods and being pulled over by that occasional jerky cop have nothing at all to do with it.

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  • JUST YESTERDAY... hubby comes home from work agitated because a cop, maybe on a bit of a power trip?, gave him a really hard time about a parking issue. He had already gotten permission from another cop to be in the area for work and was trying to explain but Cop 2 was over-the-top nasty and in his face, which got him a little hot. Hubby has very long hair and is american/asian, so maybe the guy just didn't like how he looked and was trying to push him a bit?? Or maybe that had absolutely nothing to do with it.
    The job inspector hubby was with also said cop 2 was way too aggressive for the situation. But whatever the case, at no time did he or the other guy consider shooting or harming the cop in any way.
    Most of the time, they really are wonderful and to choose a life of service and protection for all of us is so commendable and important.
    You are right.... some people have no respect for life, for alot of reasons. It's a real shame.

    By Blogger CrystalChick, at 11:25 AM  

  • I've noticed a general lack of respect in general these days. When I was growing up, guns were easier to get than now (you could order them through the mail), yet people were less liable to shoot each other except in self-defense. It's a cultural problem.
    Just my opinion.

    By Blogger BobG, at 12:22 PM  

  • Lack of respect for life... I just posted about the same theme. *sigh*

    By Blogger Melissa, at 1:51 PM  

  • James - you'll get absolutely no argument from me on this post, that's for sure! I agree with a commenter above who said it's a cultural thing and seems to be picking up steam too!

    By Blogger Jeni, at 2:56 PM  

  • Sure, there are wrong cops. There are wrong "everything". But cops do a horrid, thankless, miserable job that puts them in harms way every single day. A guy that shoots at a cop is not doing so, as you say, because the cop is wrong, but because the shooter is a punk

    By Anonymous og, at 8:26 PM  

  • As long as crooked people manage to find employment, you'll find rotten types in every profession. It's a blindness to assume the few define the many. Well and there are many avenues to take if you want to change something that's broken...and it's true that it's a reflection on yourself how you go about that.

    I'm the daughter of a man who has dedicated his life to protecting a society he believes in and upholding the laws that enable our freedoms. He's a cop who spent the last decade putting crooked cops out of commission, and two decades making it a little easier for me to sleep at night.

    Thank you for writing this, James. I love the mission of your blog.

    By Blogger Jo, at 1:37 AM  

  • Like others have said, no respect for anyone else. Sheer self-centred selfishness.

    Mind you, with 'respect' being equated with 'fear' these days . . .

    Still makes me wonder though, these people who have no respect (either definition) for others - do they really value their own lives? Do they regard themselves as people? Do they regard anyone else as people?

    Since when has total lack of empathy become endemic? & how can that be rectified?

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 7:31 AM  

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