Sunday, June 10, 2007

Not True, Yet Why Not?

This letter is making the rounds in e-mail.

According to, my favorite place to check on the validity of such matters, it's not true. They report that "according to the Virginia State Police and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial office, there is no record of a Mitchell Brown having served with the Virginia State Police, much less having been killed in the line of duty".

Here's the letter....

I am a COP

Mr. Citizen, it seems you've figured me out. I fit neatly into the category where you've placed me.

I'm stereotyped, standardized, characterized, classified, grouped, and always typical. Unfortunately, the reverse is true. I can never figure you out.

From birth, you teach your children that I'm the bogeyman and then you're shocked when they identify/associate with my traditional enemy.... the criminal! You accuse me of coddling criminals.... until I catch your kids doing wrong.

You may take an hour for lunch and several coffee breaks each day, but point me out as a loafer for having one cup.

You pride yourself on your manners, but think nothing of disrupting my meals with your troubles.

You raise Cain with the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing and I'm picking on you.

You know all the traffic laws.... but you've never gotten a single ticket you deserve.

You shout "FOUL" if you observe me driving fast to a call, but raise the roof if I take more than ten seconds to respond to your complaint.

You call it part of my job if someone strikes me, but call it police brutality if I strike back.

You wouldn't think of telling your dentist how to pull a tooth or your doctor how to take out an appendix, yet you are always willing to give me pointers on the law.

You talk to me in a manner that would get you a bloody nose from anyone else, but expect me to take it without batting an eye.

You yell that somethings got to be done to fight crime, but you can't be bothered to get involved.

You have no use for me at all, but of course it's OK if I change a flat for your wife, deliver your child in the back of the patrol car, or perhaps save your son's life with mouth to mouth breathing, or work many hours overtime looking for your lost daughter.

So, Mr. Citizen, you can stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my work, calling me every name in the book, but never stop to think that your property, family, or maybe even your life depends on me or one of my buddies.

Yes, Mr. Citizen, it's me the cop!

The Author of this article was Trooper Mitchell Brown of the Virginia State Police.(He was killed in the line of duty two months after writing the article.)


Well, I say, it doesn't matter if there was a Trooper Brown or not. The letter is well written and, as the British would say, it's spot on!

Too many troopers, agents, officers, deputies and the like who are dedicated to protecting our lives and our property are being killed. Each and every day. They are people just like you and me but with a big difference, they are sworn to uphold the laws and preserve order.

I believe with all my heart that the good people who wear the badges are called to that life. They are the priests, teachers and nurses of the Sam Brown wearing brigades. They are the men and women that rarely make the news or any headlines if they do a good job, but woe be unto them if they choose the wrong snap decision in a time of crisis. They deserve more than they get. They deserve our respect and our support. Take safe, my friends.


Attila The Mom said...

Amen, Sista!

Ed T. said...

I would say this "letter" is as stereotypical (and hypocritical) as those the "police officer" is criticizing.

I only *wish* that the modern-day police officer was the paragon of virtue that we were taught to respect as children. Alas, like to many other role-models, they have proven to have feel of clay, being fallible human beings like the rest of this.

However: unlike the other failed role-models, it seems that society insists on keeping cops on pedestals, putting them above the law and thus refusing to hold the bad ones accountable for their misdeeds. I think *this* is the foundation that police officers are not held in the high esteem they once were.


TxGoodie said...

Hello, ed t., nice hearing from you...however I must say I think you're using the same too-broad brush to paint police officers the other way. We'd never know about the bad apples if the system didn't work. They aren't really role-models, they are upholders of the law. They come in all sizes and colors and have different life experiences to flavor their own perceptions, but I've sat on a few Grand Juries and had to indict law enforcement for wrong doing and it's not hard to do when the evidence is staring you right in the face.

I was taught to go to a police officer for help when I was younger and I still subscribe to that behavior today. Nothing has changed for me except that you can't open a newspaper or watch any TV without seeing open season on the Law. They are always guilty until proven innocent! And if they are guilty they are held accountable, if they aren't guilty it gets buried somewhere.

Enough said from me...don't mean to preach at you, still glad to read your opinions and I hope you have a great, safe day...

Anonymous said...

Ed, I think that role models in general have suffered from our shrinking world. Since Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, many (if not most) people have taken to looking at any formerly superior heroes as flawed and human. While Hollywood exploited this trend by routinely vilifying police to an absurd degree, it was there long before that too.

I deal with people in my official capacity all the time. Most of them expect immediate results that are favorable to their point of view, lest they will call their "best pal" (the mayor, the police chief, some politician, or whomever) who will "let me have it". I respectfully try to reason with them but times have changed and this is less likely. People of color are far too willing to use that fact as their initial, and primary, means of influencing my decisions just as those with means claim to have endless "friends" in high places in order to get what they want. As Eddie said, officers are guilty first and if found otherwise are always looked at with suspicion (as though the weight of the charge outweighed the rule of law and due process protections).

Keep in mind who catches the majority of "bad ones" you mention; other officers. We hate the bad apples a lot more than you do, though we might have differing opinions as to what constitutes "bad", and actively weed them out. In Houston and Harris County, there is so much territory for officers to cover that the people (in order to save money on their precious property tax bills) have allowed the thin blue line to get really stretched out too thin, allowing for some of the bad ones to slip through the cracks at times. We still catch the handful doing wrong and don't expect you to understand the difficulties of doing so, but if you have a specific problem; by all means share it with us so we can address it (rather than allow it to fester). :)

TxGoodie said...

Well said, Mr. Anon (or is that Officer Anon? Deputy Anon?)....except for the part about "Eddie". I'd show you my Texas DL, but alas it doesn't have "Edie" on it either. I guess I'm destined to wander through life saying there's only one "d", damnit...