As I sat in court yesterday, I found myself reflecting on recent events and others dating back to September 11, 2001. I awoke to news reports of the shooting death of a trooper from a nearby Kentucky State Police post, and my heart is heavy for all those close to him. The law enforcement family across the Commonwealth and the nation, who I am proud to be associated with, are grieving the recent loss of entirely too many of our brothers and sisters. The threat of hatred faces them every day.
My office has been busy lately with jury trials, many of which involve violent assaults where the victims were shot or brutally attacked with firearms or other deadly objects. These are only a few of many similar violent crimes being prosecuted in Christian County, and, unfortunately, we know there are others that go unreported on a regular basis. Victims may fear retaliation or decide to take the law into their own hands. Either way, we have an inside look at every aspect of those violent crimes, yet I still cannot comprehend the complete disregard for the value of human life that seems to be more prevalent now than ever.
After 9/11, there was a surge of pride and brotherhood among all U.S. citizens. We stood united against anyone who directed violence at us, and everyone was in shock, wondering how such evil could exist. Yet today, many seem to have lost sight of that mindset and have resorted to committing violent acts against each other.
High-profile crimes often encourage thoughts that they are racially motivated or justified because of police brutality or some other reason. Knowing that sometimes those situations do exist, I am also very aware that most of the violence today is senseless and completely unwarranted.
The acts of a few people within any race or occupation do not justify the mindless categorization of everyone within that group. Media accounts often sensationalize the bad apples, while those who are actually doing good are rarely recognized. In particular, there appears to be an attack, whether physical or verbal, against law enforcement as a whole.
I have the distinct privilege of working with some of the finest police officers, deputies, detectives and state troopers In the world. But, I also realize that they are real people too. Their families bravely accept the risk that their loved ones may not return home each day that they put on their badge and police gear. Yet, they do it anyway. They do it for us - because all lives do matter, and their job is "to protect and serve" - even the ones who hate them.
I write this as a plea to everyone to return to the unified front that we put on after our country was attacked. We face enough threats from the outside. We cannot fight and kill each other and expect our neighbors or peers to take up for us.
Now is the time to step up and take our country, our states, our cities and our neighborhoods back. I realize this message may not reach the individuals that it needs to. But, if each of us reach out to others with love and encouragement, rather than hate and negativity, we can make a difference. By doing so, maybe the public in general will start to realize that police lives matter, black lives matter, white lives matter - ALL LIVES MATTER!