LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - To the citizens of Louisville,
I am writing this on behalf of the great police officers on our police department. I am one of those police officers and I say that with a lot of pride, joy, and emotion because I enjoy my job and the citizens I serve. I know the city is hurting, and believe me, a lot of officers, including myself, are. too.
We agree with the fight against injustice 110 percent. We understand the frustration, disappointment, and anger the community is feeling. We support our community, and as officers, we must protect our citizens from harming others or damaging property with rioting and looting. We can’t support that. We took an oath to uphold the law and protect and serve the people.
It is sad and degrading to hear how many of our residents feel about us. We get verbal abuse from members of the community daily, but even with that, we continue to try to be good officers. Even when we feel “IS IT WORTH IT,” we go out and put our lives on the line because we care not only about our community but the residents. That’s what we do.
Some people may say this is what we signed up for, but we didn’t sign up for people hating us.
+ We signed up to run toward gunfire while everyone else runs away
+ We signed up to fight the criminals disturbing the peace by upholding the law
+ We signed up for our kids and your kids to have a better tomorrow
+ We signed up because we love and care about our city just as you do
+ We signed up to help the residents in our community who have been victimized
+ We signed up to be role models for the youth in our community
We did not sign up to be treated with such hate and disrespect from the residents we swore to protect and serve. We understand it from those who are criminals but not the residents we are truly here to help.
As I said I speak for the good officers. Unfortunately, there are bad officers. We don’t condone any unlawful acts done by so-called officers. I say “so called” because we don’t consider them an officer when they violate people’s rights and abuse their power. We have so many officers of ethnicity on our department that put on their uniform and go out in the community to protect and serve. There is nothing more enjoyable than making people happy and children smile when they see us. We love our job. We love helping residents and knowing they are safer with us out there.
I am a police officer. I am a Black police officer. I am from the West End and I represent where I came from. I am proud to represent both the great men and women I serve with and the great citizens of Louisville. I have seen racism and prejudice firsthand – as a teenager growing up in the West End, as an adult trying to get hired on to a police department, and as an officer reporting to calls for service on my beats. That is part of why I became a police officer. I know in my presence citizens’ rights will not be violated or treated indifferently. Even through these challenging times, I continue to do my job professionally with respect and integrity, just as most of my brothers and sisters in uniform are doing. That is why most of us joined the police department.
I say this for my Black brothers and sisters on the department. We understand exactly what our Black community feels. We hurt just like you do. We put on our uniform in support of our people, to fight for justice and against injustice. We wear our uniforms and support our community proudly. We feel the same pain you feel. Some members in our own Black community have an issue with us being the police. We joined to make a difference, to be the face of our people, to ensure no injustice occurs in our presence. We did this is for ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and those who have experienced injustice. We have Black officers turning in their badge due to the hatred we see from our own people. How do we expect to make a difference when members of our own community criticize, degrade, devalue, and humiliate us for taking on the challenge to better our community? For my brothers and sisters in the Black community, I challenge you to become a police officer to help make a change because we Black officers who are still here will never give up on our Black community.
I ask you please don’t blame all of us for the acts of individuals who call themselves officers. Allow us to do our duties without such hatred and resentment for us. Whether it’s here in Louisville or in another city, we fight for what’s right. We are here to help you in any way we can.
Louisville Metro Police Department