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Alex Teach Image
Alex Teach Image
A few Saturdays ago in our fair town, a cop had his jaw broken in a fight.
By “fight,” I mean the other guy swung at him unprovoked, knocked him to the ground, and continued to press the advantage of the sucker punch, beating his face in such a way that he loosened the teeth beneath it. This happens far less frequently than you’d assume, but that’s far too many times for me.
What brought this on? The bad guy had been seen with a wanted man, and the cop asked where the wanted individual was. That’s it. So full of fight was this young man, an hour later he had to be restrained in the hospital gurney he was lying on after beating his head against the protective screen in the patrol car on his way to jail for felony assault and three other charges, not including violation of probation. Did I mention he was on probation…? (And by the way, before you begin to conspire, the inside of the patrol car is recorded on video. Apparently on a “roll,” he did his head-beating completely on his own.)
On the bright side, it takes your mind off the guy that tried to run one of us over that same night, along with the cop we thought was shot on Fagan Street the weekend before in which shots were fired around the time he fell during a foot pursuit…a truly bad coincidence.
All that said? While I believe we finally have the support of City Hall in Chattanooga, that doesn't mean our customers are going any easier on us. And when I say this, do you know what comes to mind first? It’s not the underlying causation of these spikes in violent crime and direct violence against cops in particular. Nor do I ponder the child-rearing factors, or the socio-economic ones, or any other 50-cent bywords you’ll hear during the next election cycle or Rotary Club speech to make people feel better about their animalistic sack-of-turds relatives and spouses that may or may not be a part of this problem. No.
What comes to mind first is the immediate response I tend to hear in which, no matter how ludicrous, someone makes it the officer’s ("police's") fault these things happened.
"It's because he was rude to him…It's because in 1968 such and such happened…Jeremiah was just mad because he couldn't get to a job fair…it's racist to NOT let us hit police…it's because, it’s because..."
Let me help you out here: It's because there is NO punishment for committing crime, and it's easier for small groups of people to make the Cops the bad guys and justify criminal actions while the Bad Guys make mincemeat out of the large groups of people remaining silent because they're afraid to call a criminal a damn criminal and DEMAND they be stopped. This is happening as much out of fear of the criminals as out of fear of being labeled something crude by those small groups of loud people.
There are two outcomes here: The cops will get the hint and quit trying. Or we will have to start punishing the bad guys with the support of the people.
Meanwhile, jaws are getting broken and our customers are shooting one another in broad daylight on fields next to schools and with uniformed cops in their presence. When it’s that brazen, kind words, support groups, and “additional legislation” just may not get the job done, dear readers. Ever “reason” with a three year old—or a huge drunk off his psychotropic meds?
Aggressive crime requires aggressive policing, and society at some point is going to have to make the choice as to whether the cops can meet force with force, or if they should just keep their heads low like the rest of the low-income residents where the worst of this is happening (almost exclusively) to avoid lawsuits or being labeled ugly indefensible words…not to mention occupying emergency rooms.
I’m not asking for a blessing. I’m just asking you to think. Let crime flare up like a wild fire until it runs out of fuel and go back and literally pick up the bodies…or treat criminals like criminals instead of a protected class of victims.
Like police work, crime is a full-contact sport; shit will happen and it will be scrutinized, but we need your support—or you need to let us just go home and quit getting hurt. Here are some theories to consider:
A six-foot-tall, 180-pound 16 year old with a gun is not a “child.”
A group of youths wearing like-colored clothing on a street corner making exchanges through passing vehicle windows are not “at risk of being misjudged.”
And a guy that loses the fight when he takes on a cop or cops…is not a “victim.” He just lost, that’s all.
These are “criminals.”
Once we pick up on that line of thinking again as a society, then we can work on making jail actual punishment, instead of a hotel with free college benefits.
Just points to consider, but I’ll tell you a secret before I finish: Your cops will never quit trying…but we sure need some incentive to keep pressing this fight. For a fight is very literally what it is, and we should all be sick of it.