On Wednesday, following the horrific shooting of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, WQHT-FM Radio Host Peter Rosenberg completely lost it when a caller claiming to be a police officer refused even to admit that the shooting did not look good.
As an officer yourself, it looks bad, no?” Rosenberg asked.
“You know, I will tell you that –” the officer says, before Rosenberg cuts him off.
Can you say the words, ‘It looks bad’?” the host asks, before launching into a strongly worded speech about how police officers often cover for other officers who clearly violate the law and other people’s civil rights. Rosenberg also called out all law enforcement officers to take a stand against police brutality and violence by leading the protests instead of trying to silence them.
That’s what should happen instead of you struggling to say, ‘Well I don’t know, it could be,’” he said. “They murdered that man. We just saw it.
Here’s the biggest problem when it comes to law enforcement’s relationship with the public.
Too many police officers do not feel that they are a part of the general public. They see us as naive, and uninformed. Which, to an extent, we are. Most of us will go through life never having to witness the carnage and evil that police officers see every day. Most of us will never clean up body parts after a car accident, or visit a murder scene involving children. They sometimes have to fight, injure, and kill suspects. That’s a lot for a human being to carry on his or her shoulders.
Being a police officer is a job most people would not be able to handle. But at the same time. Police officers need to remember that they are not a part of some imaginary blue line between the good people and the bad guys. They are supposed to be on our side. They are meant to stand with the people they are sworn to protect and serve. If the people are in the streets protesting what they see as an unjust action by the police, law enforcement should be the first ones to reach out to find a bridge. Not just their captains, commissioners, or some special police liaison, but every police officer serving that community.
Police need to step outside their patrol cars and give a damn about the people who they see every day on patrol. Get to know them, become a part of their lives, and let them become apart yours. It takes a lot more effort than just locking people up, but at the end of the day it makes a bigger positive impact on society.
It’s the responsibility of those given power and authority to change people’s lives for the worse, to find ways to change them for the best.
Featured image Screengrab via YouTube