Archive | August, 2016

A Part of America Died

15 Aug

A Part of America Died

I bought this piece when I was a cop…yeah me. And that was quite a few years ago. Since that time, I have been a mom, wife, veteran, student, federal employee, church volunteer, and now retiree. Many years and social norms have passed since that time. We now live in a time of #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter

I prefer the simpler times – and let me tell you, the times really weren’t all that much simpler, just less public. With the social media having so much power over the public’s thoughts and opinions, the world we live in is so much different.

I wanted to be a police officer since I was 6 years old. My father told me that we live in a country where hard work and perseverance can get you anything. I know that my dream of being a cop may sound silly but I was a female and Mexican, where I was pretty much expected to get married or work in a more feminine type of job. I remember thinking that being a cop was an honorable and respectable career choice. I’ve always known that there are dishonest people in EVERY career choice so I wasn’t blind to “crooked cops” – heck I was around during the Rodney King incident and if you’ve watched the movie “Straight Outta Compton” I remember some of those incidents as well, especially since I lived in California during that time. However, I also knew that for the most part, being a police officer meant upholding the law and justice and that THAT was the kind of police officer I wanted to be. I also think for the most part, that is what many cops think of when they decide they want to become police officers.

I have known cops to work in the field many years without ever having to draw their weapon. I was in a mere 3 years before I had to draw it twice. I was also young – 22 years old. I now have 21 and 23 year old sons and when I think of them being in the same situation I was in, it scares the heck out of me. (I’m not sure I would be any more at ease if it were my 28 year old, but that’s just the mom in me.) But there I was a young 22 year old. The very first time I drew my weapon on someone, he was told to put his hands up and [it was cold outside] instead he went to put his hands in his coat. Being 1/4 mile from a federal prison, not knowing what he was reaching for, in a split second, I drew my weapon so fast. My partner never saw him put his arms down. Luckily, there was NO gun but we didn’t know that. It’s crazy what goes through your mind – so much, so fast! In a short – for me it was: “I have a 2 year old son at home and if you draw before I do, it’s you or me, and I will not orphan my child because you were faster….” I didn’t shoot, I was trained and believe it or not, training does kick in. But the point to my sharing this very personal experience is that not everyone, trained or not, has that level head when they fear for their lives. That does not make them a bad person. Yes, there are bad people out there but some people truly are just human and react – not in accord with their training. Whether or not those people should or should not be police officers is not for me or public opinion to decide.

Coming from a background in Law Enforcement, it breaks my heart to see the country so divided when it comes to cops and the masses. Coming from a multiracial family, it breaks my heart to see the country so divided racially. I can’t – No, I WON’T TAKE SIDES when it comes to black or white, or blue. I believe in two sides -RIGHT OR WRONG! Because for me it’s not #XXLivesMatter but rather #IChooseLife #IChooseRight.

As cop, I had a cop friend killed by off-duty cops while on a ‘routine’ money escort. (Routine=the dumbest word in the cop dictionary) So you see, it’s not color we should be looking at or focusing on, it’s right or wrong and only that!! And on that day….A part of America died.

*And for the record – this is very gender biased assuming the police officer is a man…that’s the only part I didn’t like but hey it can’t be perfect, after all I didn’t write it, haha – that was a joke.