It’s a hard time for police officers. There’s no doubt about that.
But just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I saw a music video this week that made me cringe. My wife said it made her sick to her stomach.
This music video will make some readers angry. Especially anyone who has a loved one working in law enforcement.
In the rap music video “Black Fist,” Rapper David Banner advocates for the torture and murder of police officers (we aren’t showing it here, but it’s obviously available online).
The music video advocates that the response to injustice in the African American community is violence against police officers.
There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the video stating it does not advocate for violence but the content of the video speaks otherwise. Makes me wonder if some attorneys at the corporate office were just as disturbed by what they saw.
There will always be people who don’t like the police. My father started as a police officer in the ’60s and endured the protest movements of that time when police officers were first identified as “pigs” and the “man.”
My own experience with haters began when I put on a uniform in 1980. It was very normal for police officers to be pelted with rocks and bottles on party calls and the verbal abuse was pretty much expected.
Along the way I learned that even though I was a minority myself, I was no longer Hispanic. I was now considered the “man” in blue.
Despite those experiences, I have never seen this much hate against the police so socially accepted by our culture.
When I viewed David Banner’s video I imagined myself still wearing a uniform. As a police officer, I’d never been in a shooting. I’d never been accused of any wrongdoing. I treated everyone I encountered with dignity and respect.
That described the vast majority of police officers I worked with over 30 years of policing.
But in Mr. Banner’s world, all “police officers” are collectively guilty for every injustice — both perceived and real.
He further propagates the lie that every cop is a bad cop. Every police shooting is a bad shooting. Judges and juries who hear “all” the evidence are racist and biased in their findings.
The type of hate spread by this video has nothing to contribute to those who are working hard to deal with serious issues in our neediest communities.
Homicides are skyrocketing in America’s largest cities and the police will be at the frontlines trying to deal with the epidemic.
For a lot of cops it’s hard to get motivated when videos such as “Black Fist” are so readily accepted by our culture. It shouldn’t be surprising that some experts are speculating that low morale amongst the police may be part of the rise in crime communities are experiencing.
Like I said at the beginning, it’s a tough time to be a police officer.
Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at email@example.com.