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A Turning Point

The past several months have seen an ever increasing level of tension between citizens and the police sworn to protect them. Although protests were to be expected in Ferguson and Staten Island following the decision of grand juries in each jurisdiction not to indict officers involved in duty related deaths, no one was prepared for the widespread protests in other cities across the nation or the violence and destruction those protests would include. Maybe this is why politicians, college presidents, sports figures and even police leadership in some cities decided to encourage, or at least turn a blind eye to, many of the ever escalating conflicts between protesters and law enforcement. Maybe this is why the media continued to sensationalize chants such as “Hand Ups! Don’t Shoot” or “What do We Want? Dead Cops! When Do We Want It? Now!”

Officers Ramos and Liu
Officers Ramos and Liu

All that changed on Saturday Dec. 20th when at 1447 hrs. NYPD Patrolmen Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were gunned down, assassinated, in broad day light while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn N.Y. Within hours of the vicious ambush, the senselessness of this unprovoked attack was condemned by many of the same politicians and civic leaders who had days earlier stood shoulder to shoulder with protesters. Professional athletes entered arenas wearing NYPD ball caps rather than with their hands in the air. No one was willing to stand up in support of violence against police or in support of the murderer. But now we find ourselves at a crossroads. The direction which we as a nation choose will either allow for much needed healing or risk continued loss of life on both sides.

Unlike many protesters and law enforcement officers who have voiced their opinions following the grand jury verdicts, I do not agree with everything the officers did leading up to the deaths, but I also understand that the grand juries were provided with information and testimony that I and the rest of the general public was not privy to. If I, or any citizen, disagree with the actions of the District Attorney or Grand Jury they are not expected to remain forever silent. Every citizen has a right to have their voice heard, but not by screaming it from the street corner while inciting others to achieve change through violence. Instead, the recourse every American has is to vote the politicians out of office or elect officials who will make what you believe are the necessary changes. But, under no circumstances does taking the fight to the street achieve anything but additional death.

I doubt that the majority of protesters, even those chanting and repeating the worst threats, actually intended harm. Most were probably caught up in the mob mentality and simply going with the flow of the crowd. However, there is no longer any doubt that some took the message very seriously. How else can you explain a longtime criminal brutally attacking his girlfriend, driving over 3½ hours through several states with the sole purpose of murdering two officers he had never met or even heard of before? He had no ties to either Brown or Garner and did not attack officers who were in any way involved in either case. What he did do was gun down two officers who were themselves minorities after providing step by step updates to over a thousand followers on social media. Clearly, he was looking for and expected a certain level of support for what he perceived as an acceptable action.

He could not have been more wrong.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

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