Not the right type of be­hav­ior for po­lice of­fi­cer

Maryland Independent - - COMMUNITY FORUM - An­thony Schreiber, Col­lege Park

Every year high schools and towns across the coun­try dis­play oblit­er­ated cars in prom­i­nent lo­ca­tions near schools to re­mind teens of the dan­gers of speed­ing, driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence and dis­tracted driv­ing. And every year high schools across Amer­ica lose teens to car ac­ci­dents. Par­ents bury their chil­dren. Stu­dents bury their class­mates. Ath­letes bury their team­mates. Grief coun­selors are brought in to help con­sole the com­mu­nity. Patches are placed on sleeves of uni­forms. Trees are planted in mem­ory of the young souls lost too soon. Year­book lay­outs are scrapped and re-imag­ined so space can be made to re­mem­ber these pre­cious and frag­ile lives. Tears are shed.

Al­most unan­i­mously peo­ple be­lieve this is a tragedy and mourn with the com­mu­nity. Al­most. Not so Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Deputy Rob Glover, who posted a com­ment on Face­book about the fa­tal ac­ci­dents [on March 3] in­volv­ing teenagers in Wal­dorf: “[Ex­ple­tive] ’em, shouldn’t have been driv­ing that fast.”

This is the re­ac­tion of some­one who has been sworn to pro­tect and serve those very same chil­dren. This is the re­ac­tion of some­one who prob­a­bly claims to be­lieve that “All Lives Mat­ter.” This is the first re­spon­der who could po­ten­tially show up at the home of an autis­tic black child who is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an episode of fear and is wield­ing a baseball bat.

Would I be right to be con­cerned that this of­fi­cer does not value black life? Would I be right to be con­cerned that this of­fi­cer might not try to do ev­ery­thing in his power to avoid us­ing ex­ces­sive force? Would I be right if I said this of­fi­cer shouldn’t be on any po­lice force any­where be­cause

he lacks the men­tal fit­ness for the job? I don’t think I am be­ing too alarmist. It wouldn’t sur­prise me at all if this of­fi­cer is soon hold­ing a smok­ing gun and there is a dead black male at the other end and cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death are ques­tion­able. And yet he is still out pa­trolling the streets of a county with the fol­low­ing de­mo­graph­ics.

“The racial makeup of the county was 50.3 per­cent white, 41.0 per­cent black or African Amer­i­can. Of the 51,214 house­holds, 41.6 per­cent had chil­dren un­der the age of 18 liv­ing with them.”

Peo­ple are try­ing to re­mind you that Black Lives Mat­ter not be­cause they want spe­cial treat­ment, but be­cause they want hu­mane treat­ment like most peo­ple are af­forded. Res­i­dents of Charles County shouldn’t have to have their tax dol­lars pay the salar y of some­one whose re­ac­tion to the death of their chil­dren is “[Ex­ple­tive] ’em.”

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