I don’t know you, and truthfully, if today you were to draw your last breath, as a Christian woman, I would struggle greatly with my duty to pray for your soul.

There are moments that I cannot conceive of a heart so black and ugly that you would call for a person’s life to be snuffed out, merely because they chose a career path with which you disagree.

You are a gutless coward as far as I am concerned, not worthy of licking clean the boots of my late husband killed while protecting his community, nor my new husband, twenty-six years into his law enforcement career, where he has served with honor, integrity and character. Not one of those attributes will you EVER have the privilege of claiming in your lifetime.

New Year

(Courtesy Sherry Graham-Potter)

what i want you to know

Tim’s squad. (Courtesy Sherry Graham-Potter)

Here are a few of the words you were giddy to share after the Michael Brown attack on Police Officer Darren Wilson and his justified response. Although these tweets occurred in 2014, they were recently brought to light after the shooting ambush of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona:

  • “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others too, too many of old age.”
  • “I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?”
reprimanded

UC Davis professor Joshua Clover, whose work focuses on critical theory, political theory, political economy, poetry, poetics and Marxism, has been reprimanded for saying that cops “need to be killed.” (UCDavis Department of English)

How many lives have you saved, sir?

How many sobbing, crumbling mothers have you clung to after informing them that their child is no longer of this earth?

How many burning buildings have you run into to save a family pet?

How many lifeless bodies have you breathed into?

How many suicide aftermaths have you witnessed?

How many times have you been spit at?

Confronted with a knife?

Kicked, punched, elbowed, head butted?

How many people have threatened to rape and kill your wife and children after you arrested them?

How many times has your marked vehicle been vandalized in your driveway?

How many times have you been concerned that the food you’ve just been served might be contaminated?

How many people have shot at you?

How many times have you called your spouse to tell them you won’t be home for a while, because you just shot and killed that person who was shooting at you?

How much blood, vomit, urine and feces must you remove from your clothing after work?

How many times are you demonized in the press?

How many co-workers have you seen die?

How many flag draped caskets have you carried?

How many children have you knelt in front of to present a folded flag?

How many doctors have told you that the stress of the job you do will most likely kill you fifteen years sooner than the average civilian?

How many times have the things you’ve witnessed led you to consider putting your own duty weapon in your mouth and pull the trigger?

How many times have you considered, that it’s people like you, and the appalling rhetoric you spew, that drive good men and women to even consider removing themselves from this earth?

How many times have you sat in front of an unsuspecting woman’s home, gathering the courage to inform her that her husband has been killed in the line of duty?

How many times have you been intellectually honest with yourself and considered what your life would look like without these men and women and their willingness to stand between you and the evil in this world?

I am not naïve, and I recognize and acknowledge there are people on the job that shouldn’t be; that become drunk on power, that fall to temptation, that lose their way. However, we are all human, we have failings, we are corruptible, we are flawed, selfish and greedy at times. I’m certain you see that in your own line of work. However, I challenge you to find a less corruptible group of individuals than those who walk the thin blue line.

Sir, I want to hate you. I hate what you stand for, I hate that you are in a position to influence young and developing minds. I hate that you have sycophants who eat up your shameful, vile and dangerous rantings.

Nevertheless, I don’t hate you; I pity you. I pity whatever caused your tainted worldview and your twisted logic. I pray you never have need for law enforcement to intervene on your behalf. However, if the day arrives that they must, I am certain of one thing; they will. Regardless of your disdain for them. Because THAT is who they are.

———

Sherry Graham-Potter is the surviving wife of Deputy Tim Graham, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, who was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle during a foot pursuit on August 10, 2005. While Sherry and her young sons struggled to make sense of their tragic loss, their local chapter of C.O.P.S. stepped in to support the grieving family. Inspired by the survivors she encountered, Sherry became a strong advocate for the role that fitness and nutrition played in her own grief process, and encourages new survivors to incorporate healthy habits into their own lives as they navigate their healing path.

Today, Sherry is married to Officer/Pilot Chris Potter of the Tucson Police Department. Together they advocate for health and wellness within the law enforcement community, teaching Fitness and Nutrition to officers across the country. The couple are both avid cyclists and triathletes. Sherry also authored the viral Facebook post to the Nike Corporation.