Children need to know the truth about the police. Schools are where they should learn it, yet school officials are lining up to eject law enforcement resource officers. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to one enormous tragedy.
Our country consists of more than 1 million full-time cops working for municipalities, counties, states and the federal government. Of all those officers, one man knelt on the neck of George Floyd and apparently murdered him. The other 99.99999999999999% of law enforcement officers did not choke Floyd, and none have publicly defended the killing.
Three other cops at the scene should have stopped officer Derek Chauvin, the suspected killer who was immediately fired and charged within days. All four on the scene are charged with murder; other cops had nothing to do with it.
Nearly 100% of people are upset and outraged by the killing. We are so collectively outraged that demonstrations have continued for weeks throughout the United States. Some city leaders are hurriedly working to disband their police departments.
The Denver school board voted unanimously Thursday to eject police department resource officers from the city’s schools.
Children watching this are likely to take an unfortunate message: cops are scary, menacing, racist and mean. Not four cops in Minneapolis, but all or most cops are bad. It must be true because schools are treating them as criminals unwelcome in the hallways.
The evil action of one Minneapolis cop, and the evil inaction of another three, raises issues about what other cops might do when the camera of a passerby does not expose it. Protesters and politicians are right to examine police policies and training so each can be improved. We deserve the absolute highest service from law enforcement, and that should never include anything approaching the deadly atrocity in Minneapolis. Cops should save lives, not end them.
Politicians and protesters are wrong to take this out on 99.98% of cops who did not kill George Floyd. Most of them spend their days and nights saving lives and protecting property.
Without officers in schools, a child’s image of law enforcement will mostly be formed by the scene of Floyd’s murder and the messages of politicians and protesters creating a misleading and derogatory image of cops. We will infect young generations with the misleading idea that officers are armed monsters who wantonly attack and kill.
We can’t help what socialist politicians do in Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle and other far-left cities that lack common sense.
Yet, in Colorado Springs we can create a niche. We can distinguish ourselves by spending more on law enforcement, keeping officers in schools, and serving the public with the best-trained, most compassionate, and competent law enforcement in the country. We can have the law enforcement personnel who extinguish racism and other forms of irrational injustice.
Let’s be the family-friendly, business-friendly, military-friendly, minority-friendly safe city in which to live. Building on and maintaining that distinction means supporting and maintaining a law enforcement presence that protects and defends all aspects of our community — most especially the schools entrusted with our children.
The Gazette Editorial Board