“Because mommy cares.” That’s what Miami-Dade Police officer Lydia Marquez told her 4-year-old son when he asked why she was going to work.
In an emotional video she posted to Facebook, Marquez speaks about the recent backlash against police. “I may get in trouble for doing this video but I need to speak out about all these things that are happeneing to my PD family.”
“These things” include the two officers ambushed at a traffic light in Las Vegas; the shooting death of Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz in Illinois; the murder of Deputy Darren H. Goforth, who was gunned down at a gas station near Houston. And that’s just in the last couple of weeks. While the number of police deaths has actually decreased in recent years according to statistics, there’s no denying that tensions are running high and police officers feel threatened doing their jobs — jobs that are meant to protect the rest of us.
Marquez admits there are “bad apples,” as there are in every bunch, and we have seen many — far too many — in recent years. Too many times we’ve seen minorities unfairly targeted, we’ve seen police brutality, and we’ve seen that power abused, that trust destroyed.
There’s no denying that there is much work to be done and that young black men also feel like targets when they’re just walking down the street. That must be changed. We must do better in hiring, training and firing those who don’t honor the badge and the people — all of the people — who they are hired to protect and serve. This woman’s passionate plea doesn’t change that, and it in no way minimizes the awful things that have happened and that will continue to happen at the hands of officers of the law until changes are made. But if changes are to be made, we can’t alienate and attack the majority of the good people on the front lines — people who, by the way, represent a host of races and nationalities.
What this video does very simply is address the very real fact that most police officers took their jobs because they want to do good in the world. Because they want to help society. Because they are hardworking people who want to serve and protect — no matter what color the people who need protecting. “All lives matter,” Marquez says.
No, not all police officers are valiant, but a lot of them are damn good people who shouldn’t have to feel scared when they go to work every day, who shouldn’t feel like their badge is a target, who shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of a few. Because really, like Marquez, most of them are doing this job because they care.