Imagine a scenario where a millionaire Executive Vice President of a prominent non-profit health care network, who just happens to also be an attorney, can publicly and without provocation declare that the American law enforcement officer is predisposed to “shoot black children first”, lie about having made the statement, then offer a lukewarm apology for hurting feelings, be given a paid vacation to think about the error of her ways, just to return to work with a vote of confidence and a warm embrace from the very same non-profit health care network that boasts about having a great relationship with the law enforcement community. Got it?
As far fetched as that sounds, that is the very situation that law enforcement officers all over the state of New Jersey and beyond find themselves currently in.
On October 2, 2018, on a public Facebook Northjersey.com news post discussing the hiring of uniformed police officers to be assigned to every school in Fair Lawn, NJ, Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health Executive Vice President Michellene Davis, using her personal Facebook account where she listed herself by her title and employer, without prompting or reason, commented, “Who is going to train them not to shoot black children first?”. When her comment got more attention than she anticipated, and not necessarily the kind she had hoped for, Ms Davis lied and claimed her account was hacked. She then walked that lie back and offered an apology for being insensitive. INSENSITIVE??? Is that what purveying hate is called now: “being insensitive”? In attempt to buy some time for things to blow over, Ms Davis was given a paid week vacation, at the tune of roughly $2000.00 a day based on her listed salary representing a non-profit, to reflect on her “insensitivity”. Upon her return to work, without ever uttering any condemnation of her baseless and biased statement, RWJ/BH CEO Barry Ostrowsky welcomed Ms Davis back with a vote of confidence.
What started out as one individual police officer being diligent enough to spot the egregious and off the wall Facebook comment, then bleeding to a few police officers reposting it, then to a few more police officers posting on RWJ/BH social media pages, to the incident going viral and being brought to the doorstep of a billion-dollar healthcare network, has grown into one of the greatest opportunities that the American police officer has had in the last decade or so, to collectively and as one cohesive unit push back against the lies and false narratives; the very same types of lies and false narratives that have been the justification of so much crime in recent time, up to and including the assassination of police officers.
If you wear a uniform or love someone who does, the call letters don’t matter anymore. It doesn’t matter if you are PBA, FOP, STFA, Hispanic Society, Italian-American, Bi-State, Asian Jade, Women in Law Enforcement, Shomrim Society, BBO, LEO Only and on and on. The statement made by Ms Davis was an affront to us ALL, and it now requires us ALL to stand, as one, with egos checked, and collectively push back against the flagrant and seemingly uncontested lies that have plagued countless generations of police officers in this country.
Those who oppose us are counting on our division, and why wouldn’t they? It’s all we’ve shown in recent times. This thing of ours has become so political and so power-hungry driven that we have lost sight of the fraternity. It’s as true today as it was decades ago: NO ONE cares for police officers and their families like police officers and their families.
Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Come out on 11/5/18 and stand shoulder to shoulder with your family and publicly declare that the days of using the American police officer as a scapegoat and a punching bag are officially over.
Law enforcement officers from all over New Jersey and beyond will be gathering for an educational rally on 11/5/18, from 11AM-1PM, outside of RWJ/BH corporate headquarters located at:
95 Old Short Hills Road
West Orange, NJ 07052
At this rally, we will once again be calling on RWJ/BH CEO Barry Ostrowsky to recognize Ms Davis’ statement as baseless and without merit, and to highlight the true statistics in regards to police use of deadly force.
Don’t leave the heavy lifting to the next guy. If you find yourself debating on whether to attend or not, or even the importance that the rally has, I want you to consider this: While bragging about their alleged support for you and your profession, the CEO and Executives of Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health don’t even respect you and your service enough to tell a simple truth; and they are collectively banking on YOUR apathy to, once again, get away with saying whatever they want while holding themselves accountable for nothing.
Out of respect for those who have been injured or worse, victimized by the lies and false narratives imposed upon us, I’ll be there. Will you?