Dallas BLM Leader Under Investigation for Domestic Violence, Claims It’s A “Private Matter”

alexander pic 2
Source: Facebook

Dominque Alexander has been a public figure and police critic for years in Dallas, Texas. In fact, the protest he organized and led on July 7, 2016, resulted in the deaths of five (5) Dallas area police officers. The deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. I’m not blaming Mr. Alexander for what happened on that horrible July day. I’m simply highlighting the undeniable fact he’s been a public figure in Dallas for years. 

Despite all this time in the limelight, fighting for “transparency” and “accountability” for police officers, he inexplicably suggests a domestic violence complaint made against him is a “private matter.” Lee Merritt – a vocal civil rights attorney in Dallas – released a statement on Facebook today also suggesting it’s a private matter. However, Merritt was wise enough to acknowledge the fact Mr. Alexander is a public figure. Therefore, much like when police officers are accused of misconduct, such allegations become of a matter of public concern. 

A statement posted on Facebook by Lee Merritt regarding the allegation can be seen here:

Dominique Alexander doesn’t seem to realize how the “public figure” game works and feels we should effectively “mind our own business.” Apparently, accountability and transparency are apparently only applicable to public figures who wear badges.

Dominque made this known adding his own comment on Merritt’s Facebook statement. 

Private life

Is this guy serious? A private matter? I don’t think so sir.  

You CHOSE to be a public figure despite your background and issues in the past. That’s part of being a public figure. Welcome to the real world. 

I highly doubt the next time a police officer is accused of domestic violence, Lee Merritt or Dominque Alexander will rush to a podium, hold a press conference, or take to social media, to make a statement asking for everyone to “withhold judgement until due process can be carried out.” I doubt he will say that any prior discipline the police officer may have received in the past is irrelevant.

Why is it activists scream and yell on a daily basis calling for “transparency” and “accountability” but don’t seem to think it applies to them? 

Merritt ended his statement with, “We will not pile on as the family investigation begins to unfold.”

Well isn’t that convenient? Believe all accusers unless you’re the one being accused, do I have that right? I’m trying to wrap my head around how this activism game works with Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander. 

It’s interesting Mr. Merritt seems completely comfortable telling people to wait to pass judgement when it’s a fellow social justice activist accused of wrong doing. However, he has no issue with publicly and maliciously persecuting police officers based on an allegation alone.

Remember the DPS Texas Trooper accused of rape that caused national outcry and death threats toward the Trooper?

I do. 

Mr. Merritt was one of the first to break the false Trooper rape story and call for justice to be immediately served. Mr. Merritt took it further accusing the Texas Department of Public Safety of not following “proper protocols” asserting they were “protecting” the trooper accused of the horrific rape. Before any video was reviewed, or any facts had come out, Mr. Merritt had no issue at all accusing the Trooper AND the Texas Department of Public Safety of wrong doing. Mr. Merritt’s public release where he makes such assumptions and allegations early into the process can be seen below. 

As you may also remember, the entire allegation was proven false by the body camera footage and Mr. Merritt issued an apology with egg on his face. The death threats the Trooper received and the national embarrassment of such a horrible claim apparently made better by simply saying sorry. 

A few questions come to mind given Mr. Merritt’s track record of quick condemnation and allegation slinging against police officers on a national scale.

Why isn’t he condemning Mr. Alexander with the same relentless vigor before the facts come out as he does when it involves an allegation against police? Why in this case, must we withhold judgement and wait for the investigation to play out? Why isn’t Mr. Merritt attempting to push a narrative, create some anger, or organize an anti-domestic violence protest? Why does it seem they are incredibly selective on the justice they seek? Why doesn’t it apply across the board? 

The glaring bias and hypocrisy of both Mr. Merritt and Mr. Alexander are now on full display. 

I guess it’s rather obvious. They don’t really want justice for EVERYONE. They only want justice when it suits their agenda. Even in Mr. Merritt’s statement today, he inexplicably mentions race when condemning violence against women. “Violence against black women is intolerable.” he stated.

