COPS ARE CONSTANT TARGETS OF VIOLENCE

(This Op-Ed by yours truly, appeared in the May 26 issue of Florida Today)

 

Date: April 1, 1976.  April Fool’s Day.

Three detectives, all friends, all under age 32, spotted a stolen car in a motel parking lot in Miami Beach. They asked the desk clerk about the car owner who was occupying a street-level room. Before the cops had a chance to knock on the suspect’s door, the clerk alerted the car thief by phone. One by one, these fine young men, with families, were ambushed as the shooter fired his 12 gauge through the window.

Funerals were drenched with tears. To this day, I know fellow cops who never got over it.

That year, over 200 police officers died in the line of duty in America. Sure, it’s a risk built into the job, but there’s something horribly sinister about cops dying in ambush, for no other reason than being a police officer.

Since records have been kept, starting in 1791, (according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial) 21,541 officers have been killed in the line of duty. That doesn’t include the multi thousands more seriously injured and/or crippled while serving as our protectorates. The majority of these cop killings occurred in rural settings as opposed to the bellies of major cities.

In our own state’s rural setting, it happened again on April 19, of this year. Two young officers were enjoying an afternoon meal break in a small-town diner in Trenton, Florida when a gunman approached the glass window and shot both officers to death, for no reason other than their chosen profession. The killer committed suicide. Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, are gone. Their families still grieve.

Approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers are employed in local, state and federal positions in the United States. These are honorable professions which provide a sense of dedication among the officers who are truly among the heroes of America. Police agencies earnestly do their best to weed out men and woman who are not suited for police work. It is rare when a mistake is made and someone becomes a cop who shouldn’t be a cop. Considering the thousands of officers who work to protect us all, it’s not surprising that a half of one-percent (my estimate) may be unsuited which can lead to misdeeds that generate headlines. Americans should know that law enforcement agencies do everything possible to make sure every cop hired has a history of honesty, integrity and competency.

In my 30 year career with Miami-Dade, I have personally known and worked with thousands of officers. While some criminals have targeted police for death and injury, I feel confident that no cop, anywhere, ever leaves for work with a premeditated intent to harm anyone. There simply is no evil cabal among police officers. It doesn’t exist. We may come across a rogue cop now and then, but in the overall numbers, they are very rare.

Then there is the branding of cops as racists, particularly by hate organizations fueled by some media outlets that thrive on discord. I have been a personal witness to the vast changes that have taken place in the police world, from 1960 to the present time. There was a time when racism was rampant in certain areas of the nation. Those days are over, gone, relegated to the history books. Throughout the past 50 years, police agencies have done a complete turnaround in procedures, training, hiring and promoting of police personnel to ensure the “racist” tags are no longer applicable.

It’s a new world from my early days on the job. We are all equals. We are all educated, over-trained, reasonably paid and proud of our professions. Management knows no color. Cops continue to face peril, on a daily basis, and some 150 to 200 will meet a violent end every year, leaving families grief-stricken.

Remember, the cop who is hated because of the uniform he wears, may one day be the cop who saves a kid’s life.

 

Cops are constant target of violence

21 Responses to COPS ARE CONSTANT TARGETS OF VIOLENCE

  1. Pat May 26, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    Great article!

  2. Charlie Greene May 26, 2018 at 9:22 am #

    I read your column in today’s paper. It’s amazing that cops still step up to the challenge that puts their lives in danger every day they go to work.

  3. Eileen May 26, 2018 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks, Marshall, for once again speaking the truth about law enforcement officers. I know that my son appreciates your support.

  4. Perry S Turner May 26, 2018 at 11:08 am #

    Marshall your gift of prose and delivering a needed message is very much appreciated especially by those of us in Law Enforcement active or retired.
    Keep them coming, and as an example I refer to your book Amerikastan, Conquest from Within, frequently!
    We appreciate you sharing this gift with us, Thank You!
    Respectfully,

    Perry

    Perry S Turner
    Chief of Police South Miami PD retired
    Inspector General/Assistant Secretary Florida DJJ retired

  5. Anonymous May 26, 2018 at 11:46 am #

    Why do you assume cops are hated? You write: “…but there’s something horribly sinister about cops dying in ambush, for no other reason than being a police officer.” How many people of African descent could say the same thing? Jews in Germany, Austria, France, etc. could say the same thing. The Chinese who built the RR? Sometimes children, women, the disabled or different? You also write: “It’s a new world from my early days on the job. We are all equals. We are all educated, over-trained, reasonably paid and proud of our professions. Management knows no color. ” Now, maybe? But that policeman who did not do his job at Parkland, is receiving a $100,000 pension from taxpayers?

    • Marshall Frank May 26, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

      I appreciate your criticism. It would be received with more validity if you had the courage to include your name.

      • Adamsalan May 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

        Once agin…spot-on, Captain Frank.

    • Paul Vincent Zecchino June 8, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

      You may want to research reports about the brave men of the Coconut Creek, if recall correctly, PD who heard of the shooting on their radios and raced to the scene.

      Blowing thru the Broward barricades, they ran into the school building, toward the sound of gunfire, in pursuit of the killer.

  6. PATRICK PESCE May 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

    Great article. I only wish it would resonate with the far left loons. Their innate hatred is blinds or distorts the ability to reason.

