I sat in front of my TV and watched the Baltimore riots and felt pissed. I felt anger for what they were doing and I felt sorry for the cops standing in the skirmish line.
How can anyone set fires like that and think it’s OK? How can someone go into the street and destroy property like that? How can someone cut a fire hose or throw rocks at a fire truck?
As the rioters threw rocks and bottles it reminded me of a scene from the Middle East in the 1980s.
But it wasn’t the Middle East. It was about 40 miles from the White House in the United States of America. That’s not supposed to happen here.
As I watched, I also felt anger for what the cops were going through. I watched them in the skirmish line with their helmets, shields and batons and I sympathized with them. That easily could’ve been me and my friends working the line.
They didn’t ask to be there. They didn’t have anything to do with what the protest was about. They were just stuck there doing a job that anyone of us could’ve been stuck doing.
I watched as rocks and other objects were thrown at them and I was pissed. I was even more pissed when a guy walked up to the skirmish line with a trash can that was on fire and threw it at them.
It made me more frustrated to watch as the skirmish line stood there and didn’t advance to take the rock throwers into custody.
From the news reports, it appeared the officers had their hands tied behind their backs by the higher ups. Shame on the command staff for letting that happen.
Tonight was my first day back to work since my days off. Thankfully everything was normal in my city. Citizens waved and said hi. People said thank you when I was finished with my calls. One guy on a bicycle even told me he was sorry I had to come out after he was hit by a car. That was far different from what was going on 3,000 miles away.
Tonight’s shift made me feel grateful for where I worked. It also made me think of the men and women in Baltimore that weren’t so lucky the last few nights. My helmet was in the truck of my patrol car while other cops had all of their gear on in a hostile environment.
The last few night most people watched TV and only saw officers in helmets. I bet most never thought of the face, behind the plastic shield.
Under each helmet was a person. A real human being with feelings and emotions. They were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who just happened to be cops.
Try to imagine what it was like to be in their shoes during the last few days. Hopefully you can sympathize with what they went through. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it.
Thank you to all the officers in Baltimore.
A lot of us prayed for you while you were working in hell. Stay safe out there and keep those shields up.