When one thinks of hatred, images of the KKK and other racist groups come to mind. It’s easy to label them as hate groups because their hatred is easily evident. No moral person disagrees.
But what is hatred? Merriam-Webster defines hatred as a, “extreme dislike or disgust.” With the racists above, their hatred is rightly identified immoral as it originates from an uncontrollable trait (one’s skin color).
I can sit here and tell you a story about how I was a good kid who wanted to be a cop since I was a little child. I could, as most every cop can, tell you that my only reason for being a police officer was to protect those I love, inclusive of everyone in my community. I can even show you bodily scars demonstrating my dedication to this endeavor.
Unfortunately, a very loud minority of our population (hereafter called “haters”) would immediately dismiss me as some privileged white male who is simply on a power trip or, “he must have become a cop because he was bullied in high-school.” This same group would have you believe, I, because of my profession, run out onto the streets looking for black males to slaughter because I must be racist.
I acknowledge there are racists among us in law-enforcement, but they dwindle as fast as good officers can find them and we are the majority. Any motivation based only on one’s race is simply unconscionable and every officer I personally know agrees.
But these haters (comprised of all races) refuse to hear us. They ignore our pleas for peace, while they also ignore the rule of law. These haters “protest” while burning our cities and call for the death of our friends, cousins, uncles, fathers, sister’s, and mothers. Why is this hate not treated like that of the racist we spoke of earlier? Is this hate any different? Why do we allow this hate to continue?
As I sit here writing this, I mourn for all my brothers and sisters who wear a badge. I mourn because of the hatred they feel every day they put on a uniform. I mourn because these haters have made it popular to hate the police. I mourn because I fear for their safety. I mourn because they are our last line of defense against those who wish to do society harm. If law enforcement falls, so does our nation.
The night I was shot, I had a small cross in my plate carrier. It read, “God bless our Police Officers. Keep them safe both day and night. Give them strength and courage to enforce all that is right.”
Be safe brothers and sisters and watch your six.
Jeremy Scharlow currently lives in Illinois. He obtained his bachelor’s in business administration and is currently completing work in completion of his Master of Arts in legal studies, both at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is medically retired from the Mahomet Police Department where he served as a patrol officer for 10.5 years and as a METRO SWAT member for 9 of those years. After his line-of-duty injury, he began advocating for PTSD awareness in the law enforcement community.