Since late last year, the members of the law enforcement community, specifically New Jersey, have found themselves fighting against the insane false narrative that armed police officers serving as school resource officers, in some way, makes our children less safe.
Back in October, Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health Executive Vice President Michellene Davis, using her personal Facebook account where she advertised herself as such, commented on a NorthJersey.Com article discussing Fair Lawn’s Board of Education hiring of five police officers to serve in their public schools. Unprovoked and unsolicited, Ms Davis took that opportunity to ask, “Who is going to train them not to shoot black children first?”
When her comment went viral, and not in the way she had hoped, her knee-jerk reaction was to remove the comment and lie about her account being hacked. She then walked back that lie, offering an apology for offending, not for making a wildly baseless and biased claim against law enforcement; and before you get all snooty and defend her by saying, “She was simply asking a question”, anyone reading her comment knows full well that, if that was in fact a question, it was rhetorical, at best. By saying what she did, Ms Davis exposed her core bias against law enforcement, insinuating that the American police officer is predisposed to shooting black children; so much so that they actually require training to not be.
While her assertion was disturbing enough, especially coming from someone as educated, successful and influential as she is, the lack of any real interest in correcting the false claim, either from herself or her employer, is what is more concerning. Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health, as an organization, boasts about their ‘great relationship with law enforcement’ and how they ‘support the police’. Yet, not one member, from CEO Barry Ostrowsky down, is willing to say out loud that Ms Davis spoke from a place of emotion and not fact. Not one person from RWJ who CLAIMS to support law enforcement is willing to highlight the true FBI statistics as they apply to police use of force.
Ms Davis and those who support her have been trying to twist this into a race issue. Naturally. It’s the go-to when you, yourself, have made a critical error in judgment and simply want to shut down those who are pointing the spotlight: just call them racist. As such, Brothers Before Others Founder/President, Michael Burke, has been called a white supremacist. BBO has been labeled a white supremacist group. Asking RWJ/BH and Ms Davis to simply highlight the true facts about police use of force and to support the police in the manner they all claim to has been twisted into ‘attacking a successful black woman’ and ‘wanting to see a black woman fired’; even though BBO has NEVER asked for RWJ/BH to fire or even discipline Ms Davis.
This is NOT a race issue. This is a bias issue. Ms Davis didn’t say “white police officers’. She said “them”, meaning the police. Police officers are all races, sexes and religions; and Ms Davis feels they are ALL predisposed to shooting black children. The members of law enforcement have been fighting to keep the focus where it belongs: society’s growing collective bias against law enforcement and acceptance of false narratives as fact.
Well, like a gift from the heavens, here comes Tenafly, NJ Councilman, Max Basch. Similar to Ms Davis, using a personal Facebook account, Mr Basch took an opportunity to expose his own core bias. On a public Facebook page set up for Tenafly residents, one of the page members posted a story about a Long Island resource officer that had left his gun in a school bathroom, albeit unintentionally. Under that article, Mr Basch chimed in: “If they had an armed guard on duty the kid would be dead. Is that what you want?”
When challenged, he doubled down: “Because a cop with a gun seeing a black kid with a gun would shot[shoot] the kid immediately. It happened in Chicago, Detroit and all over the United States. Those are facts.”
Mr Basch, much like Ms Davis and all those who, for some reason have chosen to use their voices to delegitimize and devalue the American police officer, facts are about the only thing you AREN’T willing to talk about. But that’s ok. That’s why we’re here.