“PEOPLE ONLY care about us after we are dead,” were the words a NY cop said to me over 20 years ago after helping me out in a difficult situation. As I expressed my gratitude to him, we somehow got into an extensive conversation about a cop’s duties.
Lately, with all the current tension, his words have been echoing in my ears.
After 9/11, America loved our cops. Heroically, they sacrificed their lives for us, and we as a nation authentically grieved for them and with them, as a community. In solidarity, navy blue NYPD baseball hats (as well as FDNY hats) were worn by many of us.
I suppose it is common to have issues with those who enforce authority and conformity, law and order. As police often cordon off areas with their yellow tape and wooden barricades, it seems sometimes that a true barricade is erected between authority and community, creating an “us” vs. “them” dynamic.