ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Coming From a Police Family

Things aren’t always the way they are portrayed within media and society.

It’s one of the first things you hear in the news close to everyday. Another person got shot by another police officer for another reason that doesn’t justify the act. More people turn their heads away from the beneficial acts police officers do subconsciously opting to group them in with the accusatory headlines.

But that’s not realistic. That’s not how it really is.

The earliest memory I have is from when I was around three years old. My mom dropped me off at a friend’s house frantically, there were dogs barking, the TV was glowing, it was night time. I remember looking down through the railing as my mom walked out the door, and I was left alone in this strange house with strange people.

I wouldn’t realize until much later what happened that night my mom dropped me off. I wouldn’t understand until much later that my dad was shot.

It’s like something out of a movie, reading about the night my dad was injured. I find it hard to picture the crazed man who had already shot another person firing at my dad. When I really think about it, I see my dad never going down despite having been shot in the shoulder, and I see the rest of his squad backing him up, making sure that man wouldn’t be able to advance further into the neighborhood and hurt other innocent people.

But no one hears about that.

Nobody pays attention to a group of police officers stopping a mentally unstable man from hurting more people. Nobody turns their head when a police officer risks their life for someone else, potentially leaving behind family and loved ones of their own.

When I tell someone my dad is a police officer, that job title is immediately associated with violence and racism. Every good thing police have done is immediately drowned out by the sickening actions of a few despite the millions who perform their job exceptionally day to day.

Police officers like my dad are brave and should not have to be made to feel as though their profession or lives mean less than others because of the negative attention they receive.

In times like these, it’s important to remember that the actions of a few do not represent the actions of all. Instead of focusing on the handful of police officers who have been tried for these crimes, people need to start paying attention to the overwhelming majority of officers who are keeping us safe and protected. While there are officers out there who are committing heinous crimes, there are many more, like my dad, who truly do serve to protect.