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THE THIN BLUE LINE – #NBRCMP

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“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.

FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT
FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT

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;

“Hey asshole.”

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….

DEDICATION:

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

RELATED LINK:

“Taking Cop-Haters to School” published in the Winnipeg Free Press, Blog of the Week on 12-02-2012.

8 Comments

  1. Yup, I think our friend Shirley has gone off the deep end… There are plenty of sites where she can spew her misguided hate amongst like-minded simpletons.

    It’s depressing to think that what happened in Moncton is becoming a regular occurrence, not necessarily to police, but in general. People become angry, confused, toss in some paranoia and some fire arms and you have a recipe for tragedy.

    My kids don’t react the sense of shock and horror one might expect to see when this type of news is broadcast in our home. It has become commonplace. Television, music, video games, movies, even books and magazines have glorified sex, drugs, guns, violence, and criminal behaviour to the point that it has desensitized people. We are a generation in trouble. Our moral compass is askew.

    My heart goes out to the families of the fallen, especially the children who will not have their father to tuck them in at night, pick them up when they fall, and cheer them on in the rinks and on the field.

    Peace.

  2. Well written James…..I agree with your son….must have a good father who is raising
    him properly

  3. James G Jewell

    I’m starting to get the impression you really don’t read the stories you comment on.

    If that’s not the case I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone take such grotesque liberties with the facts, spirit or intent of the articles.

    In truth, you lost me when you posted your “Karma” comments.

    “I understand Karma paid a visit to New Brunswick? Too bad it went to the wrong province.”

    Then you go on to explain you feel no sympathy because of the SIU decision on the MacIsaac case.

    Those remarks told me more than I ever care to know about you.

    The point of my blog is to offer a perspective about Policing from behind the badge. In pursuing that objective I hope to engage the public, educate, learn and promote mutual understanding between the Police and the people they serve.

    Your comments are taking the conversation to another place altogether and are doing little to advance the conversations you attempt to participate in.

    It’s unfortunate because when you started posting you presented a few rational comments that did add a different point of view to the subject matter.

    It seems your posts have significantly degraded.

    Frankly, I’m not interested in hearing your wild claims of Police abuse, rape and murder or providing you a platform to stereotype and slander Police Officers.

    You are a contradiction in almost every sense of the word.

    Your feedback is no longer welcome on this site.

  4. My daughter is an RCMP constable, she needs to read this. Well done sir.

    Thank you.

  5. Something I said?

    First off, you take tremendous liberty with peoples perceptions of police brutality and police corruption and who these people are, although I suspect you learned these perceptions while working for the exclusive club of ‘we’re the somebodies and you’re the nobodies”.

    For the most part people who come out against police corruption and brutality are advocates. Not the nobodies James has alluded to. Many are educated and have “that stuff” he claims to have, only we have no weapons, we perform our services for free and we’re not apart of an exclusive club that protects criminal wrong doing. You will never see us on TV or on a radio program. We are beaten up, sexually assaulted, shot at and sometimes killed, bringing us to the real reason behind our anonymity. We’re definitely not cowards. LOL. We’ve been threatened with public mischief charges and physical harm by the police, which in the past, police have made good on. I don’t think the public realize they can get into a heap of trouble just for swearing at an officer or flipping one off (things which happen daily between civilians), even online (DON’T DO IT). Police who are on social media are already taking advantage of online stalking laws to avoid being questioned by advocates about questionable police practices. It’s a viscious circle of lies that’s perpetuated by the police. We don’t physically hurt people, but sometimes peoples feelings do get hurt by the truths we speak (it’s unfortunately unavoidable).

    As I’ve stated in another thread (MacIsaac family SIU findings). if police want the respect of the public, then maybe something needs to change. Calling people names without having all of the facts won’t get you there (although in your case James it really doesn’t matter anymore). You seem to be of the impression you don’t need to understand where other people are coming from before you post statements like: “Ask yourself if you have the right to judge the men and women whose boots you could never fill.” How the hell do you know whose fit to fill what boots? What an ego. For the record James EVERY SINGLE PERSON has the right to scrutinize questionable police practices including criminal behavior and the lack of enthusiasm to prosecute such behaviors, without the threat of police harrassment.

    Life has a way of pushing back when it’s been pushed too far. The shooting in NB, my statements, and other peoples reactions (bad or good) on social media (I admit I haven’t seen them) are examples of it. Ignore the warning if you like. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time this happens.

    You don’t know enough about me James to judge me. If I don’t have the right, what gives you the right?

    FYI, if I saw someone kicking the shit out of YOU, I would rescue you. I don’t get to pick and choose who I stick up for James (but evidently the police do). It’s a knee jerk reaction I was BORN with. The majority of advocates are just like me. We don’t hurt people, we rescue them.

  6. Thank you Mr. Jewell for your dedicated service of the past and your insight today that provides much needed understanding to so many.

  7. Great article and your son is so right.

    I posted in my FaceBook yesterday…

    “Very sad today… 3 men killed, others wounded in Moncton, NB. In fact he apparently waited for anyone in uniform before he shot. Society has once again come apart. The killers FaceBook talked about his hatred for police and well, society as well. It scares me to no end, as I read very similar FaceBook statuses many many times.

    What’s the answer?

    So many people that hate…

    How do we help?

    I’m also sad for this killer, sad in the fact that how and what happened to him to cause this. Sad that now, he’s taken his hate and killed.

    It’s a sad day for Canada…”

    Then I noticed a FB friend reposting a photo from a cop hate site, of the killer with “Good Luck (killer’s name)”. He was a young teen, and put “Opinions?” and wanted comments from his FB friends. I sent an IM to him and telling him to remove it. He did. We then entered into a hours long conversation into his hate and mistrust for basically EVERYTHING! He had no concept why he hated police and government, none, yet he spewed forth until the wee hours of the morning when I finally wore him out showing him he had no basis for his beliefs at all.

    The problem though, is he represents a lot of people I’ve talked to. Anarchy is rampant and constantly fuelling people like this killer.

    We as a society have to stand up and stop this, to quote you, “The willingness to confront the shit, to stand up for people who can’t defend themselves, to sacrifice yourself to confront evil.” That’s what I did last night and continue to do.

    If you look at the killers actual FaceBook, and like some reporters have said, “This was preventable, look what he wrote on his FaceBook!” That statement is so ridiculous it hurts! I could “report” FaceBook posting ALL DAY long that are far worse that this guys, in OUR city! And then people “like” the postings! FaceBook decided several years ago to remove the Dislike. They need to bring it back and people need to DISLIKE.

    “Confront the shit!”

  8. Could not be said better James. Well done, Dick

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