I understand the need for such specificity. I condemn violence against ALL women. I don’t care what their race happens to be. It’s wrong. No matter what. Period.

If the Texas DPS Trooper had in fact committed the horrible crime of which he was falsely accused, I’d have happily called for his immediate termination and punishment to the fullest extent of the law.

That’s how transparency and accountability are meant to work. 

You don’t get to pick and choose when those rules are applied, even if it makes your “team” look bad. 

As I’ve said multiple times regarding police officers and accountability. 

Support the good. Honor the fallen. Condemn the bad. 

This should apply to all public officials and persons who hold themselves out to be public figures, all the time. Not just when it’s convenient. That’s part of the gig. 

If the accusations against Mr. Alexander are proven to be false, then I will accept such findings. As of now, only two things are for certain: Dominque Alexander has been accused of domestic violence and the investigation is underway. 

We will see what happens and react accordingly. Like we should do with ALL accusations and investigations. No protests. No calling for punishment before we even know the facts. We wait and let the system do what it is designed to do, seek truth and justice.  

It’s really that simple. People should take note. 

The Officer Next Door

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Heartfelt letter to fallen Maine State Trooper from person at scene of his tragic death

Trooper Campbell

This letter was posted on Facebook by the person identified as the driver of the car Maine State Police Detective Benjamin Campbell stopped to help. This is posted with direct permission from the author, Robert A.

Dear Detective Ben Campbell,

Today, I lost control of my car and did a 180 on I-95 South. I was shaken up, but otherwise fine. I called 911 and requested help in getting turned around on the busy highway.

You stopped to help me. You took my ID as per the standard. You came back to return it. You wore one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever seen. A smile that, without words, could give the world a moment of peace were it to look upon. I honestly felt safer in that moment as you stood by my drivers side window.

That changed. In a split second, I saw your smile turn to the briefest shade of concern as a logging semi came over the hill, before a tire came into my peripheral vision.

I blacked out. My first and only thought upon waking up was “I’ve died, haven’t I?” I couldn’t see anything but bright white light. Then my ears began ringing. I was able to open my eyes. My glasses partly crushed as I lifted my head before they fell off. My airbag had deployed. You weren’t beside me anymore…

I stumbled out of my car, moving to the other side of the guard rail to avoid anything else hitting me.

That’s when I saw you. Two tires had fallen off the truck. One struck my car, the other struck you.

Out of breath and still dizzy, I came to your side, pleading for you to wake up. You responded with a sound so haunting, I don’t dare describe it out of respect.

My mind raced. It had been years since I had any formal CPR training, and I was afraid that if I touched you without knowing just how bad you might be hurt, I’d just make it worse. I began waving and jumping up and down at oncoming traffic, desperately trying to get others to stop and help.

I leaned over you as another trooper and the driver of the semi came to help.

I looked into your eyes
You looked back
And then… You were gone…

The news reports you died in the hospital, but I knew in that moment, it was over…

I should have died twice today. I survived a high-speed spinout. When death came for me a second time, you were there. You traded your life for mine in the line of duty.

I vow for as long as I live, I will never forget your smile. I will never forget your kindness. I will never forget your sacrifice.

I owe you a debt I don’t think I can repay.

Rest in peace. May your soul find tranquility.

–  Robert A.

Never forget Trooper Campbell.

– The Officer Next Door

Houston Police Chief Prematurely Alleges Officers Lied To Obtain Search Warrant, Causes Widespread Controversy and Anger

SWAT breaching door

Let me start by saying, I disagree with how Chief Acevedo has handled this incident. Before the completion of the investigation, he has publicly stated he believes there were “mistruths” in the search warrant affidavit. Then Chief Acevedo doubled down and said, “I’m very confident that we’re going to have criminal charges on one or more police officers,” according to an article from NPR.

Such allegations are concerning, no doubt.

However, he could have simply stated: “As with every police involved shooting, we are conducting an extensive internal investigation into this incident. We are also reviewing the narcotics investigation that precluded the execution of the search warrant to ensure everything was done properly. I can assure the citizens of Houston, IF any criminal misconduct or policy violations are found, they will be handled swiftly and properly. Any criminal charges or administrative discipline deemed necessary, will be forth coming once the internal investigation is COMPLETED.”

