NBC news is reporting that two officers have been shot and killed in their patrol cars in Brooklyn. My response was revulsion on three counts.
First, this is awful. Two cops were murdered. Two anybody being murdered is bad, but it really is worse when those people are appointed shields of the community.
The other two vomit-inducing revulsions are knowing what’s going to be said about it. I’m friends with both liberals and conservatives, with Jezebel-writing feminists from Columbia University, and ex-Marine cops who patrol the meanest streets in Chicago (so hard they can get shot in the head and still return fire). But from either camp, the following narratives will start to make the rounds on our respective Facebook feeds:
“This is what happens when you wake the beast–abuse the trust of the people–let killers go free, etc.” Basically it’ll start with a condemnation, followed by “but…” And just like every not-racist racist knows, the “but” means you’re about to excuse it. I was at the Millions March in New York to protest the killing of Eric Garner, and during the march, twice I heard someone try to commandeer a chant and get people to say, “shoot back,” but it didn’t work. No one was dumb enough to take the bait. And no one really believes it appropriate. But it didn’t matter, Bill O’Reilly had his producers on scene, and my friends who foolishly believe that Fox News has journalistic integrity let it color their understanding of the event.
Here that lone asshole, the one who wants to start a war with the police, has his hero. The Dark Knight of murdering cops. And just like in the march, we can roll our eyes and try to drown him out, but what we do or say will be hijacked. His 187-on-a-motherfuckin’-cop celebration is going to slander the whole in the eyes of others.
The other cringe-inducing chorus we’re going to hear is when someone points at these killings and says, “The blood is on your hands Libtards, because you instigated this hatred of cops. It was only a matter of time.” No. Holding police to a standard of professionalism that precludes murder doesn’t make one complicit in killing cops. But it being just a matter of time? That’s debatable.
Police violence and lack of accountability is a big issue, and big issues call out to the crazies like moth to a flame. The Iraq war saw increases in conspiracies to assassinate President Bush, just as being the first black president did for Obama. (What am I thinking? We live in post-racial America! It’s about executive overreach!) And that leaves me with the one last itch I can’t seem to scratch. Is this not the Bundy Ranch don’t-tread-on-me chickens coming home to roost? I mean, it may not be a white hen in a cowboy hat, but it’s the same coop, right? This has been the year of crazy assholes pointing guns at police officers and being lauded as heroes. Until one shoots a cop, and the stomach-churning blame-game begins.