Commentary

Charlie Daniels: Politicians Have Chosen Political Expediency Over Backing Their Police Departments

By Charlie Daniels | September 8, 2015 | 12:05pm EDT
Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol hugs Angela Whitman, of Berkeley, Mo., on West Florissant Avenue. (AP Photo/David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

During a recent night in Nashville, Tennessee, someone wrote the following in huge letters on an abandoned truck trailer in a vacant lot.

“Save a life. Kill a cop.”

As of this writing, there have been 23 police officers gunned down in the line of duty this year. That is not even taking into account the ones killed in car accidents, injured while directing traffic, dealing with domestic violence, a hostage crisis or any of a myriad of other dangerous situations they face every day.

Police go into neighborhoods where the streets are ruled by violent gangs and the next person they face could be some drug crazed junkie with a knife or some street hardened teenager who wants to make a mark in his upside down world by killing a cop.

Mayors of major cities have chosen political expediency over backing their police departments. They have created a "Damned if we do, damned if we don't" situation, leaving the cops afraid of enforcing the law for fear of being skewered by some headline-seeking city official with political aspirations who’s willing to sacrifice the efficiency of their police departments and the safety of their citizens for their own greedy purposes.

These self-seeking politicians, along with the Al Sharptons and other supposed "civil rights leaders" of the world, have done much to alienate citizens and police. Even President Obama inserted himself in the Treyvon Martin situation, giving the perception that he was taking the side of those protesting before all the facts were even presented.

Such behavior legitimizes bad feelings toward the cops in the minds of those already incited to the point of ignoring facts and looking for trouble. A tacit approval of anarchy, and statements like "let them destroy," only serve to fan the flames and puts policemen in the impossible position of deciding between breaking their oath of enforcing the law and obeying a city official that is obviously in way over their head.

We place our police in impossible life threatening situations, and on the rare occasion they make a mistake, or are perceived as having made one, the activists come out in droves, politicians go into circus mode and the media goes viral.

Put yourself in the place of a police officer answering a call in a high crime neighborhood. You're walking into a dark alley, alone, and suddenly someone jumps up and points something at you.

Is it a gun?

Is it a knife?

Is it a broken bottle or a rock?

Or is it just a cell phone?

Protesters demonstrate with their hands in the air, symbolizing the oft-repeated phrase "hands up don't shoot." (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

You have to make a split second decision, and what you decide could well determine whether your children will be raised with a dad or without a dad.

I know there have been senseless police shootings. I know there have been woundings and killings that could have well been avoided – situations in which there has been time to act and a policeman made a terrible decision.

But situations like these are such an anomaly, and yet they are held up by activists and the media as standard operation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nobody hates a violent confrontation more than a police officer. Many serve their time and rarely, sometimes never, unholster their guns. And that's the way they like it.

Of course, there are a few bad ones, but the overwhelming majority of our law enforcement officers are there to protect and serve. They exist to enforce the laws our duly elected representatives pass, to find missing children, to handle riots, to take drunk drivers off the road, to make sure you can walk down the street in safety and to keep the ever-growing jungle away from our doors.

I deal with many policemen in the course of a year, and behind the badges and bullet proof vests they are people just like the rest of us; husbands, wives, mothers and fathers with kids in little league and starting college.

Police are just ordinary citizens who have made the life changing decision to devote their lives to the service and the well-being of their communities, the first call, the “thin blue line” that separates civilization from chaos.

They deserve our respect and support.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.

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