  7. George S. May 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

    Read this today, Saturday. Great thought. Great article. When I do my weekly prayers for my Lutheran church congregation, I always place in a paragraph for “protection and safety for our nation’s police officers and other first responders….” and also for our current military members. I have friends who are retired police officers, here and up north, and I salute you all. This recent event in Baltimore of which the officer lost her life is sad, yet angering and frustrating. Never should have happened. God bless all of you.

  8. Fred Fernez May 26, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    > Marshall Great article, I still remember my first officer death in 1963 when an officer responding to a domestic and never exited his car when he was shot and killed as he sat in the drivers seat. Sadly there were many more to come. As a side note you must have a connection with B Gabordi since he has refused to cover the many accomplishments of our local officers despite being notified of their occurences i.e. Officers of the year, and many other heroic deeds. He offers that he supports law enforcement but has failed to cover these award activities for the past two years. Apologize for my comments but he has disappointed me once too often

    • PATRICK PESCE May 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

      Hi Fred: An “Amen” to your comment.

  9. I. Richard Jacobs May 26, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

    You are absolutely correct .
    I remember way way back when I was a homicide S.A. in the late 60s. One night I was with two white homicide detectives when we went into a black neighborhood very late trying to find a witness to a crime that was in the process of being tried in court the next day.
    I was extremely impressed with the way that these two detectives identified themselves and spoke with the various residence of each home
    to see if they could supply any information. These men could not have been more courteous to the residents in this black neighborhood and I remember them saying to me that if they want to receive respect they must give it.
    I am a realist and I understand the pressures that both the police and the residents of areas of low income and/or people of color ( to be all inclusive) are under, but some of these examples of police misconduct defy common sense.
    It is very easy to be a “ Monday morning quarterback” and I fully understand the police saying that “it is better ro be judged by 12 then to be carried by 6 “.
    Some of these problems are the unfortunate result of a society that requires the head(s) of a family to work both inside and outside the home leaving little time to activity and consistently supervise and teach children which has led many of them into the gang life which to them is their family.
    Like it or not we are in a different age and we must adjust to the fact that children are having babies without either understanding that the fabric of any society requires reasonable discipline and respect for the law and those who enforce it.
    There is no reason to close schools to close for the summer leaving so many without a place to go and further there is no reason for schools to avoid teaching birth control as part of “civic responsibility “.
    As the kids say so clearly, consistently and accurately “GET REAL”.
    I only hope that my one RBC (remaining brain cell) has made myself clear .

  10. Ali L May 27, 2018 at 7:28 am #

    How many of us have been brutally beaten by

    By cops that are out of control

  11. Donald Arney May 27, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Exactly correct, Sir

  12. Donald Arney May 27, 2018 at 9:02 am #

    When you resist arrest the cop is, by law, required to use that force necessary to overcome the resistance. Respond as told and there will be no confrontation. Remember a cop is the only person who runs toward trouble in order to confront the situation. EVERYDAY.

  13. Joseph Pesce May 28, 2018 at 1:05 am #

    One of the Biggest problems that this country had over the past decade has been Former President Barack Obama. He very eloquently made it clear to all African Americans that White police officers were targeting People of Color and purposely killing them. This narrative was propagated by Mayor of NYC Bill DeBlasio when he told his son to be very careful of Police officers because he was Black. Politicians and the MSM have set this country back decades,… why ? Votes, their own personal hatreds ? Who knows but no doubt the blood of Dead Police Officers is on the hands of journalists and politicians that pander to this fairytale. They should be charged as accessories to murder.

  14. Worried May 28, 2018 at 7:35 am #

    I don’t know how I came to be registered as “anonymous”, but I previously gave my name, which our son also shares, and frankly, I am afraid. We have received anonymous phone calls, and/or read other really scary criticisms here, and elsewhere. I do not hate the police. I long ago read “the Onion Field”, by Joseph Wambaugh? and many other of his stories, which were based on his experience as a policeman. But you chose to take that job. No one forced you. And it’s been 40 years now? of the “War on Drugs”? Where are the policemen marching to stop that Government Regulation, which has resulted in so much of these dangerous situations. “Undercover” cops in unmarked cars paying criminals for information? How many get hooked on drugs themselves?

  15. Jack deR May 29, 2018 at 9:51 am #

    It still infuriates me to see police officers branded as ‘racists’. This is a common tactic when there are no facts or logic to support someone, and it is used to simply change the conversation and put you on the defensive.

    Overall, cops in America do more to improve the lives and living conditions of our nations poor and minorities that any other group in this country. Not by making promises that will never be kept, not by simply throwing money at the problems, but by getting in there and doing something constructive, positive, and helpful.

  16. Anonymous May 29, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    Dear Jack; just remember, newspapers have to make money, TV depends on ratings, and “if it bleeds, (or insults, swears, etc.), it leads”, and people buy and/or watch. And now,
    anything anybody says anywhere in the world, is on the web forever!

  17. Thomas Pletcher June 1, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    I’ll never forget that April 1st while Nancy & I were having dinner. We heard what we thought were car backfire only to hear several more. A few minutes later, several police car sirens going fast up & down our street where we had an apartment on 85th & Harding avenue. We finally walked over to that horrendous scene where our three officers & friends lay murdered. The worst day of my life!!

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