In what has become seemingly daily nowadays, the law enforcement community endured yet another flagrant slap in the face earlier this week.
In December of 2018, Justin Murrell was convicted of aggravated assault, stemming from an incident where he dragged NYPD Detective Dalsh Veve with his vehicle for several city blocks, rendering Detective Veve paralyzed. Detective Veve was investigating reports of gunfire when he encountered Murrell and three of his friends who were occupying a stolen vehicle. As Detective Veve attempted to stop the vehicle, Murrell hit the gas and dragged him for blocks.
Despite the fact that Murrell, who was only 16 at the time of the incident, had already had multiple run-in’s with the law, NYC Judge Ruth Shillingford “considered his young age” when sentencing him. As a result, his sentence will be no less than sixteen months and no more than four years; for permanently and intentionally paralyzing a police officer.
Realizing what had just happened, NYPD PBA President Pat Lynch exploded with emotion once he left the courtroom.
Every person who has ever donned a uniform and shield, regardless of what city/state/country they serve, has asked themselves at some point, “Is this worth it?”. We are asked to enforce laws that we have had no say in creating on behalf of a society that, collectively, seems to have no interest in seeing us enforce. We are protested, rioted against, lied on, scapegoated, berated, belittled and devalued. We have never been responsible for sentencing of criminals, yet are somehow blamed for a ‘broken criminal justice system’ that often sees harsher sentencing for drug related offenses than for violent crimes; we are somehow blamed for over-crowded prisons; despite millions of dollars of government monies wasted on programs we’ll never use and back-door deals we’ll never hear about, police pensions and the cost of effective policing are blamed for governmental money issues…pensions many retired police officers don’t live long enough to enjoy as a result of the beating their bodies endure over the length of their career.
The average citizen of the United States is often shielded from the realities that the American police officer has to combat every single day; and that is a credit to the job that these officers do day in/day out. Unless you have been a victim of a violent crime or have had to put handcuffs on a person capable of such an act, you simply don’t know anything about the evil that lurks out there. Police officers DO.
The average citizen of the United States will never know what it feels like to look a violent criminal, who often times is double their size and strength, in face and tell them, “You’re under arrest”; just to have that same criminal square up, ball up their fists and reply, “Not today”.
The average citizen will never know the feeling of being in the fight of and FOR your life, on behalf of someone you often times never met or know nothing about, for a reason that often times has no direct impact on yourself or your family, just to be judged and berated for the manner in which you didn’t die.
To say that the feeling of abandonment within the law enforcement community is palpable nowadays is about as understating as saying Ted Williams was an “Ok baseball player”.
So, what’s the end game here? For all the people who would support the anti-police narrative, it’s simply not enough to say that you’re seeking more accountability. We should ALL be seeking more accountability for our actions and the actions of our family. It’s not enough to react violently while claiming you’re non-violent. It’s not enough to say you want peace and harmony while you riot and damage another person’s belongings.
Brothers Before Others often takes heat for our name. Our detractors try to spin it and use it as an example of an elitist mindset that, in their imaginary world, infects law enforcement. It’s Brothers BEFORE Others, not Brothers ABOVE ALL Others. The American police officer is the ONLY thing, sans our military, that is protecting our free society. The American police officer and the threat of the justice they bring is the ONLY deterrent keeping society’s criminals and anarchists from beating you down in broad daylight; and they’ll often take that beating FOR you. The point of our name is that, in order for the American police officer to be effective in the performance of his duty, he needs to be cared for. In order for society to retain some semblance of order, the one’s protecting it need to be attended to first. It’s akin to arriving on a motor vehicle accident scene and finding someone unconscious and in need of CPR. While moving them immediately could cause residual damage as a result of injuries you may not know about or be able to see, none of that matters if they don’t have a heartbeat. If we no longer have cared for, effective and willing police officers, then everything else you had hoped for is wasted. And no one cares for a cop like a cop. Hence, Brothers Before Others.
The work done outside of the law enforcement community by BBO’s Founder/President Michael Burke and his members is on full display. That, too, is a byproduct of a healthy and cared for police officer. Just as no one cares for a cop like a cop, absolutely no one cares for their community like the American police officer.
I challenge the reader and every law-abiding citizen, when confronted with someone who is babbling anti-police rhetoric, ask them about their experiences; ask them what they hope to achieve; ask them for what THEY feel is the solution. I assure you that, more often than not, you will get a more accurate picture as to who is driving this narrative and just what the intentions are; and I also assure you that you will see a side of society that you are often shielded from.
We are less than 30 days into 2019 and already have ten line of duty deaths, eleven if you include Shreveport Police Officer Chatter Payne who was gunned down in uniform on her way into work. This number doesn’t reflect the additional officers who have been injured or shot and survived. This number doesn’t reflect the number of officers who have ended their own lives, often times succumbing to the stress of this profession.
So, I suppose I’m asking YOU: Is this really worth it?