Boom. Done. Simple.

Then we wait and see what happens. If misconduct is found, file charges, issue terminations, announce it, and be transparent at that time.

Instead, he released detailed allegations that are potentially criminal in nature. I disagree with this approach. You can be transparent and promote accountability without throwing your troops under the bus BEFORE an investigation is completed.

Continuing his tornado of knee-jerk statements, Chief Acevedo stated the Houston Police Department will no longer use “no-knock” search warrants, in a heated meeting with a group of activists and members of the public.

The method of HOW they served the warrant was NOT the reason bad things happened. The shooting could have still taken place if different search warrant tactics were used. The fact remains, the people inside the house decided to shoot at police officers.

Remember how the Chief stated this all transpired in an article dated January 28, 2019, in USA TODAY:

“Suspects opened fire as soon as officers breached the door at a residence in southeast Houston, Police Chief Art Acevedo said at an evening press conference. Two suspects died at the scene from police gunfire, but Acevedo said police do not know how many suspects shot at police.

About a dozen narcotics officers and six patrol officers, Acevedo said, were at the scene to serve the warrant and provide support to investigate the sale of black tar heroin. Officers breached the front door just before 5 p.m. local time while announcing themselves and hitting the siren and lights on a patrol car.”

However, that has all changed, because on Monday, February 18th, an article from the New York Times stated the following:

“Chief Acevedo stated the Police Department would largely end the practice of forcibly entering homes to search them without warning as officers did the evening of the deadly raid. Moving forward, he said that if officers want to use the tactic, known as no-knock warrants, they would need his permission.”

Without warning? I thought they announced themselves while breaching the door, hitting the lights and siren on a patrol car? I don’t know about you, but to me, that is warning.

Yelling: “Police! Search warrant!” + Siren noise = warning. Not to mention it was 5 p.m., not exactly dark out. I can only imagine they were wearing articles of clothing and/or body armor with the word “POLICE” clearly displayed on them.

So why is this such a debacle? Maybe because Acevedo rushes in front of the cameras to say ANYTHING at all, in hopes of appeasing the public. By doing so, he makes himself and the Houston Police Department look foolish. No one likes flip-flopping. Wait for the facts, it isn’t that difficult.

Search warrant tactical debates aside, I see nothing wrong with saying the following: IF the Houston narcotics detective(s) lied, cut corners, fabricated facts, or did anything untruthful to obtain the search warrant, they deserve to be punished.

If you have a problem with me saying that, fine. Don’t follow me or read my articles. I started this website to tell the truth about policing from an officer’s perspective. My main goal is fighting false and inflammatory narratives that exist today, making police officers’ jobs more dangerous.

The very same narratives that lead to people becoming radicalized and killing my co-workers in Dallas, Texas on July 7th, 2016, or days after in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

That is why I say if wrong, they deserve to be punished.

The public needs to hear that statement.

This isn’t me saying ANYONE is guilty, anyone lied, or speculating before an investigation is complete. It is an “IF THEN” statement. IF wrong, THEN punish them. IF they did nothing wrong, THEN they should be vindicated. Presumed innocent, until proven guilty like anyone else.

It’s the Chief’s fault for releasing such detailed allegations this early, while the detective was still in the hospital. His statements and the specificity of them, are the reason the controversy about truthfulness exists.

Part of fighting the false narrative of  “thin blue line of cover-ups” involves admitting mistakes, accepting responsibility for poor decisions, and denouncing behavior that is detrimental to police officers’ reputations. This needs to be done regularly and doesn’t suggest we can’t fight false accusations or stand behind an officer when they are in the right.

In today’s society, if you remain silent about something even POTENTIALLY negative, the masses assume you condone it. It’s that simple.

Put simply, a dishonest police officer has wide spread, long lasting, negative ramifications on the entire profession.

Recently, the FBI announced they are conducting an investigation collaboratively, yet independently, into the search warrant and possible civil rights violations.

