I live in North Charleston, South Carolina. I live in a suburban area of the third largest city in the state. The deep South is not a bastion of liberal thinking. There is a Confederate flag flying in our state’s capital and that is both embarrassing and disconcerting. Charleston was once one of the top five wealthiest cities in the country – bigger than New York City. At one point, nine of the ten richest men in the country lived in Charleston. They made their money off the backs of slaves. It was Charleston that fired on Fort Sumter and began the Civil War. This is not a place that has lots of warm, fuzzy feelings for African-Americans.

And yet … unlike many of the other areas of this country where police got out of hand, the mayor and police chief did not say that cold-blooded murder would be tolerated. There is simply no excuse for shooting someone in the back for non-payment of child support. Charges were filed and the miscreant will not be left to go free.

And this is not enough. I’ve been watching the internet explode yet again. Not here. Not in Charleston or North Charleston, but out there in the wonderful wide world.

There are power tripping cops – and teachers, and librarians, and priests, and clergy, and doctors, and lawyers, and possibly Indian chiefs if there are still Indian chiefs. There is no large segment of society that doesn’t have a few whackadoodles. In 2014, 126 police officers died in the line of duty. That was a 24% increase over the year before when 102 died. In 2014, 50 of those who were killed, were killed by firearms (traffic fatalities are second most frequent cause of death).

So far this year, 36 officers have died, most in automobile accidents. As a side note, so far this year, six K9 deaths have also occurred with two of the dogs being shot and one being poisoned. The sad thing here is that I bet there are a few people who are more upset by a poisoned dog (which is horrific) than by the men (no women so far this year) who were gunned down.

There is no excuse for what happened here in North Charleston. Officer Slager should not have fired his gun even once let alone eight times. Walter Scott was no threat to him. Slager is no longer working and he has been charged with murder which is more than Cleveland or New York City managed to do and far more than Ferguson.

And yet it isn’t enough.

What I continue to see is an outpouring of hate directed not at Michael Slager, but at all cops everywhere. They are all power hungry thugs who want nothing more than to shoot old men as they waddle away.

I know some cops. Some really nice cops. Some nice, kind helpful cops. I know people, especially here in South Carolina where cops are not paid much more than the high school kids working at McDonald’s, who are genuinely there to serve and to protect.

I wonder if these people who are making blanket statements about the cops have ever had to call for assistance from the very people they are demeaning right now. Have they had to call because of domestic abuse or home invasion? Have they ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident and been assisted by these “monsters”? Or even just needed a police report to file an insurance claim?

We need our police force. We need to realize that there are some no good cops but that the majority of them are hard working individuals who put their lives on the line each time they leave for work. The vilifying of the entire group isn’t helping. I keep hoping that the entire country’s combined constabulary system doesn’t take it into their collective heads to take a couple weeks off and let the ranters figure out how much we all depend on those men and women in blue who come to help us out when we need them.

To the cops I know, thanks. I appreciate your service.

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