“What’s wrong with people?”
That’s the question my fourteen (14) year old son asked when I showed him a Facebook page created by some misguided P.O.S. supporting Moncton RCMP shooter Justin Bourque (24). The page had a remarkable 1,268 “likes” on it.
My son wasn’t the only one disturbed by the flagrant disrespect put on display on social media.
“Whoever created this page is a f—ing moron,” one commenter posted.
There were many similar comments but the prevalent theme centered on requests to have the page deleted.
Police Officers are well acquainted with the “Police Hater” community who, for the most part, like to hide behind the anonymity provided by the internet, social media and the comment sections of our local newspapers. They are a select group of venom spewing hate mongers who share in their distrust of Government and rail against the Police State and the “armed killers” who enforce the Law.
If you ever get a chance to engage one of them in a conversation they’ll regale you with stories of Police misconduct, criminality and excessive use of force.
For the most part, they’re a laughable bunch of harmless nobodies who find purpose in their common hatred and mistrust of Law Enforcement Officers.
Justin Bourque is a rare and extreme example of the metamorphosis of a Police Hater.
He was nothing more than a little bug who somehow morphed into an armed and dangerous killer capable of paralyzing an entire City.
Now that he’s been taken into custody the focus shifts to the unanswered questions. The one you’ll hear most is, “Why?” What could the motive possibly be behind a vile cowardly ambush attack on a group of people who have sworn an oath to serve and protect us all?
“He must be crazy,” many people suggest.
Time for the defence lawyers, psychiatrists and the criminal justice system to take center stage.
Will Bourque’s defence team try to play the NCR (Not Criminally Responsible) card?
Sadly, the story now becomes more about the killer than the brave Police Officers who paid the ultimate price in service of their Community.
There was another phenomena trending on Facebook.
Active and retired Police Officers across the Country have replaced their Facebook profile photo’s with the “Thin Blue Line” flag. It’s a subtle gesture designed to express condolences, share grief and show support for our brother and sister Officers in the RCMP.
“The Thin Blue Line,” is a term often misrepresented and tainted with negative connotations by the Police hater community. The hateful spin the anonymous heroes put on this beloved term never really surprised me but it did give me an opportunity to take the cop haters to school in an article I wrote a year or so ago called “Taking Cop Haters to School.”
The article was selected “Blog of the Week” by the Winnipeg Free Press and published for a wider audience. For those of you who missed it, recent events inspire me to share the relevant information.
According to Wikipedia “The Blue Line” stands for Law Enforcement Officers. The top black part stands for The good and the bottom black part stands for the bad. All together, the blue line, which represents Law Enforcement, separates the good from the bad.
Although I can relate to the Wikipedia definition, it runs deeper than that for me.
When people ask why I joined the Police Department I have a simple explanation for them, it spells out the true meaning of the controversial phrase.
When I was eighteen (18) years old I was dating a young woman I accompanied to a downtown restaurant for a romantic dinner. After parking the car we were in the process of walking to the restaurant when we noticed a group of people looking across the street with horrific expressions etched on their faces.
As we looked across the street the cause for their concern became clear.
There on the sidewalk lay a disheveled man who was being subjected to a ruthless beating by some no account scumbag who was kicking him in the face, head and body. Every violent blow rendered the victim closer and closer to unconsciousness. It seemed the perpetrator was bent on killing the poor defenceless man.
All eyes cast across the street and not one person motivated to act.
Much to the shock and amazement of the gallery, I yelled across the street;
The scumbag ignored me and continued with the brutal assault.
“Hey asshole,” I yelled in a louder, more authoritative voice.
This time the abuser stopped, looked across the street and locked eyes with me.
“You kick that guy one more time and I’m going to cross the street and kick your ass,” I said, with an expression on my face meant to send the message I was willing to make good on the threat.
The scumbag’s face now mirrored the expressions of the bystanders, amazed that someone had the balls or concern to intervene. He stood there for a moment and appeared to be assessing his options. He looked down on the victim, clearly wanting to continue the beating, then looked back across the street at me observing I had now taken a step off the curb towards him.
That was all the coward needed to see, I was for real and I meant what I said. He turned and slowly walked away. The victim struggled to his feet and left in the opposite direction.
That’s it, it really doesn’t go deeper than that.
The willingness to confront the shit, to stand up for people who can’t defend themselves, to sacrifice yourself to confront evil. Some of us just have “that thing” inside of us. At some point in my life I came to realize I had “that thing” inside of me.
Just about every cop I ever met had “that thing” inside of them. It’s the same thing that was inside of the Police Officers and First Responders on “911” who ran up those stairs while everybody else was running out.
It’s the same thing that was inside of the RCMP Officers who responded to the call of an armed suspect threatening the peace and tranquility of a neighbourhood in Moncton, New Brunswick.
It’s that thing that drives us to serve and protect.
It’s that thing that gives us the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The twenty-five or so spectators watching the guy get his ass kicked on that sidewalk didn’t have “that thing.”
That doesn’t make me or Police Officers better than anybody else, it just make us different.
Police Officers represent a portion of the small percentage of people in society who have “that thing” that drives them to serve and protect everyone else.
“That thing” separates us from the majority, “that thing” is the essence of “The Thin Blue Line.”
I’ve learned to love and respect “that thing” inside of me.
Unlike the evil spin the cop haters try to put on this beloved term, I embrace the term and celebrate my membership in the exclusive club.
I challenge the Police haters to look in the mirror before they enter their next anonymous cop hating venom in the comment sections of newspapers or on social media.
Ask yourself what you’ve done for your community.
Ask yourself what you stand for.
Ask yourself if you have the courage to confront evil or sacrifice your life for the safety and security of your fellow citizens.
Ask yourself if you have the right to Judge the men and women whose boots you could never fill.
Next time you feel the need to spew your venom, do us all a favour and take a break from the keyboard.
That brings me back to my son’s question.
“What’s wrong with people?”
I wish I had the answer….
This story is dedicated to the men and women who serve our Country in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In memory of;
- Constable David Ross (32)
- Constable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan (45)
- Constable Douglas James Larche (40)
With respect and appreciation to injured Officers;
- Constable Darlene Goguen
- Constable Eric Dubois