As I mentioned, I have multiple follow up articles planned regarding this incident and related topics.

They include: Search warrants – “no-knock” versus “knock announce” how they differ and the pros and cons about each of them, the myths about the “THIN BLUE LINE OF SILENCE”, and lastly, how knee jerk policy changes by police chiefs simply attempt to appease the public but do more harm than good.

So stay tuned and feel free to subscribe for email notifications when an article is published.

As always, thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

Preventable MS-13 Murder Happens In NYC Subway

ms13 2
Image source: Facebook

On February 3rd, 2019, a preventable and brutal murder took place on a New York City subway platform involving rival gang members. The suspect who is now in custody, Ramiro Gutierrez, is a suspected MS-13 gang member. The victim is an alleged member of a local “18th Street” gang.

As you will hear in the video, the suspect shoots the victim six times in the face, after a physical altercation on the subway platform. You can see video of the fight and subsequent shooting here *graphic warning*:

As disturbing as this video is, one thing that immediately caught my attention, were reports stating the suspect was out on $2,500 bond when this shooting took place.

$2,500 bond despite being an identified MS-13 gang member!? We give MS-13 gang members $2,500 bond? Wow. Good to know.

But wait, there’s more. Not only is Gutierrez a member of a violent gang, he’s also undocumented and here illegally.

Oh I know. I’m wading into controversial territory here. Dare I mention ICE? You know, the federal agency that some politicians want abolished. As always, I’ll try to stick to the facts, instead of political fodder.

So the question remains, why wasn’t a “detainer” placed on Gutierrez after his arrest in December 2018? That is the standard procedure for someone charged with a felony, with a questionable immigration status. Let alone someone who is a member of an extremely violent gang. It only makes sense. Doesn’t it?

Go figure, that is exactly what happened. But not until he shot someone in the face six times on a crowded New York City subway platform.

According to an article published by ABC7NY, “ICE was one of the law enforcement agencies involved in 26-year-old Ramiro Gutierrez’s burglary arrest in December but then did not confirm that he was undocumented so he was freed on bail.”

Of course, the article goes on to say, “Only after his arrest earlier this week for the fatal shooting did ICE determine “he entered without inspection” at an unknown prior date. ICE has now placed a detainer on Gutierrez for possible deportation.”

So there’s the proof that this is what normally happens. It begs the question, why didn’t it happen in December 2018?

Political interference? Political pressure on ICE? ICE dropped the ball? I’m not above saying law enforcement could have made a mistake. Considering ICE was involved with the arrest in December 2018, the reason for not issuing a detainer at that time has to be an interesting one to say the least. There has to be an explanation or reason. Maybe we will get one, maybe not? We can speculate until the cows come home.

I don’t expect the judicial system to be perfect. I certainly realize people arrested for crimes have a right to be freed on bond before trial. I also recognize someone arrested for minor or non-violent crimes could be freed on bond and proceed to go on a murderous crime spree. We aren’t fortune tellers. If we were, we could prevent all crime.

I guess the question becomes, when do we take the criminal element seriously and put our safety above political cries to be lenient? I said my goal wasn’t to be political, doesn’t mean it’s entirely avoidable. I can’t help but wonder if political pressure played a role in the release of Gutierrez in December 2018.

Let me put it simply. If someone is arrested for a felony, AND they are identified as an active criminal street gang member, AND they aren’t here legally, that is PRECISELY when ICE should be involved and allowed to do their job. If their immigration status is cleared up, then and only then, should bond or bail even be entertained.

I believe this murder could have been prevented. The problem with certain political policies, especially those of lenience, is they have to be applied uniformly. Being concerned about bail being too expensive and disproportionately affecting the poor or minorities, makes sense, I get it. It’s certainly an issue worthy of discussion and future corrective action.

However, given the mitigating circumstances involving Mr. Gutierrez, certain procedures should have been followed preventing his release. This particular case isn’t about race, ethnicity, or financial status, it’s about criminality. When you are a member of a criminal street gang, you deserve to be treated like one.

