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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

When Protection Is Needed From Protectors

I have the utmost respect for the police.  No one else in civilian life puts their life literally on the line every single day they go to work, and for that, they deserve our respect.  It's with that in mind that stories such as this...

...are particularly troubling.  It seems readily apparent, at least from the article, that the young lady in question was assaulted, in public, by an off-duty police officer.  The fact that the assailant is a police officer, by the way, is very relevant in this case.  We have to hold police officers to the highest possible standards of conduct precisely because of the respect they deserve.  The badge is diminished, needlessly so, whenever an officer fails to live up to what are basic standards of conduct and decency, such as by punching a wall and grabbing your partner's arm so hard that it leaves a bruise (refer to this public social media posting by the victim).

Then we have the response by the officer's attorney (from the above-referenced article)

“These are mere allegations which he takes very seriously. [name] is presumed innocent and is looking to appropriately addressing these allegations in court.”

My hope is that "appropriately addressing these allegations" doesn't involve any kind of implication that the victim somehow "had it coming".  While I'll give the defense attorney the benefit of the doubt, the reality is that far too often someone is victimized twice in cases such as this:  Once during the original assault(s) and then in court.

No one "deserves" to be manhandled like a like a calf at a rodeo.  No one deserves to live in fear that they will not be believed because of the fact that their abuser holds a position of public trust.  No one is responsible for the (alleged) substance abuse and anger management issues of another.

My hope is that the young lady in question moves on with her life.  Based on her posting (see above), she seems to be on track to do just that, at least for now.  Life is far too short and far too precious to live in fear.

My hope for the officer in question is that he gets the help he deserves.  Yes, that he deserves for all of those times he has put his life on the line in service of the public.   Until then though, he shouldn't be wearing the badge that represents so very much, including the protection of others.

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