Cleveland Police Union Rep: Citizens Think They Understand The Law? Ridiculous!
from the er-okay-then dept
If you’re a sports fan, you have probably heard about the spate of players in several leagues sporting shirts or else protesting, via planned actions at the start of games, the recent deaths at the hands of police. Everyone from Derrick Rose and LeBron James in the NBA to several football players have gotten into the act. A few weeks back, in fact, we learned that the police in St. Louis, the area home to the Michael Brown shooting, were quite upset that members of the Rams would dare to voice their support for protesters. That story was insulting enough, but the reaction to Cleveland Browns player Andrew Hawkins’ wearing of a shirt that simply read “Justice for Tamir Rice – John Crawford”, both of whom also died at the hands of police, is downright insulting.
In response, Jeff Follmer Police Patrolman Union President sent newsnet5 the following statement:
“It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.”
If this statement from the President of a police union in a major city doesn’t boil you up with anger, read it again. It’s pathetic when athletes think they know the law? By implication, it’s “pathetic” when ordinary citizens believe they “know” the law under which they are governed? The hubris required to insist that the same people you claim to protect and serve are pathetic for thinking they are aware of the legalities of American life runs at levels I truly didn’t even think I’d see directly on display. Of course, there are nuances with the legal profession that escape the average American. That’s why we have lawyers. But for the reaction to the police shooting two unarmed people (one of them twelve years old) to be to snicker at the thought that the protester knows “the law” is beyond insulting. It’s downright stupid.
And what is with the thinning of skin in America’s police force all of the sudden that a little protest returns calls for apologies? Grow up. You don’t get to wear body armor, drive around in MRAPs, and have skin the thickness of amoeba membranes.
What this ultimately reveals is that many cities in this country have a huge problem in the disconnect between the police and the people they protect and serve. For the lead dog in a police union to snort at the public for daring to “know the law” in such a manor reveals the larger problem: the respect is only going one way, if any way at all.