Allowing MS-13 gang members who aren’t even here legally, back into society on a $2,500 bond is insane. It isn’t racist to keep MS-13 gang members locked up, it’s smart. Especially for felony charges. We aren’t talking about jaywalking or littering.

Violent people shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to continue their violence in our society. Period.

Luckily, the only person killed in this horrific incident was another alleged gang member and not an innocent person in the NYC subway system. Despite that, I can’t help but feel bad they had to witness such a heinous act. Especially considering it could and should have been prevented.

No matter who is at fault.

It’s a damn shame.

The Officer Next Door

Police Playing Russian Roulette? Wait Before You Speculate.

Katlyn Alix.jpg

By now most people who follow the news have likely heard the tragic story out of St. Louis, where 24 year-old police officer, Katlyn Alix, was shot and killed by a colleague of hers, while allegedly playing a game of “Russian roulette.”

I have waited a few days to discuss this befuddling tragedy, like most, I was in disbelief  when this story broke.

I want to believe the officer who fired the fatal shot is telling the truth, but I’m not naïve and usually when something doesn’t sound right, it isn’t. Maybe it is the cold hard truth? Maybe not? There’s likely more to the story, but I won’t speculate, for good reason.

That being said, in all my time in law enforcement, I know one thing to be true, you’ve never, “seen it all.” I remember times while writing arrest reports exactly how the arrest happened thinking to myself, “There’s no way anyone will believe this report, this is insane.”  But it was the truth. Sometimes things happen that are nothing short of bonkers and hard to believe. Thank goodness for body cameras, at least now the craziness can be recorded.

Am I outwardly saying that Officer Hendren and his roommate, also a police officer, are lying? No. I’m simply saying we don’t have the entire story right now and this story seems hard to believe. Maybe because we don’t want to believe that officers could be this stupid. They of all people should know better, so that naturally creates disbelief.

Either way, we need to wait. Unfortunately, that’s how our system works. The trial will reveal the facts and I’m sure that between now and then, more information will be released when appropriate.

Let’s not forget that the two police officers who were on-duty when this happened, have been charged with serious crimes. Protecting the integrity of the case for prosecution is paramount in order to have a fair and effective trial.

This holds true whether police officers are charged with a crime, or a citizen. However, in today’s world, everyone demands ANSWERS NOW! This short-sighted behavior needs to stop. There’s a process in place for a reason and that reason is to seek justice no matter who is on trial, potentially dirty police, an alleged drug dealer or gang member, or a citizen. The process is the same every time, as it should be.

It doesn’t matter who is on trial. The process must be done the same way and with integrity to allow the system to work the best way it can. And no, the system isn’t perfect, but that’s an entirely different subject.

This case is similar to the highly publicized incident in Dallas, Texas involving former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger who came home from work and killed someone she thought was in her apartment. Come to find out, she was in the right apartment, but on the wrong floor. A tragic mistake to say the least.

All of the facts surrounding that case are yet to be made public, but rest assured, the rumors and nonsense have swirled. Why not just wait for the actual facts to come out? Why speculate or spread rumors that there were ulterior motives? Hidden relationships? Or other ridiculous allegations that are nothing but that, allegations. What does that do to help the situation? I’ll tell you, nothing.

I guess we are a society that demands and expects instant answers and gratification. Patience, a virtue according to the most, seems to be a thing of the past. Try sitting at a green light for more than 0.2 seconds after it changes. You’re sure to get honked at and told you are number one. Pretty shameful if you ask me. Relax. Life’s a game you’re bound to finish, so calm down. 

So what’s my point? There’s a few.

This story seems odd, maybe it really happened the way they say it did, maybe it didn’t. Time will tell. Thankfully, the officers involved who appear to be responsible for this tragedy, have been charged and the process of seeking truth and justice are in motion.

Let me say that again for the anti-police haters, the internet trolls, the people who think police support pages and police officers blindly support police officers no matter what, THANKFULLY THE OFFICERS INVOLVED WHO APPEAR TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TRAGEDY, HAVE BEEN CHARGED AND THE PROCESS OF SEEKING TRUTH AND JUSTICE ARE IN MOTION. (I’ve had my share of trolls and haters on social media lately, but I doubt they’re listening, this doesn’t fit their narrative).

