If I hear those words from anyone — especially a policeman — I put my hands up regardless of what I might or might not have been doing.
If I see a police car behind me with flashing lights I immediately pull over, quite sure that I have done nothing wrong, but waiting to see what the officer may have to say. So far, I have not been shot, wrestled to the ground, tasered, or beaten. I guess I have been lucky.
Frankly, I feel quite sorry for the police in their new situation of having to face possible criminals who are known to carry quite an arsenal of automatic weapons, pistols, and other weapons of war. When making an arrest or even a traffic stop they have no idea what they are about to face and must make an instant decision whether to risk their lives or the life of the person they are about to apprehend. Placed in that position I can assure you that my life would come first even at the risk of severely injuring or killing another person.
I recall a story told to me by a friend who was a ranking officer in a local police department. He was called on perhaps the most dangerous of all assignments, that of a domestic dispute. He immediately replied as most offices would, found a guy beating the hell out of his wife or girlfriend and immediately attempted to apprehend him.
Because the officer was white and the offender black, all the neighbors came out and began throwing bottles and stones at this officer. He had to call for backup in order to escape being seriously injured and eventually got away with just some small injuries. He did tell me in confidence that he would never again be the first officer responding to one of these calls.
This may be against police procedure, but I would do the same thing. One can’t help but watch the news every night and read of the massacres taking place primarily in the Northwest section of Miami and seemingly with no particular regard for who is in the area. I suspect that some of the victims may have been involved in drug dealing or whatever, but driving by a basketball court with an automatic weapon and spraying everyone without regard for innocent bystanders to me is something worth protesting in the streets with banners, bullhorns, and large signs.
The first effort should be, (here I go again offending all those NRA gunsters) to make military style automatic weapons unavailable to everyone except the actual military where they are used in open warfare. No hunter or gun collector that I know of has a need for an AK-47, AR 15 or any other automatic or semiautomatic weapon, but what do I know?
The next effort should be made by the white and successful black communities to reach into the known pockets of crime and find a way to turn the tide before we are facing Helter Skelter. Instead of eliminating racial prejudice, these mostly fatherless young men are making the situation even worse.
Anyone watching TV or reading the news each day would have good reason to fear the criminals coming from these mostly black communities. Be honest, don’t you check to see that all your doors are locked when you drive through known crime areas? There are many groups, some that I belong to, that make every effort to extract at least a few of these wayward kids and show them a better way of life.
Stealing gold chains and breaking into cars is not a viable career. No one that I know of has ever gotten rich doing that. I think that the effort should begin with the young girls that are having babies out of wedlock who have hardly a chance to grow up in a normal world. I have personally visited housing areas that consist almost entirely of unwed mothers and beautiful little children with smiling faces who will lose those smiles once they enter their teens.
I go out of my way to bring presents to these kids at Christmas time, introduce them to our police officers so that they will see them in another light rather than having someone’s wrist tied up with handcuffs and leaning over the hood of the car. It is a tough job but I would like to see more people involved in doing this.
I no longer accept the excuse of their great granddaddy’s being brought here on slave ships especially when we now have a president who is black and was voted for by a majority of the people in this country. Like him or not, this should stand as a symbol for what is attainable to these youth.
No doubt I will get some severe reaction to this article on both sides, but I honestly feel that we must change our thinking and place our efforts in the right direction. Let’s make this New Year a turning point.