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Columns : Editorial

Where's the Apology?

The powerful people who forced Officer Darren Wilson out of law enforcement on the testimony of liars need to atone for that sin.

April 17, 2015  |  by - Also by this author

Last month the Department of Justice issued a report on the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by then Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson. This report was the work of an army of investigators and attorneys sent to Ferguson by the DOJ to find some way to prosecute Wilson for what many people view as a racially motivated "white on black crime." So I know deep down in my soul these officers and employees of the federal government were ordered to go to Missouri and come back with something or just not come back at all.

But they did come back. And they courageously reported an inconvenient truth for the Obama Administration. They said they agreed with the St. Louis County grand jury that the shooting was justified, Wilson's actions were reasonable, Brown initiated the encounter with a violent attack on Wilson and an attempt to take the officer's duty pistol, and the people who accused Wilson of shooting Brown while the young, black man had his hands up saying don't shoot lied.

So…Where is the apology from all the people who smeared Wilson? I mean when you spend seven months accusing a peace officer of being a racist, murdering cop who shot an 18-year-old "boy" in cold blood while that "child" tried to surrender and then you find out he was actually an honorable officer of the law defending his person against a vicious attack by a huge, powerful, and enraged man, well maybe you owe that officer a "Hey, bro, my bad."

Just don't hold your breath waiting for it, Officer Wilson. President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the activists, the mainstream press, the protesters, and the other members of the mob that indicted, convicted, and hanged you long before all the evidence had even been gathered won't be issuing a mea culpa any time soon.

Maybe you don't want their apology. That's understandable. After all, what good can it possibly do you? The damage has been done. You lost your career, you lost your home when your address became public, and you lost your good name.

But even if you don't want that apology, it's still needed and should still be made. It's needed on behalf of the other 800,000 or so of your brother and sister officers still on the job in this country. It's needed because the implication from the attack on you is that all officers are prejudiced, "shoot-first, ask questions later" bastards who feel nothing when they have to kill, especially when the "victim" is a person of color.

That's a dangerous and outrageous stereotype. Saying that all law enforcement officers are brutes and racists is a damned, dirty lie built on the fact that an extremely minute percentage of officers have done brutal and racist things on the job. It's as disgusting as any other stereotype.

Such stereotypes do real damage. A belief in stereotypes is why some white people cross the street when they see a young black man in a business suit approaching because they have come to equate that man's racial background with thuggery. That's a slap in the face to the vast majority of young, black men in this country who are not thugs. And the way some people see racism in every encounter between an officer of the law and a person of color is a slap in the face to every good cop.

Frankly, I fear that police officers in this country are now beginning to feel something like the veterans of the Vietnam War did when they returned home and were spit on and jeered at by the people they were serving. Right now, a small but growing segment of the American people are literally spitting and jeering at law enforcement officers. They have even defaced memorials to fallen officers, cheered when officers have been injured, and celebrated on social media when officers have been murdered in cold blood. These people have come to believe the stereotype of police as racists and that stereotype has been reinforced by the words and actions of the president and the attorney general.

Which is why I think every law enforcement officer should write President Obama and Attorney General Holder and demand an apology for Officer Darren Wilson. Of course the apologies will never come. But these men need to be reminded of their sins so that maybe they won't be so quick to crucify the next peace officer who has to use deadly force against an African-American suspect and further entrench the beliefs of some people that all police are racists.

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Sandee @ 4/22/2015 11:05 AM

Finally, someone who is not afraid to speak the truth. Amen to your words. I surely will send a letter to our President as well as Attorney General Holder!

Jon Retired LEO @ 4/23/2015 3:37 PM

Excellent article Dave! You are correct in that the apologies will never come.

KevCopAz @ 4/23/2015 3:41 PM

Each and every FOP & other Police Un ions all over the Country should sign a petition demanding that the Federal Government and Obams and Holder apologize for the Liable they spread. The Black communities will soon get what they want, zero policing!. Most cops now are wising up to the fact that if they ignore fighting crime and just take the report then they will still have their jobs and wont be attacked by these folks. Let the citizens of those areas suffer for the "community" and perhaps they will change their tune. Screw them all. Wilson should sue each and every "NEWS" Media outlet that lied and propagated the falsehoods that were proven to be not only inaccurate but bold face lies! Please some Conservative organization or person with the funding to do so support brother Wilson in suing all of those who deserve it, perhaps if our side sues then the race baiters and left wind media outlets will wise up. Oh don't forget to go after the tax cheating race baiting Al Sharpton too.

