Peace, Please

By John Cooper

If rioting, threatening, stealing/looting, breaking and entering, destruction of property, assaults, and killing are your way of responding to an incident based off third party, often biased observations caused by an unwanted, unwarranted seeding of division planted by multiple influential entities…..Tell me, what happens if video surfaces that proves contrary to biased third party reports?

We’ll look at the Keith Scott case. The incident happened. Police make their report. Third party witnesses post theirs on social media outlets. Third party post goes viral. Police release initial police reports that don’t line up with certain third party witnesses, but is corroborated by many others including all other officers present- Police announce however the officer involved was not wearing a body camera- which the media immediately pointed out-(Body cams are excellent sources of evidence for Officers, but are expensive to implement departmentally and are not mandated by all agencies/states translating to only 3% of Officer involved deaths being caught on bodycam). Outright pandemonium ensues in the city, fueled by mainstream and social media. Buildings are destroyed! Businesses are looted. Innocent people are hurt, killed in response to conflicting reports. BUT WAIT, dashcam video evidence corroborating the Officer’s reports is released to the public! Uh-oh, Now what? It seems that the Officer’s reports have been validated. The family sees the dashcam video, but the family attorney states the “victim’s”-(or…Subject’s) family has more questions now than answers. The same family members who claimed he was sitting peacefully in his vehicle reading a book. Meanwhile, the city of Charlotte is really in a State of Emergency.

But, what happens after the details are released that prove contrary to initial reports that caused the rioting, destruction, and killing before? Nothing! No rebuilding! No apologies! More chaos! More distrust! MORE DIVISION!!!

Presidential candidates are taking to social media- not to address innocent people being assaulted and killed in the wake of a police involved shooting, but to insist that police shootings must stop. Well Hillary Clinton, Police shootings will not stop. Police will, and should, protect and serve their communities with the utmost dedication, humility, and capability. See, that last word- capability- implies that they are capable of taking the appropriate action required based off of the DETAILS of the situation at hand to protect themselves, and others-(Us). Sometimes, these details are hard to interpret to people unfamiliar with law enforcement response to perceived/ imminent threat of danger to themselves or others. A Judge in Maryland has stated that it is reasonable that young black men should fear for their lives when confronted by police and are even justified in fleeing from police in fear. Friends on my Facebook account have stated they’re scared to step out in public, or to take their kids out in public. What I’ve seen in the last eight years is a deliberate fear resulting in division amongst American people of all colors rooted from seeds planted in fertile soil. What I mean is that there is an agenda to pander and formulate, so there has to be a problem big enough for an unprecedented, sweeping “change”. Enough people have to be talking and physically reacting to a perceived nationwide problem for it to be rectified on a national level, whatever the ultimate goal or remedy may be. Racism has again become an issue, RECENTLY, RIGHT NOW. People on all sides are tired of these things happening by now. Black people are fed up. White people are fed up. Hispanics are fed up- with Trump. Sure, Racism’s been around forever, and unfortunately, always will! We are people, and far from perfect- susceptible to many influences. Different people and cultures evolve and adapt completely different from anyone else, right or wrong based off the laws of good and evil, forming individuals all uniquely our own person with our own specific beliefs, values, and education. I’m white. Never in my life have I been taught to be Racist. Many people would say I didn’t have to be taught it because it is ingrained in me- (white privilege). Never have I been taught, nor have taught my children, to look upon ANYONE OF ANY COLOR any different than themselves. But I have been taught that there is a perfect image of love we should emulate, and His name is Jesus Christ. I promise you Brother-Sister, I will never disrespect you based off the color of your skin.

Celebrities have stated that the US needs to implement better training for police officers nationwide. I think continued education in ANY workforce is great. But guess what, Law Enforcement Officers do have continued education, mandated by the State. Some courses are mandatory and some are electorate. This education advances them through periods of time to different levels of Officers- Basic, Advanced, Master, etc….There are plenty of outstanding Officers that are humbly willing to sacrifice their lives for the advancement of yours. I work with some currently, and I’ve made more brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement over the last 8 years of my life then I can count- shout out to the great people at Baylor Police Department, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, and all surrounding area agencies. These people are not just people. They are not just friends. We are family. All that to say, man…..It hurts to see people you admire, respect, and sacrifice yourself for be so disrespected on such a widespread level. It hurts to see people you admire, love, and respect disrespect these brothers and sisters as a whole based off the actions of ONE INDIVIDUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, just like one Muslim terrorist does not represent the intentions or beliefs of all Muslims. You can’t support one Cause and preach another when the problem is the same but the rhetoric is different. There are unfortunate things that happen. Very UGLY, NASTY, AND HURTFUL things. These things happen in all professions, and again no one is perfect.

I love statistics and the half story they tell. You see, often statistics provide precise chronology of specific data derived from different subjects. So being a stats guy, here’s a few for you…

Per stats obtained from the FBI, the Washington Post in January tallied the total amount of Officer involved deaths in 2015 at 986.
Directly from the statistics breakdown, and I’ll post a link-

One in ten people shot and killed by police were unarmed.
Fatal shootings of unarmed civilians sparked much of the national debate over police use of deadly force.

The Post found that 9 percent of shootings involved an unarmed victim. The unarmed victims were disproportionately black. In a Post analysis looking at population-adjusted rates, unarmed black men were seven times as likely as unarmed whites to die from police gunfire.

Overall, more than half of those killed in 2015 had guns, 16 percent had knives and 5 percent attempted to hit officers with their vehicles. Three percent had toy weapons, typically replica guns that are indistinguishable from the real thing.”

I don’t particularly agree with adjusting the population rates of any area to distinguish the statistics as less/more favorable. Just present the numbers as they are, unadulterated. Other parts of this article on these statistics say that of those 986 police shootings, only 4% were unarmed black men. Which means if only 9% involved unarmed subjects, 4 of that 9% was black subjects, while 5% involved other races.

There are truths in these statistics! But it’s half truths. We know the exact number of Officer involved deaths is 986. However, we can only figure there were probably hundreds of thousands of arrests, if not millions that did not end this way. 986 of 1,000,000 is what percentage of tragic outcomes? That’s 98.6% that resulted in successful apprehension. Want to help eradicate that other 1.4%? Then, come on and let’s do a few things differently.

www.washingtonpost.com/…/national/police-shootings-year-end/

The REAL problem with America right now, 11:32 AM central time, 9-23-2016 is that we’ve allowed an enemy to Steal from us. One that will kill us. One that WILL destroy us! But, there is Hope, and I said his name a few sentences earlier. Some might not know Him, but that’s okay, I’d love to help you get to know Him. He gave us everything we need to see how He Loved. To see how He treated people deemed unworthy, different, and outcasts. See, He taught us that Salvation was not only for Jews, but for Gentiles as well. The Gospel of Matthew ends with Him commissioning us who love Him to share that love to the ends of the Earth, by any means, at any cost. Do we do that? Let’s turn off these t.v.’s, tune out this social media, and humble and dedicate ourselves to intentionally committing to going out into our communities and neighborhoods shining light whether or not you love Jesus. We can shine by standing together, committing to learn continually, then leading by example through humility, servant hood, and intentional dedication to providing a firm foundation for our younger generation, and unifying ours. That’s unity! It’s beautiful, and skin color has nothing to do with it! This is what’s being stolen from us. Our children look to us to teach, lead and guide them successfully. We have ALOT of work to do! Those Brothers and sisters that Believe in Jesus like I do, let’s dust off that Bible, particularly those Gospels, and actually diligently seek to understand and DO what the words say.

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