Why I #BacktheBlue

By Susannah Hutcheson, Regular Contributor September 10, 2015

Every day in the United States, one million police officers wake up and get ready for the day. They put on their bulletproof vests, buckle their belts, holster their guns, and button their shirts.

They get in their patrol cars and sometimes pull people over. They tell them that the speed their car is traveling is dangerous, and that it could endanger the driver and passerby. Sometimes they warn them of an expired inspection sticker, which could mean their car isn’t safe to drive. They see a driver swerving down the road, impaired by the whiskey he had just an hour before. They take him into custody before the family in front of them is caught in a car crash that wouldn’t have been their fault.

They get in their patrol cars and find a little girl walking along the streets in the middle of the night. She was sleepwalking and probably would have been hit by a car or worse if they hadn’t seen her.

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image via thenextweb.com

They get in their patrol cars and drive to a house where a child has called 911 when he found his mother asleep on the couch. “She wouldn’t wake up,” he said. Then, they have to call Child Protective Services, and comfort the child until someone comes.

They get in their patrol cars and drive to a house where a child doesn’t even have a mattress to sleep on- much less any toys or decent clothes. They buy him a mattress and a Tonka truck, because kids aren’t supposed to go without stuff like that. They see a homeless man on the street and buy him a pair of shoes or an Egg McMuffin to get him through the cold morning.

They get in their patrol cars, called to the scene of a grisly wreck. They can’t let their emotions get in the way, but my God, it’s terrible. They say a quick prayer and direct traffic for people who don’t seem to understand that in the midst of their afternoon commute, someone lost their life- their husband, their wife, their brother, their sister, their friend. They stay around until everything’s cleared up, and then make a very difficult visit to notify the next of kin what just happened, trying to stay professional but having a very difficult time not letting out a tear.

They get in their patrol cars and respond to a school call- a boy says he’s got a gun.

They get in their patrol cars and drive to the scene of a drive-by shooting.

They get in their patrol cars and flash their lights to warn people of upcoming construction before they don’t see it.

They get in their patrol cars and drive around the streets, looking for fights and crime.

They get in their patrol cars and protect and serve their community even though a lot of people hate them. They serve those people, too.

I am not here to say that racism and brutality does not exist. It does- prevalently. It is huge and ugly and glaringly sad. But, I am here to say that it is a human problem. We live in a country where hatred runs deep on every street corner, every Starbucks drive-through, and every classroom. We live in towns that may not be outright racist, but have undertones. We live in places where people constantly put themselves before others.

We live in a world and a country where selfishness seems to be the king.

It is naïve to say that this negates the Black Lives Matter movement- it does not. The actions of a few are not the actions of many- and as the Black Lives Matter movement says- every single life does matter. But we often hide behind thinly veiled racism to say “All Lives Matter,” which basically puts a mouth over the movement of a race that has been widely underrepresented and discriminated against.

This does suffice to say that violence against police is completely, 150% unacceptable.

There are power-hungry, mean people in the world- some of them who indeed have the title of “Officer” before their names. Racial profiling is a real issue that needs to be resolved. However, generalizing an entire workforce that wakes up in the morning to keep you safe is a sad, sad thing. For the most part, every single police officer strives to make the world a better place & protect those who need it. This includes you. Please remember that.

Let's chat!

Have you ever been helped by a cop? How can we begin to better recognize that ALL lives matter? Tell us below!


About Susannah

SUSANNAH_HUTCHESON_writer_bio.jpgSusannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth. 

 

Every girl is work in progress. If you need more help, click here.

 

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  • commented 2015-09-15 06:52:23 -0700
    I am someone who does not deal in generalisations or stereotypes. I believe them to be not only lazy and inaccurate but also dangerous. I also believe that this issue needs less not more half baked generalisations and stereotypes about groups of people. So what I am about to say does not preclude those members of law enforcement who uphold law and treat every human being, no matter what their skin colour, compassionately.

    However, what I am saying is, is the justice and legal system in the US is deeply flawed, and the scales of justice are very much weighted in favour of white members of society. In other words, institutionalised racism is rampant. You only need to look at the statistics of how many black men were and killed by Police this year or how many black men are serving jail time versus their white counterparts. An example of how discriminatory the system is, is the way in which black individuals are punished for marijuana use compared to white individuals: in Iowa, blacks are 8.3 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use than whites, and overall black men are 6 times more likely as all white men to be incarcerated in federal, state and local jails.

    In addition to this, there is also the way in which Police officers are trained. I am a podcast junkie and recent one left me reeling. It was done in response to growing number of officer involved shootings. The podcast opened my eyes to the fact that the place where all US Police officers are trained actually encourage the use of excessive force above all other means. That is to say that officers are told to shoot first ask questions later rather than trying to diffuse a situation peacefully. This is an issue that needs to remedied in itself.

    Now what I have said does not negate the actions of those men and women who ran into the towers on Sept 11th 2001 were nothing but brave and selfless individuals who thought nothing of their own safety when rescuing complete strangers. But it does convey that racism and discrimination are alive and well in the justice system.

    I want to have an open and honest discussion about this issue. Do you also feel the same way and want to talk more about how to begin to change these deep seated views? How do we start by changing the justice system from the ground up? How can get encourage the type of behaviour seen on Sept 11 i.e., Police assisting and helping all those individuals with compassion and understanding rather than making it an exception?
  • followed this page 2015-09-07 13:52:49 -0700

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