Are we saying that we should hail all police officers across the board, even the dirty ones? No, but we should be respecting their authority as we’ve accepted their role in our society. We rely on law enforcement to keep us safe, enforce the laws that have been enacted by our local, state, and federal governments, and deal with the what-ifs of life. That’s not an easy thing to do, especially these days. Society has become combative when it comes to police presence.
Social media is largely to blame for this reaction to law enforcement. Of course, people are going to be angry or upset when they’ve been pulled over, it’s a natural reaction. However, you may find that if you’re respectful and follow instructions, officers may show some lenience. Social media, though, has allowed everyone to have a voice, and many of those voices are looking at what is being reported and making a dangerous generalization. Rather than assuming that a particularly violent act may have been a split second decision of an officer concerned for his safety or the safety of those around him, we automatically assume that he was a trigger happy and power-hungry tyrant.
We’ve allowed the media to turn us against those who’ve taken an oath to protect our society, and we’re participating. Even Sally Housewife from Tiny Town, USA has an opinion that she’s blasting on social media, although she’s never been in a high-crime community, in fear for her life. We have people offering up hate speech against the men and women that make up the law enforcement community, and we’re allowing it. We’re so terrified to offend our fellow man, that we aren’t taking an active stand for those who are performing a dangerous job to the best of their ability on a daily basis. So, as a whole, are we helping to enforce the trigger happy cop stereotype, or are we just silent so we don’t make waves?