Let's be clear. We all should support law enforcement 100 percent, and their duty to protect, uphold and enforce the law. If not, we shall find ourselves existing in a state of lawlessness, without protection of citizens, property, and enforcement of the law.
Neither law enforcement, or citizens, should be pitted against each other. Nor should we allow anti-copism to give reasons for citizens to feel empowered to resort to unlawful behavior.
We must respect the rights of each other, as well as the law and those who are empowered to enforce it. However, we cannot deny there are times when we must ensure citizens that those in law enforcement are in good faith, acting within the perimeters of the law.
It is when law enforcement acts outside of those perimeters disrespectfully, discriminatively and abusively, lies the issue. Which should be troubling to all of us, citizens and law enforcement equally.
The abuse of police power can never be justified by those vested with the enforcement to those duties. Equally so, citizens do not have the right to disrespect nor diminish the lawful police power given to law enforcement to indiscriminately and lawfully enforce the law.
It is when either law enforcement or citizens fail in their duty and responsibility to society that we reap social discord.
We all should be concerned and proactive in ensuring this does not happen. Because when it does, it undermines and weakens the power and authority of those who wear the badge.
It also creates a dangerous social dichotomy, leading to hostility to law enforcement and lack of citizen's respect and compliance. Both of which dangerously and far too often lead to deadly consequences.
Therefore, we must work together to ensure both citizens and law enforcement are equally respectful of each other and the law.
Together we must gain trust for each other and understand just how crucial it is to work together, ensuring safety, protection and enforcement of the law.
Because together we need each other.
Jean Howard-Hill JD