Dear NBC Connecticut,

You probably didn’t mean it, but you’ve done a wonderful job of attacking police officers across America.  Allow me to start with a story.

The first funeral I attended for a brother in blue was surreal.  It still feels like a movie when I look back on it.

We learn to process emotion by not processing emotion.  We fictionalize the horrors we see.

To this day, when I think about seeing his wife and children crying over his casket, I still remember feeling like none of it was real.

I wish NBC Connecticut could have attended some of the funerals of police officers with me.

I wish they could have met the surviving spouses.

I wish they would spend some time on the road with a police officer. Some legit hard time on the road, not enough time in a ride-along for a 10 second introduction that makes it look like they know cops.

Had they actually cared, they never would have referred to the Thin Blue Line flag as a “piece of controversial artwork”.

This week, it came to light that offended Democrats demanded a handmade Thin Blue Line wooden flag be removed from an officer memorial at the Capitol in Hartford, CT.

The title of the article by NBC Connecticut?

“Controversial Artwork Removed From State Capitol”

Here are a few of the lines from NBC Connecticut:

“What some say is artwork supporting police at the Capitol has been removed over concerns that it could actually represent opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

“The thin blue line is recognized by some as a symbol of support for law enforcement.  But others view it as a symbol of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was seen during a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017.”

And so today, I’d like to share with you some thoughts, NBC Connecticut.

First of all, I understand your desperate need to remain relevant in a time when people are deciding they no longer need local news stations. 

I get the necessity of doing anything in your power to hang onto meager ratings to sell overly priced advertising spots to companies that don’t know better.

But what I don’t understand is why you wouldn’t do some homework before putting out a headline like this.

The Thin Blue Line Flag pre-dates Black Lives Matter.  The term itself arguably pre-dates most people alive today. It’s actually from a 1911 poem by Nels Dicksmann Anderson, called The Thin Blue Line.  In it, the phrase refers to the United States Army, which wore blue uniforms from the eighteenth through the nineteenth century.

But what IS The Thin Blue Line, really?

It’s simple.  It’s the men and women who stand between chaos and order.  Criminals and victims.  Good and evil.

Every single day, I serve alongside my fellow police officers who look nothing like me.  Some are black.  Some are white.  Some are Hispanic.  Some are men. Some are women.  Some are gay.  Some are straight.

I’ve never known a police officer to NOT run in to a dangerous situation to save lives because of what the victim might look like.

I’ve never seen a cop NOT give CPR or stop an active bleed or hold a dying kid because they were black.

I’ve heard the arguments.  I’ve seen the knees taken at football games.  I’ve been punched in the gut on a daily basis by the Hollywood elite. “Police are killing unarmed black men.” You force this narrative down my throat daily.

There’s only one problem.  You’re all wrong.

Law Enforcement Today recently published an article correcting the misconceptions out there.

Let’s look at 2018 police shootings.

Of the 998 total Police Deadly Use of Force, here is the breakdown by Race & Age:

Race 

  • White –456 (45.69%)
  • Black – 229 (22.95%)
  • Hispanic – 165 (16.5%)
  • Other – 41 (4.1%)
  • Unknown – 107 (10.72%)

Age 

  • Under 18 – 15
  • 18 to 29 – 286
  • 30 to 44 – 379
  • Over 45 – 253
  • Unknown – 65

In 2018 there were a total of 998 Police Deadly Use of Force incidents. Of these incidents, 95.3% of suspects were armed. Here’s a breakdown of the “unarmed”.

  • White – 23
  • Black – 18
  • Hispanic – 6

Note: In almost half of the cases (22) where the suspect was unarmed, non-lethal force was attempted & failed prior to the use of deadly Force.

I wish you had done your homework, NBC Connecticut.

This flag isn’t a “controversial work of art”. It’s the embodiment of sacrifice.

You should check out a group called “Brothers Before Others”.  They make sure flowers are sent to the funeral of every single police officer killed in the line of duty.

You should report on groups like Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)” Their organization has been around since 1984 and makes sure to take care of ALL of the survivors of Line of Duty Deaths.

You don’t get to declare that you’re “pro-police” simply because you let one of your news anchors act as a Master of Ceremony at a police related gala.

You don’t get to act all high and mighty and declare “journalistic integrity and impartiality” when you’re literally writing headlines for the sole purpose of click bait.

And so, dear NBC Connecticut, you owe police officers across this country an apology.  You owe it to their families.  To their supporters.  To those who have had their lives saved by police officers.  To those police officers who paid the ultimate price.

And you owe it to the American public to do a better job.  Perhaps a little less focus on your bias and a little more focus on education would go a long way.

Sincerely,

A Soon To Be Retired Police Officer and Former Viewer