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

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Protecting workers, honoring the fallen

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, a Soldotna Republican who co-chairs the House Education Committee, speaks during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Supporting correspondence programs

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol on March 1. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: We support all students

In the last month of session, we are committed to working together with our colleagues to pass comprehensive education reform

Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Nikiski Republican, speaks during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ben Carpenter: Securing Alaska’s economic future through tax reform

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Alaska House makes the right decision on constitutionally guaranteed PFD

The proposed amendment would have elevated the PFD to a higher status than any other need in the state

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, a Soldotna Republican who co-chairs the House Education Committee, speaks during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Creating a road map to our shared future

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

An array of solar panels stand in the sunlight at Whistle Hill in Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Renewable Energy Fund: Key to Alaska’s clean economy transition

AEA will continue to strive to deliver affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to provide a brighter future for all Alaskans.

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: An open letter to the HEA board of directors

Renewable energy is a viable option for Alaska

Most Read