I am a Democratic liberal, a fact evident to anyone reading this blog on a regular basis. But I do not condone the killing of police officers and feel their death in this manner is fundamentally different from all other murders.
One can argue ad infinitum about the death of blacks and other minorities at the hands of the police, a thoroughly justified grievance. But when a police officer dies, it is fundamentally different because without the police, our society would descend into chaos.
Police represent the rule of law, and their often thankless task deserves respect and obedience. It is not just that blacks need to conform to their orders; we all must do so. That’s why the funeral of Officer Ramos drew people of every political persuasion.
People in black communities do not need to fear the police. Even if they are mistakenly arrested, our system of justice is one of the best in the world. The cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown are exceptions to the rule just like the AirAsia plane crash — people do not stop flying as a result.
So, yes, I grieve at the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown; like Mayor De Blasio, I side with and understand the protesters. They are people of my party who think like me. But I am also cognizant of the police as well and the vital role they play in our society. And I will continue to greet them with a “Hello, Officer,” when I encounter them on the street.