Isn't it amazing how succinctly some of us can sum up a worrisome problem? A quick scan through the updates posted on Facebook (motto: "A banal time-suck you and your 'friends' can use to display your own level of insensitivity and ignorance daily!") reveals that one must either support officers of the law, or side with those who would ambush and murder them in their squad cars. No gray area. No nuance to the two options. You're either with the cops, or you're against them.
Those options were spelled out to us clearly even before the outrageous events in Ferguson, Missouri and in the chokehold case in New York led to protests in the streets of America. In the case of Eric Garner, even the evidence provided by a video of the murder wasn't enough to persuade those who think the police can do no wrong. The law and order crowd sees nothing wrong with the way that situation was handled, and thinks the grand jury acted properly in not returning an indictment for the officers involved. And anyone who disagrees must therefore hate the police and be happy a lone, crazed lunatic has murdered two officers as they sat in their patrol car. No middle ground.
Those of us who spoke up to demand more accountability by the people paid to serve and protect the public were ridiculed as having caused the looting and riots in Ferguson. Now there are talking heads on conservative radio and television assigning blame to Al Sharpton and even the President for the murders of the two officers in New York. It's all their fault, we're told, because they spoke up in defense of the nation's criminal element.
Here's a concept a lot of people aren't familiar with: it's possible to demand professionalism by our law enforcement personnel while still admiring and respecting the tough jobs they have to do on a daily basis. A person can support the police and demand ethical conduct by them in the same breath. Nothing anyone has said justifies the murder of police officers, and nothing anyone has said caused those murders.
Supporting the police and demanding more accountability for their training and actions are not mutually exclusive concepts.