EIGHT MINUTES AND FORTY-SIX SECONDS

Inner Demons-L

In early 2020, many law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the world contracted COVID-19 due to the requirements and demands of their jobs. We held them up as heroes. We praised them. We admired their courage. They represented what we aspire to be. And death took its merciless toll on them.

The following law enforcement officers are only some of those who died as a result of contracting Covid-19 in the line of duty.

Bedminster Township Police Department, New Jersey

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Texas

Bloomingdale Police Department, New Jersey

Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Florida

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, District of Columbia

Durham County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado

Glen Ridge Police Department, New Jersey

Kansas Department of Corrections, Kansas

Louisiana Department of Corrections, Louisiana

Melrose Park Police Department, Illinois

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina

New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Florida

Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California

Sands Point Police Department, New York

Santa Rosa Police Department, California

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas

Troy Police Department, New York

Union City Police Department, New Jersey

United States Department of Defense – Naval District Washington Police Department, U.S. Government

United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – Office of Field Operations, U.S. Government

Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington

We revered them. They went into places where we did not have the courage, or strength or will to go. They left behind spouses. They left behind children. They left behind parents. They knew the risks. Their dedication to duty, to society knew no bounds. And they paid the ultimate price.

And then, Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds to murder a man because of the color of his skin.

Eight Minutes and Forty Six Seconds is how long it took for we as a society, to change the manner in which we look upon law enforcement officers. And in some cases, that change came about  in the most vicious, heart-breaking, reprehensible manner. How quickly we forget.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes for society to descend into a state of madness and chaos.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes for society to forget or disregard all caution about a deadly virus. [On June 2, 2020 at 7:07 p.m., a student/football player attending Oklahoma State University reported on social media that he tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a protest in Tulsa, Oklahoma]

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes for society to willingly and intentionally expose their fellow citizens to a deadly virus.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes to precipitate wholesale lawlessness and insanity to grip an already crippled nation.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes for a society which so admired the courage of those first line responders to denigrate into hatred, violence and unrestrained rage.

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

The time it takes for society, in 96 hours to observe:

-A Las Vegas police officer was shot in the head while struggling with a rioter

-An active shooter opened fire on law enforcement at a Las Vegas courthouse

-4 St. Louis police officers were shot by an active shooter;

-A NY police officer was struck by a vehicle

-3 Buffalo law enforcement officers were struck by a vehicle in front of a police station

-3 Davenport law enforcement officers were ambushed and 1 was shot

-132 police officers were injured in Chicago during a riot

-Several police officers in Rhode Island were injured during riots

-An active shooter opened fire at the Oakland police department

-2 police officers were struck in the head by projectiles in Santa Ana

-2 Richmond police officers were shot in VA

-1 police officer was struck in the head by a brick in Albany

-4 Prince William Co police officers sustained head injuries from projectiles

-7 police officers injured in Sacramento

-Several officers were shot at and injured in Lynchburg

-3 Oakland police officers injured

-21 police officers injured in Salt Lake City

-50 Secret Service Agents injured by molotov cocktails in DC

-3 Denver police officers run over by a vehicle

-33 NYC police officers injured during riots

-6 Athens police officers injured during a protest

-2 police officers injured during a riot in Harrisburg

-12 Las Vegas police officers injured during a riot

-1 Federal Protective Service Officer shot and killed

Before those Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds, the vast majority of these men and women were respected and revered. They placed their lives on the line going to work while we stayed home. They were admired. They were thanked. And then …

Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds.

For a life to be taken in a cruel and reprehensible manner and for a nation to lose its soul.

And yet, those Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds did not rip the souls from all law enforcement officers. Some removed their helmets, dropped their batons, kneeled, prayed and marched with the righteous George Floyd protestors.

Police With Protestors

As for those law enforcement officers who died from Covid-19, and those who have been injured, shot and killed in the lawless rioting … what direct relationship did these people have to the reprehensible murder of George Floyd? … Nothing. Other than, they agreed to place their lives on the line while the majority of us stayed home hoarding toilet paper.

Nothing can forgive the reprobates who stole the life of George Floyd.

Evil is manifest in different shapes and forms. Certainly, evil exists within those murderers who stole the life of George Floyd because of the color of his skin. And yet, what emotional scarring, pain and anguish must surely exist within those persons who are painting with a broad brush and defining all law enforcement officers as racist sub-humans.

No rational thinking person can refute that racism is manifest even in what most people consider, “enlightened societies.” Racism is not genetic. It is learned. It is a condition based upon fear. A condition based upon insecurity. A condition based upon ignorance. A condition based upon irrational hatred. A condition based upon the wrongful belief that I, in some way, am better than you.

A subgroup of people see all law enforcement officers as being racist, that they trample the rights of fellow citizens whenever the cameras are off. As with any profession, there are reprehensible people employed as law enforcement officers. Society has the absolute non-delegable duty to raise our standards, to expose those bad actors which in turn, will allow law enforcement to engage with wisdom, courage, understanding and compassion. We have no choice and if we do not fully embrace that mandate, as a nation we will continue to live without a soul.

As for that subgroup of individuals who regard all, if not the vast majority, of law enforcement officers as evil and corrupt, when it is their house being burned by rioters, when it is their business being looted, undoubtedly they will be the first one on the telephone begging law enforcement to help them, to come save them.

After all, they have their precious hoards of toilet paper to protect.

And in response … law enforcement will come.

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