Tag Archives: police

Peach-picking Police

To Address Unemployment, GA Governor Proposed Farm Work

Are Americans lazy or are we just so damn spoiled? It seems that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is desperately in need of Americans to pick peaches since as a result of his tough anti immigration legislation, Georgia has lost 50% of its farm laborers. Maybe he can also get the cops who he has doubling as border patrol agents to pick peaches.

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Hooray for the cops

NYPD Officers Moreno and Mata Acquitted of Rape

Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were acquitted today by a Manhattan jury of raping an intoxicated woman they were supposed to be helping. Hooray for Mata and Moreno. Tough luck for all the other cops in the NYPD and police departments throughout our country. Another nail in the already stained and tarnished coffin of police officers. I will no longer refer to these two as police officers or cops – in fact, they aren’t anymore. Commissioner Kelly’s justice was swift, and they were fired just hours after being acquitted. But I didn’t have to wait for Kelly to drop the hammer on them to stop referring to them by the title that they certainly do not deserve. I lost all respect for them a long time ago.

Just use that wonderful device you’re reading my blog with and peruse the newspapers of major cities from coast to coast. You won’t have a problem locating stories of police corruption and misconduct. That in itself is troubling, but read the comments that are left by the readers. The anti police sentiment is even more troubling. It seemed that after September 11th police in New York and across the country were held in high esteem. It took a tragic event such as that for people to realize the courage and commitment of those who take an oath to serve and protect them. Disgraced individuals such as Moreno and Mata and others who violate their oaths and the public trust are slowly eroding whatever esteem the public still has for cops. There will always be those who dislike cops no matter what. Whether this dislike is justified or not and the reasons for it – that’s a topic for another blog piece. But what these unworthy few have done is ruin the reputation of the police among not just the usual haters, but the general public.

Whether you agree or disagree on whether Moreno and Mata raped that young woman is a moot point. The jury has decided and the verdict is in. I believe, like most people who have been following this story, that there was sex in that apartment that night between Moreno and the victim. I base that on the content of his testimony, the victim’s testimony, and the audio recording of Moreno stating that he wore a condom. Moreno and Mata took advantage of the situation they were in, took advantage of someone who they were supposed to protect that night. And in the process, they have disgraced the uniform and badge of every single police officer who dedicates his or her life to public service. They have disgraced the police officers whose names are etched in marble at that memorial in our nation’s capital dedicated to those police officers throughout our country who have made the supreme sacrifice while serving others. Moreno and Mata have chipped away another little piece of the already fragile veneer of respect and trust that must exist between the police and those that they serve. And as they did so, they made the jobs of the good cops that much harder.

“Cops die. That’s what we’re here for.”

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

I wish that I could take credit for the title of this piece. But I can’t and I won’t. It’s a play on a line I borrowed from a favorite movie of mine, “Full Metal Jacket.” Here is the entire line for you movie buffs: Today, you people are no longer maggots. Today, you are Marines. You’re part of a brotherhood. From now on until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.

I thought of that line in the movie shortly after chatting with my wife this morning online (my wife is the only person I know who can edit a version of “War and Peace” while having several “chats” at once. She takes multitasking to a whole other level). Her friend’s husband is a cop who was shot while conducting a raid last night. Thank God that he was wearing his vest and sustained no serious injury other than probably a little bruising. I’m only assuming this because it seems that the media in their city didn’t run this story. I guess cops have to be killed to make the news nowadays. There are more important things to report about like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and let’s not forget Jersey Shore and the exploits of Snooki or Pooki or whatever her name is.

Her friend’s Elizabeth’s story got me thinking of two of Nassau County’s bravest that were killed in the line of duty this past year, Police Officers Michael J. Califano and Geoffrey Breitkopf. I especially remember Geoffrey – he was one of my recruits when I taught at the academy. But Elizabeth’s comments describing how scared she was on her way to the hospital, not knowing what had happened, got me to thinking about another group of special and brave people: the ones who wait at home for those that they love, those that leave the security of their homes and the warmth of their families to do a job that requires them to strap a gun to their waist, a vest on their chest, and pin a shield on their outermost garment. Do we ever take the time to think about them and thank them for the sacrifices that they make every time they see their loved ones off to work, knowing that there always exists the possibility of getting a phone call like she did?

There have been 74 police fatalities in 123 days so far this year. We memorialize those who have made the supreme sacrifice so that they may never be forgotten. Let’s not forget those who were as not as lucky as Elizabeth and her husband.