November 13, 2014


This 20-year veteran police sear gent, who happens to be black and female, makes some very interesting and powerful observations about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Naturally, being black and from the world of law enforcement, she has a unique perspective which I hope you'll check out in full. Here are a few key excerpts.

Cheryl Dorsey: "The problems in Ferguson, Missouri, will continue long after the grand jury's decision is announced. The tensions in the community will undoubtedly be exacerbated if the U.S. Justice Department declines to pursue civil rights violations against Officer Darren Wilson. The real problem in Ferguson is the fact that the residents are stuck with a police department that seemingly lacks ethnic diversity, appears racially insensitive and is unwilling to admit changes within are necessary. The problems of the Ferguson Police Department are cultural and systemic.

As a retired, 20-year veteran police sergeant, I reject the notion that a professional, tactically trained, gun-toting police officer would fear an unarmed teenager. Police officers receive an inordinate amount of training, first in the academy and then continued in-service training. Police officers should expect, by virtue of their occupation, that interacting with the community can at times be contentious. Police officers are expected to rely on their training and common sense if confronted with an argumentative and uncooperative citizen. Police officers are not expected to take it personally when a citizen fails to follow an order given. So for Officer Wilson to initiate a traffic stop and then immediately escalate the situation to a deadly-force incident is, in my opinion, outrageous.

Maybe it's time to require police recruit candidates to prove they are not predisposed to being fearful before they are hired and given a gun. Maybe it's time to require a police officer to prove fear if that's the stated reason for firing that gun. Maybe it's time to hold officers who violate policy and the law when they discharge that gun personally liable. Maybe it's time to no longer allow the mere utterance of "fear" by a police officer as a justification for what our sensibilities as a society recognize is unreasonable and excessive.

Officer, if you were in fear, please explain why you did not remain in the safe confines of your police car. Officer, why didn't you call for backup, wait for backup to arrive and then tell backup that you were in fear for your safety? Please, Officer, why did you kill Mike Brown? If it wasn't because of his race, then what?

And finally, sir, would your please return to the police station, turn in your badge and gun and seek employment somewhere else, because, Officer, I am in fear for my safety."