To the Editor:
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is now a movement that represents a cry for help from communities across the nation. People of every color are asking police departments to treat all of our citizens equally and with respect. Current Department of Justice crime figures reflect a biased enforcement of the law against people of color. This needs to stop now.
We all know that police have a difficult job. I did it for 20 years. They, along with other first responders, put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us and our property. We thank them for doing so.
The problem is with a very, very small group of bad cops, rogue individuals if you will. These bad apples destroy the credibility, trust and respect earned by every cop in every department in the country. They need to be weeded out.
One officer that was thankfully weeded out years ago was Jeff Roorda from the Arnold Police Department in Missouri. He was terminated after being accused of lying about fellow officers during an investigation. Prior to that, he was reprimanded for making false statements on a police report as to what happened during a suspect’s apprehension and arrest. That suspect was released.
I mention him because as the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, he wrote a harsh and unwarranted letter to the NFL about the intentions of five St. Louis Rams football players when they put their hands up in a pre-game ceremony to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson. I am dejected that such a man remains associated with any police association.
The men and women in blue need and deserve our support. In return, we ask that police chiefs do whatever they can to get rid of the bad apples.