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.