Have you ever attended the funeral of a cop killed in the line of duty?

During the latter months of 2014, the police have come under much scrutiny and civil unrest has surfaced in many predominately African American communities in America.

The deaths of several black men, specifically, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, et al, have brought violence to the streets and accusations against police departments as a whole.

I have no intention of voicing an opinion on the guilt, innocence, or justification of the police officers involved in these uses of force or deadly force because I do not possess enough material and factual information to form an intelligent or educated opinion. To mouth off prematurely would be irresponsible and foolish. I do, however, want to make a statement of irrefutable fact.

One of the secondary assignments I had for a few years during my time with the Suffolk County Police Department in New York was to act as officer in charge of the funeral processions held for police officers killed in the line of duty.

Such a funeral would draw anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 uniformed officers from the metropolitan New York area and far beyond to pay respect to a fallen comrade. I was given the responsibility to assemble, move, and position these troops outside the funeral home and wait for the body to be removed to the place of burial or cremation.

One might think that thousands of seasoned police officers, men and women accustomed to witnessing more than their share of human sorrow, could stoically stand in formation and watch their deceased colleague sent to their eternal rest without a display of emotion. But I challenge anyone to hear the command to “present arms,” not close their eyes while the bugle played Taps, or shudder when the honor guard’s seven rifles fired off three volleys, then listen to a lone bagpiper play a slow version of Amazing Grace, and keep a dry eye.

After the ceremony, many of those thousands would begin their long drive home, while others would adjourn to several of the local fire houses to get quietly “anesthetized” with the beer provided by the police department.

But in the days following the unjustified murder of a police officer, never did I see a group of brother and sister officers assemble in the neighborhood of the alleged killer and claim that all those citizens were guilty of wholesale prejudice against all cops.

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