With the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement and uproar towards fellow officers in multiple states, I believe that I need to be as selfless as possible and give what the world is missing, compassion. But as I try to be less about myself, the topic of police uproots exactly where I came from. As the daughter and stepdaughter of a group of police officers I was and will always be “A cop's daughter”. Today, I will still proudly be called that AND still support aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement for several reasons.
1.) Not All Cops Are The Same
Growing up with parents as police officers, you immediately get over the perks of going to school in a cop car and come to the realization that it is never promised that your parents are coming home. You hear crazy, wild stories about how your parents escaped insane situations but they still manage to help you with your Algebra. My parents, in particular, are no longer in that line work but when I compare the situations happening now, to the stories I grew up on, things have changed. It seems cops are not willing to simply fight like my parents used to, with their fist firsts. There are too many trigger hungry tragedies happening; headlines are full of it.
2.) Better Understanding
Being exposed to many aspects of the police world has given me a better understanding of the injustice that is happening in some of these cases. For example, why is it that so much evidence seems to disappear when it comes to camera footage besides a cell phone? Aren’t officers the first ones privileged to things like that? Well, at least the “Do Not Cross Crime Scene” tape reiterates that justly. Also, why is it that past criminal records are released when there is a fatality, often black fatality, when there was no way of knowing that record when the person was apprehended by police?
3.) The Movement Needs a Different Lens
The Black Lives Matter movement is powerful but with power comes great responsibility. In this case, I believe it is to not be fueled by hate. Because of who my parents are, I have been able to support the movement but also refrain from demonizing all officers. Once we start giving them horns, it will raise all hell for both sides. I am not saying that there are not bad cops because there are but if you look back historically and reimagine the times when a group of people were labeled as “outcasts” or the “untouchables” it lead to total destruction.
4.) Black Lives Matter In All Situations
Just as if a fellow officer is killed in the line of duty, natural causes, or a tragic accident, fellow brothers and sisters mourn them and commemorate their dedication to the badge. This should be the same scenario for black people. Black lives lost should not only matter when their life is taken by an officer. We live in a world where blackness is not being disposed of predominantly by the police but it is from each other. We are unfortunately the epitome of black-on-black crime. This isn’t to say that there is definitely something wrong with the way we are mistreated by police but we are also mishandling each other.
I will never wear the badge my parents did, but I respect what they offered when they wore it. To say that law enforcement has remained loyal to its initial promise of protection would be a stretch. I’m just glad my parents did what they could when they did.