Tom Ret @ 4/23/2015 3:44 PM

Sending a letter will more likely result in an IRS audit rather than an apology.

bob retired leo @ 4/23/2015 5:00 PM

@Sandee... fully agreed. Some of the University of Florida Grads who are in their 30's are complaining about the police and their use of military attire along with military vehicles. They are posting know your rights and how to refuse a search by police. What they don't mention is the cannabis , and various other drugs they use and carry with them to parties and social affairs. Thats just one of the reasons they are concerned, plus their liberal anti police views. Now on Facebook they are sending me, THAT THE POLICE ARE THE TERRORISTS AND THE WAR IS ON CIVILIANS. These are professional people with these warped ideas.

David Greeley @ 4/23/2015 7:47 PM

While I'm glad at least some publication has said it. With Brown's family filing a "wrongful death" suit, who will pay the loses for the only "innocent" person in the whole incident. A police officer did what he was paid to do and did it at a true "life or death" situation. Unfortunately no one cares that a white police officer was attacked, fought for his life and then slandered when he wasn't the one killed. I'd write the letter but neither Obama or Holder care about the police officer. How many times has one or both of them jumped at the degrading of an officer who had done nothing more than their job. In American we all get to vote, so those who voted for them got what they asked for as did those who decided to sit home and not vote. Both parties are responsible for how we are now looked upon.

Lifelonglawman @ 4/24/2015 4:55 AM

As a member of the law enforcement community, we also must remember the media's role in this fiasco by continuously showing what appeared to be a junior high school picture of an innocent child that was shot by police instead of the full sized man that Brown actually was. Now, as a member of the African American community, I must say that there are some of many races that are looking for a reason for civil unrest. Their narrow minds quickly look at the surface of incidents and as was stated earlier, convict and condemn prior to knowing true facts. May God bless the Wilson family and keep them strong!

Ed @ 4/27/2015 8:50 AM

Frankly, the real issue lies with a lack of communication between the city and community leadership that simmered for years. The police and city liaison obviously had no direct contact with leadership in the black community and no way to effectively communicate facts on the case and hear complaints with people who mattered. Instead, city and police leadership communicated via press release and published video -- very poor PR --, making the community feel unheard. Yes, Wilson was railroaded by a community too blind with rage to see facts, but the community wouldn't have been in such a rage had there been trust built up over the years between officers, police liaisons, city ombudsmen and people in the community. I frankly feel Wilson was setup not just by a community enraged but also by city leadership that put a deaf ear to community problems. Officers are exposed when community policing fails.

Dave M. @ 5/2/2015 1:40 AM

Well said! Two things in life I have found to be very dangerous near fatal, is; politics or PC, and media reporting when not balanced and objective (Internet and technology today), even before the facts or investigation is done. You see this when they get the affidavit or complaint and leave out that which does not support a story. Most times this is caused by conflict between first amendment and integrity of an investigation. 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 US 665 (1972). Right here in Police Magazine law resources case law Devallis Rutledge - POLICE Magazine, My highlighter get's used to find! Communications and not standing in front of bus, but rather filling the seats with communications and clarification when possible. And if you do point out for them to be objective - you go into the moderation hole never to be seen or heard from again!

Darren @ 11/25/2016 4:56 PM

Good question.

When will Wilson apologize for murder?

There's already no policing for African-Americans. Though, their taxes pay for it. Hence, the perception of a high crime rate.

Ed, good observation.

"by a community too blind with rage to see facts, but the community wouldn't have been in such a rage had there been trust built up over the years between officers, police liaisons, city ombudsmen and people in the community."

The rage comes from COUNTLESS encounters with law enforcement, that are abusive to varying degrees, for DECADES. Not all fatal, but degrading, nonetheless. For these communities, this was not the first incident. This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The "facts" DIDN'T prove that Wilson acted in self defense. The facts proved that there was an altercation. Which we knew.

Wilson's testimony to the grand jury, where he stated that he chased Michael, was the table turner. At that point, he can not legally claim self-defense. Wilson chose to pursue Michael, with deadly force as his only option.

That was unprofessional.

Not media incited. Police incited.

When will law enforcement apologize to the communities they betray? When will officers apologize to their fellow officers, for betraying the professional integrity of their shared uniform?

When MILLIONS of people, from all over the country, have the same complaint, it's time to stop blaming the media.

Establish lines of communication, with the communities you serve. Discuss how you can do a better job of serving them. Give and take. Bring up current events, and discuss the pros and cons of different methods of conflict neutralization.

The best way to reduce crime, is to serve and protect, everybody.

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