One week ago a crazed killer ambushed two officers: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. It was truly a tragedy when this coward took the lives of two innocent police officers that woke up on the morning of Saturday December 20, 2014 with the intention to protect and serve the community of Brooklyn. These two officers, who spent two and eight year respectively with the NYPD, risked their lives for the safety of others and put their own lives second to providing safety to the community each day.
In the aftermath of this horrendous tragedy I support all the police officers from all around the country that have shown their support for these fallen police officers. I praise all of those that have come out to show their outrage for what happened to these innocent men who lost their lives by the hands of someone who felt that their lives meant nothing and took it upon him to make that determination.
I admire all those who peacefully assembled, by the thousands, to show their respect and to honor the lives of these two police officers. I applaud all those that showed them honor by placing hundreds of flowers and candles, in memorial, at the site where they lost their lives.
I congratulate the Mayor de Blasio, of New York City, for stepping forward and publicly stating his sadness and reaching out to the families with his condolences.
My question is: Why are these particular acts of kindness and humanity separated? Why is it that only the public reaction to the tragic lost lives of the police officers honored and when the black community steps out to march (as our cultural history dictates) to honor the innocent lives of those black males who have fallen it is perceived as aggression? Why is it when the communities at large steps out to show their outrage by simply walking down the street holding signs as memorial, in lieu of placing flowers and candles, it is perceived as a crime or a sign of aggression against the police? This double standard only sheds light on the state of our communities nation wide and shows that when the rose colored glasses of unity in America are removed black lives are not being revered as equally important.
I am curious why there was a call to halt protesting out of respect for the slain officers. As if to say the lives in which we are protesting for were not equal to the lives of the police officers. When in all actuality what we are protesting is an end to senseless violence against police and senseless violence against the black community.
Do we not realize that all of these lost lives are equally tragic? Officer Ramos and Officer Liu did not deserve to die in that way, executed on the street by someone who decided their lives were inconsequential. Eric Garner did not deserve to die on the street in that way by a man who felt that his life meant nothing. Michael Brown did not deserve to die on the street in that way by a man who felt that his life meant nothing. Twelve year old, Tamir Rice did not deserve to die on the street in that way. Treyvon Martin did not deserve to die on the street in that way. Akai Gurley did not deserve to die in that way. Although these are separate tragedies, they are equal in their brutality and should be acknowledged as such. As these cities across the country continue to mourn so many losses of life we are truly beginning to separate and side and this will no doubt be the demise of our communities and our nation as a whole.
I understand that the police officers are a surrogate family and when one of them falls they are expected to come together and assemble by the thousands across the country to pay homage, respect and to grieve the lost of one of their own; rightfully so. What I am having an extremely difficult time comprehending is why as a black community we’re expected to do less than that for our own? We must not acquiesce. We must continue to peacefully unite for justice and ensure our outrage is evident and does not subside.
Cities across the country are protesting for safety, for equality, for the end to brutality against police officers and members of the black and brown communities. The country is protesting for each and every member of this nation and that includes the heroes around the country that wake up daily and put on a uniform and risk their lives and those they have vowed to protect. The ensuing separation must cease. We have to unite and stand as one, not for a select few or a specific group or caste of people but for respect and Justice For All!
Police and the Black Community by Robert Wintersmith (1974)