Becky Holland: My thoughts on Dallas July 8

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The wee early hours of Friday, July 8 and the ending hours of Thursday, July 7, will forever be marked in history as one of the most horrific and tragic attacks on law enforcement.

One gunman full of anger, full of revenge, full of misguided bitterness and who knows what else filled the air that night with shots aiming to hit officers and anyone who was in his line of vision – especially those of a different race than himself.

Dallas, Texas and the Dallas Police Department will never be the same. Nor will five families of officers who died that night and the 10 or more who were injured. Nor will those who survived who had to fight, who were under fire, who had to watch friends and coworkers go down.

Nor will many of us – Americans who watched the scenes play out on television and rebroadcast of citizen videos over and over.

We should be different. We should be so deeply touched by the scenes after the event as well as by the pictures of families and friends and those who were lost. Though we may not have known them personally – those that were slain and those injured could have been our neighbors, our relatives, our friends or our coworkers.

One wonders just how many times such hatred, such evilness, such tragedy will have to occur before we all wake up and realize – this just doesn’t solve anything. Violence is not the answer.

I read with an interest a blog from a Dallas PD Major who was there that night.

Maj. Max Geron with the Dallas Police Department knew as soon as he heard ‘ officers down,’ that what was supposed to have been a peaceful protest against U.S. police violence in the streets of Dallas had turned into a ‘hellish situation.’

Geron remembers that gunshots seemed to just be coming from anywhere – and that men and women in uniform were falling to the ground. Reports were that a sniper – or possibly many snipers- was shooting from up high.

Everyone was searching to find out where the sniper or snipers was.

It all began in Dallas because earlier in that week Alton Sterling, a black man, was shot and skilled by a white police officer in Baton Rouge. Philando Castile, another black man, was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. Naturally, both deaths were broadcast on social media – causing a ‘fire’ of protests – peaceful supposedly – to ignite all across the country.

 Dallas’s scene turned bloody pretty quickly.

Upon first watching the news, my thoughts turned to law enforcement officers who I have worked with, for, friends who are police officers and sheriff’s deputies, and even those who are paramedics, firefighters and emergency workers. I wondered what they must be thinking.

I thought of my youngest nephews – who is a flight paramedic, and wondered if he got the call in for any of that.

Though Dallas is still quite a distance away, it is a lot closer than I was a few years ago. Emotionally, physically and spiritually, what happened Friday is a lot closer in my heart.

My first thoughts are – why? Why would anyone target police officers who had nothing to do with the situations that took the lives of Castile and Sterling? My second thought was why in the world anyone would believe everything they read and hear on social media. Videos can be shot without telling the whole story. My last thought – which should have been my first (and the first thought of us all) was to pray.

I thought of a lot of things I could say here. I support law enforcement as long as they do right – which is following the law to the exact point. When a law enforcement officer takes the law in his or her own hands – I believe they should be dealt with by higher authorities and I don’t mean someone slinging a gun from a building.

People on Facebook need to stop spreading the hate messages and pictures about all of this and the political stuff. There shouldn’t be a side to take, but since we have been forced to take it – I am going to say the law. The law is here to protect and serve the community.

I feel the same way about preachers who do wrong and teachers who do wrong and lawyers who do wrong and the every day citizen who does wrong.

I am not going to go hate on someone just because the crowd says I have too. I am not going to judge someone for his or her actions. Regardless of what type of investigations are done or what is proven by the legal system – none of us can say had we been in the positions those polices were in Minn. and Baton Rouge or in Baltimore or New York what we would have done exactly. We might be 98% sure but there is still that 2% that is left for chance.

And I don’t know about you – but if the decision came between me and someone else or saving anyone in my family and taking the life of someone else – split seconds happened quickly.
In the case of the men who were killed by police officers this past week, and in the recent two years, we will never fully know EVERYTHING that was said or did to facilitate the tragedies between them.

Which makes the way we are all acting even sillier. I mean – come on. Were we there? Did we hear every conversation? Did that video catch everything? Do we know? What happened prior? What happened after?

What gives the Black Lives Matter movement the right to protest? What gives anyone the right to take a life? Legally – law enforcement are given the right in certain matters – but not all LEOs strive to do that. They want to promote safety and to keep people alive- even if they have to fill our jails to the brim.

In 1999, my mother was attacked viciously by a young man they had hired to help clean up the shop. He hit her over the head with a brick eight times and left her for dead. Law enforcement agencies from three counties and state agencies came to help. When they found the suspect, after questioning he admitted what he did. Later, he wrote a letter pleading for forgiveness, and then he went to court.

The truth came out. He is in prison. My mother is alive.

He is a black man. She is a white woman. The law enforcement agent who found him and literally brought the whole case to closure is a black man – now the chief of police in one of the cities in Georgia. The law handled the situation, there were no rallies, no protests, no hatred, nothing.

There was no racism. There was no prejudice. My mother didn’t provoke him. We are not racists. We have friends and close friends of different races. I dated outside of my race for a while as a young adult (I think that is a whole other story.)

Ask me how I feel about the outcry and protests about black men dying over alleged police brutality now.

If it is really happening- I think the law should handle it. Ask me how I feel about my friends and others I know in law enforcement who are being targeted for acts not committed by them – not happy. Not all police officers are bad apples and jerks and such. Just like not all celebrities or teachers or lawyers are loons.

Sometimes, excessive force might be needed – but overall police officers and other law enforcement strive really hard not to use excessive force. (I worked for a year with a police department – and their goals were to keep everyone safe – and to come home.)

See, had it not been for those law enforcement officers and emergency workers – my mom wouldn’t be alive today. I tend to get a little protective of my family and those that protect us.

Yes, I support law enforcement as long as they follow the law set before them. I also believe in the Constitution and the laws set by our forefathers. Maybe believing in that these days with everything wrong going on makes me a Pollyanna, but that is just how I feel.

More importantly, I believe in a GOD who is so much bigger than all this doodle and tragedy we are going through. And I have to say, I’d rather be on His side of the fence when He starts moving and shaking.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts.   Have a good one – BH/TCM INK/2016

PICTURE –  Reuters/Dallas News Paper Found on Web

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