What others say: Too much shooting on U.S. streets

  • Sunday, January 4, 2015 10:47pm
  • Opinion

The tragic killing of two New York City police officers threatens to compound the tension and discord that have wracked the nation after recent episodes in which unarmed black men died at the hands of white officers.

Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were seated in their squad car in Brooklyn Saturday afternoon when a gunman, apparently Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached from behind and shot them dead. The president called it senseless murder; the attorney general said it was an act of barbarism. To law-abiding Americans, it is a scar on civilized society.

Brinsley, who was African-American, fled to a subway station and committed suicide. Earlier in the day he had shot and wounded his girlfriend near Baltimore, Md., and left threatening posts online. According to law enforcement officials, he wrote on an Instagram account, “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs.” He used the hashtags Shootthepolice, RIPErivGardner (sic) and RIPMikeBrown.

The hashtags referred to the deaths of Eric Garner, who died during a choke hold by a New York City officer in July, and Michael Brown, who was shot to death in August by an officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Although Brinsley had a history of mental illness, it is small consolation to the two family members who lost sons, husbands and a father in the deadly assault. For the rest of the nation, it is a grim reminder of the daily risks taken by police officers when they put on the badge to go to work. The public is eager for the protection and security that police provide, and they certainly want police response to be done by the book, but Americans sometimes forget the potential sacrifice that comes with the job and that creates a fearful uncertainty for an officer’s loved ones.

As the nation moves forward in examining how police do their duty and how citizens approach officers of the law, it is worth counting the losses on both sides. Americans have seen enough dying on their streets, both officers and civilians.

— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Dec. 23

More in Opinion

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.

Steve Hughes. (Photo provided)
Voices of the Peninsula: We are all victims of COVID-19

It is disturbing to hear, as a triage nurse, the many reasons cited for not getting a vaccine that are based on misinformation.

teaser
Opinion: LGBTQ+ Alaskans deserve respect and dignity

Like every state that lacks equality, we need federal protection.

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: September is National Recovery Month

The biggest challenge when talking about recovery is the truth that one… Continue reading

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in this Dec. 19, 2019 file photo. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Opinion: Alaska will greatly benefit from historic infrastructure bill

I was able to add many provisions to our bipartisan bill that are targeted to help Alaska.