- - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The rioters of Ferguson, Mo., destroyed much of that town, and it probably will never be the same. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to have let rioters destroy a large section of Baltimore, a city which will also probably never be the same due to her reported decision to tell the police to stand down during some of the rioting.

Last Friday, Maryland prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced with what seemed like near glee, the arrest of six police officers. She said she had heard the cries of “No justice, no peace.” In other words, these officers may have been arrested to achieve her view of social justice, not justice. It also appears that Ms. Rawlings-Blake, Ms. Mosby, Al Sharpton and Eric Holder have chips on their shoulders and for some reason want to take that out on police officers.

If I were a police officer, black or white, anywhere in the United States I would be very concerned. I’d be thinking, Should I ever go into an inner city where the majority of residents are black? Why should I risk my career trying to protect the innocent and arrest the bad guys? I would see the rushed and probably overblown arrest of police officers in Baltimore as a signal that doing my job could ruin my career and family as it did the career and family of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Michael Brown. These men and women become police officers knowing that their lives could be lost in the line of duty with honor. They do not become police officers to risk being charged as criminals with dishonor.

I was raised to respect police officers. They are the last line of defense that protects all of us from anarchy. It is ridiculous to believe that police officers wake up each day and decide to shoot someone for the heck of it. Police officers have families, pets and homes, just like us.

The recent death of Michael Brown and others would not have happened if those who were killed had simply obeyed the commands of the police officers. And perhaps if they were doing something positive and good, they would not have been confronted by a police officer in the first place. My respect for police officers and the dangerous work they do will remain in place.

What I also know is that I will never set foot in Baltimore ever again. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking that. Baltimore will suffer more due to the poor decisions made by so many — and so will any other city that follows the same path with the same type of people in charge.

JACK YOCUM

Fleming Island, Fla.

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