The Plight of the American Police Officer: from a Christian Worldview
People don't always get along. This is a fact. That includes common every day citizens and the every day local police officer. Whether it is just an argument that escalates to the point where a young man gets arrested for Disorderly Conduct, or when a violent encounter between a violent offender and an officer leads to one or both of them dead, there is an undeniable probability that some people will not get along with the police. The plight of the American police officer is that whether people like them or not, whether people agree with them or not, and sometimes whether the police officer knows the whole story or not - the officer has a job he is supposed to do, and that job affects many of those people who don't like police. This fact alone, whether the mainstream media wants to admit it or not, will not change as long as laws must exist to govern, and officers are assigned to enforce those laws. Somewhere along the way, this message vanished.
Don't misunderstand me. There are plenty of bad police officers; just like any demographic, there are bad apples that ruin it for the whole bunch.
What exactly is a police officer's job?
Well, the job description is in the name that the mainstream media tends to ignore - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.
So what is Law?
Well, there are a lot of ways I could answer that question, but I thought we'd look at two main types of law we need to concern ourselves with:
God's law, and
the law of man... Government.
What is God's Law? In short, the Ten Commandments; they're the original.
You know - Don't place other gods before the one TRUE God; don't worship idols; remember the Sabbath; honor your parents; don't take God's name in vein; don't kill; don't lie; don't covet; don't commit adultery; don't steal... you know - all that good stuff.
I've been over this before, but isn't it funny how if we all kept these commandments, we'd avoid breaking all the other laws written down in something like a constitution. And that brings me back to the law of man... for my country it comes back to the Constitution of the United States of America, and consequently, constitutions of each state. These laws are voted on and determined by politicians elected by the people, therefore government laws (at least in a constitutional republic like ours and other similar forms of government) come from the people.
When we the people formed our government, and when the government had to establish its laws, oddly enough, there were certain laws included in God's laws, that must be accounted for in government laws.
For example, we the people can't exactly let people just murder other people. That's not a good plan for continuity of the species. The people can't just allow folks to take whatever they want from other people - theft with no holds barred! This would lead to much murder, injury, chaos, the works. The people couldn't exactly allow people to just report other people for crimes that never happened, or stories that the reporting party just made up. So bearing false witness is also frowned upon in the people's laws... the GOVERNMENT's laws.
Now don't get me wrong. We don't need anyone going around enforcing laws such as who you claim to be your god, or taking the Lord's name in vein, or keeping a specific day of the week holy. These are really rules or laws that only effect the individual who decides to keep or not keep those laws.
But those other laws that I mentioned that are both God's laws and man's laws? Well, if those laws are not set in place, then people have no standards to keep them from giving in to immoral decisions of what they want to do to someone else. And if those standards are not enforced by SOMEONE, than the sinful nature of fallen mankind takes over.
And so we have the police officer; a person whose very job is to enforce those laws. Someone kills another person, and the crime goes ignored - then the killer gets away with it and does it again. If the crime isn't ignored, and an officer catches the perpetrator, at least there is a chance to keep the perpetrator from doing it again. If someone steals property from another person, but no officer tries to catch this individual - the thief gets away and goes to steal something from someone else. At least if the thief gets caught by an officer of the law, the thief might not get to steal again, or might think twice before they do it again.
So we're back to the simple fact that SOMEONE has to fill this role. If nobody does, the sinful nature of us all proves that the world would dive into anarchy and chaos and selfishness.
Is it any wonder that the same sinful nature in man that causes some to ignore laws, whether God's or man's - is the same thing that causes an individual to ignore the directions of the police officers charged with ENFORCING those laws? There are consequences for not following those laws, just like there are consequences for not following directions from those who enforce those laws.
'Stop! Let me see your hands! Drop the gun!'
Consequences for using that same gun - get shot!
'Thou shall not kill.'
Consequences for killing - go to prison or be executed!
This is not a difficult concept.
Yet the media portrays many of these officers thrown into this obligatory role as the bad guys! Oftentimes these officers are not just trying to enforce the laws, but they are also in the process of providing protection in an instant! And no matter how just an officer's actions may have been, the media has pushed a narrative of late (say the past 8 years, give or take) that the police officers are in the wrong.
Oftentimes, those very officers weren't only protecting, but they were attempting to enforce God's law - not just man's. And they're the bad guys?
Where did accountability go? When did we stop holding the actual perpetrators of sin and crime, and violations of the law, accountable for their actions? Political correctness has definitely played a part. Corruption has definitely played a part. Money has definitely played a part. The sinful nature of the men at the top who supposedly make decisions for the people by the people - has played a part.
But make no mistake about it; the plight of the American police officer has transformed over the years. The further we devolve as a nation, I fear that not only will the burden still fall on those that protect the thin blue line to stop evil doers; but that obligation will be accompanied by absolutely no consequences after initial intervention by law 'enforcement'. In other words, accountability will be lost; virtually non-existent.
Therefore, if things continue to go in the direction that some miscreants want them to go, I fear that the true plight of the American police officer in the future - will be that they are completely irrelevant. God help us all should that dark day ever get here.