Today would have been his birthday.
But he got shot in the heart.
Right through his bullet proof vest.
I guess that’s why they call those kind of bullets “cop killers”.
He was my friend. A loving Father. An incredible martial artist. He helped a lot of people.
He was a good cop.
They call it "suicide by cop". Someone wants to kill themselves and they want to take an officer with them.
I’m so sorry my friend was murdered.
They pulled him over. They tried to intimidate him with their flashlights. They did.
They had practiced being bullies. It was like a play in football. They had it down to a science. What tone to use. What questions to ask. How to make people feel scared.
It’s a rabbit hunt. They were the dogs. He was the rabbit.
What did he do wrong?
Or at least not enough for me to remember.
They got him. More money for the tax. More money for the salaries.
I’m glad he was respectful. Otherwise he might have gotten hurt. I’m glad my son got home safe.
Other kids haven’t always been so lucky.
When I was a little boy the most popular shows we’re: “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Adam 12”. They showed us the way we wanted our police to be. The people who helped us. The people who kept us safe.
My Mom always told me the Police are your friend.
She taught me to always wave at them.
I remember one time she got stopped for a tail light or something. She had baked cookies with her. She shared them with the officer. He was delighted. He even ate one with us.
Now when I’m around cops I feel scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Some of the squad cars say: “To protect and serve”.
I don’t think that’s true.
There are so many rules. So many forms. No one has time to keep us safe.
Too much paperwork.
We create rules so we don’t have to think. Educate a kid; that’s hard work. Rip out his creativity; that’s the easy way.
Get him to color inside the lines and your job is cake.
Lots of people like cake.
So the system hires rule followers. It promotes rule followers. It creates rule followers.
To what purpose? To make sure the rest of the world becomes rule followers too. That way no one rocks the boat.
It’s like that old episode of “South Park”. They go to the amusement park and get in the “Line Ride”. Everybody waits in line for hours only to find the line just ends.
That’s the ride.
So goes our legal system.
In the movies when there is a cop who thinks for themselves they are called a “Loose Cannon”. A cop who doesn’t always follow the rules. A cop who does what’s right, even if it’s not in the play book.
These cops are our heroes.
My friend was a hero. He was off duty that day. He went to help anyway.
He should have shot the kid on the spot. He broke the rules.
He didn’t want to kill the kid in front of his Mom. Now my friend is dead.
He was a loose cannon.
Sometimes it doesn’t pay.
I understand why there are bad cops. It's tough. Good cops don't always fit in.
They have to stand up to people who hate them and still treat them with respect.
Sometimes they get murdered.
It’s got to stop.
Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between good cops and the bad ones.
So I have a choice.
I can treat ALL of them like they are bad. I can continue to hide and be scared.
I can treat ALL of them like they are good. Like my friend.
Maybe I should stop asking the world to change and instead change myself.
Can I change the way I look at the police?
Maybe when I look into their eyes I can see my friends eyes. Maybe I can forgive more and love more.
Maybe if I treat them ALL like good cops more of them will become good cops.
My Mom was naive. But my Mom was right.
That’s why I waive at cops.
Usually they wave back.