Police Officer Response

I had a job once where I worked for an elected official.  It was what I wanted for my life and I was proud to work there.  The elected official that I worked for got in some pretty big trouble over some emails.  It was pretty bad.  My job at the time included talking to defense attorneys.  Many of them had things to say about my office and the head elected official.  There really wasn’t a lot that you could say or do when that happened; you more or less had to try to let them get their shots in, say “alright, alright” and change the subject.  You could say something like “are you here [representing an alleged law violator] on a case?” real testy and snappy, but that was about it.  If a potential juror asked you about it during jury selection you had to say something along the lines of “I’m here to try this case involving that person” and point to the accused person or something like that.

Over the past few weeks several notable people have made public comments about police and their interactions with civilians.  Players from the St. Louis Rams made a statement when they entered the field with their hands up.  Several Basketball Players have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in their pre-game warm ups.  And Andrew Hawkins wore a shirt asking for justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford.

Cleveland police union chief Jeffrey Follmer responded (credit: msnbc/Salon):

How ‘bout this? Listen to police officers’ commands. Listen to what we tell you, and just stop. That eliminates a lot of problems…The nation needs to realize, when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and if you’re right, the courts will figure it out.

When the St. Louis Rams came out of the Tunnel with their hands up the St. Louis Police union demanded an apology as well.

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And then there’s this:

And even more recently:

Even if “when we use the slogan “Breathe Easy” we are referring to knowing the police are there for you,” it was poorly timed.  There was a better way to say what they were trying to say.

It’s worth noting that these statements are being made by Unions and other associated entities probably on their own time.  These statements are not being made by the police departments themselves but even with that there are exceptions.

It is interesting to see these police officers make such bold statements.  A cursory review of some online stories indicates that other NYC Mayors have had to tangle with the Police Unions as well.  I wonder what would have happened if I had’ve said something similar back when I was working for the government.  I wonder if I’ll get told that I need to apologize later as well.

(featured image from Death and Taxes)