Dec 21, 2014

On Saturday December 20, 2014, the NYPD and the law enforcement community nationwide suffered the loss of two great officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, at the hands of a coward. The killings of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu come at a time of significant tension between communities and the police, driven by politics, the media, and the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. It is my belief that the blood of these two officers is on the hands of all the above, as well as Eric Holder and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Eric Holder is culpable for his refusal to accept the grand juries’ decisions NOT to indict the officers involved in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases and he continues to investigate these cases, pledging justice will ultimately be served. Mayor De Blasio has contributed to the problem by telling the media that he had told his own son that he needed to be careful around the NYPD because of how they treat young black males.

Here in Fairfax County, police officers have a Chief of Police that supports them and will stand up for them, and a supportive Board of Supervisors. We are well-trained, dedicated officers who make split-second, sometimes life-and-death decisions every day that affect not only our lives but the lives of others. These decisions take into account the particular situation, the rule of law, as well as the threats to law enforcement officers and the community that we are sworn to protect. Race, gender, nationality, or political party do not impact these decisions.

Across the country, political concerns, media bias, and racial tensions have significantly impacted how policing is currently perceived. Never mind that crimes had occurred to bring the police into these situations in the first place. Lately, it seems that politicians, public figures, and members of the media do not want to be bothered with the facts; they would rather disseminate half-truths and distortions in order to tell the story they have decided they want to tell.

There is nothing wrong with the way that police do their jobs across this great nation. It is true that no department is without sin, but we are all human and humans make mistakes. Politicians should focus on the real issues threatening our country: the lingering economic recession, ongoing high unemployment in certain areas, children going hungry, and family units crumbling from the stress and pressure instead of micromanaging and second-guessing dedicated police officers. For the media who is always shocked when challenged by law enforcement organizations: Hold on tight because the Fraternal Order of Police is 325,000 members strong, and you WILL be hearing from us.

Brad Carruthers, President, Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 77