I recognize this may be hard to understand, but no police officer wants bad police officers to be employed and active. What good do bad police officers do for anyone? Nothing. It ruins police and community relations and makes the job of the good officers harder. It’s that simple folks.

Had this officer played “Russian roulette” and killed a civilian, my feelings would be the same. If the officer is wrong, fire him and lock him up. If a jury decides he isn’t culpable, then so be it.

Unfortunately, the wheels of justice are slow. Until they turn completely and all the details come to light, we can only wait. But we should wait in silence. Let the case play out, let the facts be sought, gathered, and shared when necessary. Spreading rumors and adding your own speculation across the internet does nothing positive or beneficial.

This was nothing short of a PREVENTABLE tragedy and for that, we should be upset.

May justice be served and Officer Alix never forgotten.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

It’s Been Over Two Years, What Has Kneeling Changed?

Kap Kneeling
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid kneeling during the national anthem before an N.F.L. game last year. Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem continues years later as we head toward Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

A petition calling for performers Maroon5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott on change.org to drop out of performing the Super Bowl halftime show, has now surpassed 100,000 signatures.

The petition which is titled, “Maroon5: Drop Out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show” has been gaining steam in the last few days, refueling the controversy around Kaepernick, the NFL, and the kneeling movement.

A possible secondary goal of simply kneeling during the performance, appeared in a petition update posted by organizer Vic Oyedeji today.

The update includes a link that if clicked, allows you to share a pre-written “tweet” that reads as follows, “@Maroon5, @trvisXX and @BigBoi: #TakeAKnee during your set. Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 and all players who protect police brutality.”

I can only speculate the petition organizer realizes it is unlikely at this point the performers will drop out, so a secondary goal of kneeling during the performance would suffice to spread their message.

So what do I think about it?

I support the ability of anyone to peacefully protest. With that, I have no issue. No one should. I am confused and have long been confused, as to how the act of kneeling will curb or prevent future acts of alleged, “police brutality.” It’s not lost on me that discussions about the topic may be one of his goals, clearly, that goal has been achieved.

I don’t condone police brutality.

Police officers don’t condone police brutality.

Anything involving police brutality or instances of obvious police misconduct, do nothing but make the job of hardworking, honest, police officers harder. With every instance of bad press and embarrassing mistakes, the divide between society and police officers becomes deeper.

This helps no one.

To suggest that police officers today actively support fellow officers with bad intentions is lunacy. The notion of a “thin blue line” covering up misconduct seems even more irrational now than ever, with the implementation of body worn cameras.

Speaking of body worn cameras, nearly every single police officer I know, who wears a body camera, loves them. Why? Because they can operate as they always have, without fear of being lied on. Think it doesn’t happen? Google, “False rape allegation DPS Trooper,” and read how devastating false allegations can be. Not to mention the damage it did to those who only read headlines and failed to see the follow up stories that it was in fact, a blatant lie. The damage is still done, sadly.

If Maroon5, drops out or decides to kneel during their halftime performance, so be it. It will appease some of their fans, maybe anger others who believe that police officers, by and large, do a great job.

No profession is absent of misconduct. It is standard logic that goes without saying. The difference is police officers bear a great responsibility of power and the ability to take a life. Therefore, we hear about their every misstep, on or off-duty. Rightfully so. The old, “held to a higher standard,” adage we hear surrounding police officers will ring true forever. As it should.

So the question is, “What can we do to have a police force worthy of praise in the eyes of Kaepernick and his supporters?”

Is there an attainable and tangible goal we could set and work toward?

Or are we failing to realize that as long as police officers are human beings, we will never have perfection.

Realizing an unattainable level of perfection and supporting a goal of striving for it, are two separate things.

I don’t have all the answers. I certainly would have told the world by now, if I did.

I know one side of the issue involves compliance on behalf of those interacting with police officers. However, it seems society these days is less interested in saying, “That guy could have simply put his hands behind his back, or not pointed that gun, or not swung at the officer, and he’d be alive today.” That too, is a tragedy in my opinion. If we are a society of fairness, we should consider all angles when assessing blame or causation.

