Stopping Targeted Violence Against Police
There are simply no words to describe the loss that the Virginia State Police and our country felt this week. Trooper Chad Dermyer, a well-respected police officer and former veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps, was senselessly gunned down in an act of absolute cowardice by ex-convict James Brown III. This occurred outside of Richmond, Virginia on Thursday, March 31st. Although no motive for the attack has officially been made public, Brown’s aunt speculated in an interview that Brown acted impulsively. She further assumed that because Brown had a firearm in his possession, and as an ex-convict, would have likely been sent back to prison, he was motivated to attack officers who may have been nearby. Because of this, Chad Dermyer was shot and killed.
Trooper Dermyer’s death is the latest in a disturbing trend of police officers across our country being targeted for attack. Videos are being downloaded of protesters stomping on the American Flag, meant to depict defiance against police; media outlets seem to sympathize with these attackers, giving them ample face time to spread their message of hate and violence; Even our government leadership has praised the violence against police, as we saw last summer during the riots in Baltimore.
This trend must stop. Obviously, the law enforcement community is on a heightened state of security, ready for these attacks, but we need to do our part, too. People who seek to spread this message of hate and violence need to be reported. This needs to go from a “trend” to “taboo.” We have tolerated this hateful message too long and that has allowed the message (and, in my opinion, the violence against police) to spread. It must end.
If you have a gripe with the police or with the legal system, I respect that. I really do. I don’t have to necessarily agree with your opinions, but I will respect you enough to let you keep them in my company. From my own perspective, I carried a shield for over eight years and I certainly ran into my share of individuals who despised me for what I represented rather than who I was. I also know that I never saw anything but absolute professionalism from my law enforcement counterparts during my time on the job. It may seem hard to believe, but the vast majority of police officers are law-abiding, decent people who take their jobs very seriously…. People like Chad Dermyer. But what do I know? I only did it for eight years.
Peaceful disagreements and pushing an agenda of committing violence against officers are two entirely different things. If you think that there are issues of police brutality that you want made aware then stage civil protests, contact your local representatives, be a positive voice. But if you feel that the only alternative to violence is gunning down innocent police officers in cold blood, then the problem isn’t the system; the problem is you.
Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety, an educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management. Mr. Wells is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Security with a focus on proactive interventions to stop threat-related behavior. He can be contacted at email@example.com.