In times of crisis, the character of Americans is demonstrated. And for peace officers, our loyalty to our Oath of Office is especially important. CSPOA stands firmly for law and order, and for protecting the rights of every American, not any group. We protect individuals, like we are individuals. We live as individuals, and as the nation learned this week, we die as individuals.
The recent incidents of violence, protests, rioting and chanting for the deaths of police are evidence, right in front of us, of the coordinated plans to foster chaos and rioting in the streets. Plans laid by professional and radicalized thugs who are part of the Race Grievance Industry. Their extremist ideology plays right into the hands of those who really hold the strings on which the unwitting pawns unwittingly dance. Inflammatory rhetoric spews out words that, like so much gasoline poured on a fire, further enrage all sides of these divisive issues we face. So what do we do? Nobody can predict the future, and that makes us afraid.
So we, as peace officers and elected officials who took the oath we al hold so dearly, must live up to it. We must display level-headedness, courage, compassion and prove to the nation that we see ourselves as primarily a shield, not a warrior’s sword. We are protectors, not punishers. We must realize that when we are protecting the rights of citizens, even those who have been arrested for a crime, we are only protecting our own.
That does not mean, however, that we will be passive when the lives of our citizens, or our own, are endangered. Unlawful resistance to legitimate authority must be met with whatever force is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.
Before the facts are even known in the recent police-involved shootings, there are extremist, racist voices calling for the killing of police officers, just because they are cops. These voices come from within the New Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, and other extreme groups, and they help to radicalize thugs and incite murder. This rhetoric, including cartoons saying that if you are black, you could be killed for having a tail light out, carries accountability. Words, like bullets, cannot be taken back. This has to stop.
When police officers use excessive force or exhibit biased behavior, they must be held accountable, after receiving their due process rights like any other citizen. No peace officer wants the actions of another officer to put a stain on the badge we wear. We must be examples and go about our duties with integrity, courage and a determination to protect the rights of all Americans as a sacred trust. We must have faith in our criminal justice system, and refuse to jump to judgment. After all the facts are in and there is confirmed evidence of police misconduct, the officer(s)involved should be dealt with according to the law and their departmental policies.
We express our sympathy and send our prayers to families of the two men who were killed in police encounters, and to the families and colleagues of the police officers who have been murdered and injured simply because they wear a uniform. Our oath is our bond, and we must not betray the trust of the citizens we serve. Let us all recommit to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics:
“As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession…law enforcement.”
We invite peace officers and private citizens alike to join the CSPOA and help us to better serve our communities.