I guess we will see what happens on February 3rd.

Ultimately, I hope people reading this realize one thing, police officers want to be perfect.

Any officer who blatantly breaks the law or abuses their power deserves to be fired, and if warranted, sent to prison. It’s that simple. I’ll say it again, police officers want to be perfect. It would make life so much better for everyone.

Damn the humanity.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

It’s Been Over Two Years, What Has Kneeling Changed?

Kap Kneeling
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid kneeling during the national anthem before an N.F.L. game last year. Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem continues years later as we head toward Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

A petition calling for performers Maroon5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott on change.org to drop out of performing the Super Bowl halftime show, has now surpassed 100,000 signatures.

The petition which is titled, “Maroon5: Drop Out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show” has been gaining steam in the last few days, refueling the controversy around Kaepernick, the NFL, and the kneeling movement.

A possible secondary goal of simply kneeling during the performance, appeared in a petition update posted by organizer Vic Oyedeji today.

The update includes a link that if clicked, allows you to share a pre-written “tweet” that reads as follows, “@Maroon5, @trvisXX and @BigBoi: #TakeAKnee during your set. Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 and all players who protect police brutality.”

I can only speculate the petition organizer realizes it is unlikely at this point the performers will drop out, so a secondary goal of kneeling during the performance would suffice to spread their message.

So what do I think about it?

I support the ability of anyone to peacefully protest. With that, I have no issue. No one should. I am confused and have long been confused, as to how the act of kneeling will curb or prevent future acts of alleged, “police brutality.” It’s not lost on me that discussions about the topic may be one of his goals, clearly, that goal has been achieved.

I don’t condone police brutality.

Police officers don’t condone police brutality.

Anything involving police brutality or instances of obvious police misconduct, do nothing but make the job of hardworking, honest, police officers harder. With every instance of bad press and embarrassing mistakes, the divide between society and police officers becomes deeper.

This helps no one.

To suggest that police officers today actively support fellow officers with bad intentions is lunacy. The notion of a “thin blue line” covering up misconduct seems even more irrational now than ever, with the implementation of body worn cameras.

Speaking of body worn cameras, nearly every single police officer I know, who wears a body camera, loves them. Why? Because they can operate as they always have, without fear of being lied on. Think it doesn’t happen? Google, “False rape allegation DPS Trooper,” and read how devastating false allegations can be. Not to mention the damage it did to those who only read headlines and failed to see the follow up stories that it was in fact, a blatant lie. The damage is still done, sadly.

If Maroon5, drops out or decides to kneel during their halftime performance, so be it. It will appease some of their fans, maybe anger others who believe that police officers, by and large, do a great job.

No profession is absent of misconduct. It is standard logic that goes without saying. The difference is police officers bear a great responsibility of power and the ability to take a life. Therefore, we hear about their every misstep, on or off-duty. Rightfully so. The old, “held to a higher standard,” adage we hear surrounding police officers will ring true forever. As it should.

So the question is, “What can we do to have a police force worthy of praise in the eyes of Kaepernick and his supporters?”

Is there an attainable and tangible goal we could set and work toward?

Or are we failing to realize that as long as police officers are human beings, we will never have perfection.

Realizing an unattainable level of perfection and supporting a goal of striving for it, are two separate things.

I don’t have all the answers. I certainly would have told the world by now, if I did.

I know one side of the issue involves compliance on behalf of those interacting with police officers. However, it seems society these days is less interested in saying, “That guy could have simply put his hands behind his back, or not pointed that gun, or not swung at the officer, and he’d be alive today.” That too, is a tragedy in my opinion. If we are a society of fairness, we should consider all angles when assessing blame or causation.

I guess we will see what happens on February 3rd.

Ultimately, I hope people reading this realize one thing, police officers want to be perfect.

Any officer who blatantly breaks the law or abuses their power deserves to be fired, and if warranted, sent to prison. It’s that simple. I’ll say it again, police officers want to be perfect. It would make life so much better for everyone.

Damn the humanity.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door