After several days of much maligning of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement with regard to recent police shootings, I think it is time to address the (blue) elephant in the room.
As a retired, twenty-year veteran sergeant of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and a black woman and a mother of four black young men, I come from both worlds.
Let me say, because there is often a lot of speculation about my police career, I spent the majority of my LAPD career working in field operations. That is in uniform, in a black and white, in patrol or patrol related assignments. I was a police officer and a police sergeant – not a detective, behind a desk.
For more about my career my autobiography, The Creation of a Manifesto – Black and Blue details my journey.
Having said that, I too am saddened by the loss of life on both sides; police and community. I am frustrated that there seems to be no end in sight. I am concerned that one of my sons could be stopped for some minor traffic infraction and then killed by an over-zealous, drunk with power, ill-suited for the job police officer.
Our children, and in some cases our babies are being killed with reckless abandon.
So, let’s not pretend that the horrific police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rogue were a direct result of BLM protests. Let’s stop pretending the police don’t have a role to play in all of this violence. Let’s address the [blue] elephant in the room.
Families of those killed by police whom I have spoken with, people who reach out to me on social media and my colleagues in the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform and Accountability will not be silent about the root cause of the violence.
I DO NOT condone violence against police. I DO NOT condone violence by the police.
It is further troubling for the black community when someone like Sheriff David Clarke and others try to blame BLM, which denounced the Dallas shooting. It continues to feel like a devaluation of black lives in pursuit of a scapegoat.