A longtime commenter sent me an email Friday night. The commenter, which I am not going to identify, has needled me before about police misconduct, both in emails and here on the blog.
The title of the email was “Shooting citizens,” so I should have expected this was not going to be a social call. The text read as follows:
Wyatt, you already have pretty much a free pass to shoot citizens when you are “In fear for your life”, a courtesy that is denied to the rest of the population, but if you keep up this shit, you are going to lose that free pass.
The commenter then refers to a story from St. Louis, where a white police officer shot a black off-duty St. Louis police officer in the aftermath of a high-speed chase. The off-duty officer responded to help, and was shot in a case of mistaken identity.
Idiotic move on the white officer’s part? Yes. Should he be disciplined for it? Yes. Does this have any bearing on me or my performance as a police officer? Of course not.
For those of you new to the blog, I am a police detective with twenty-three years of service. In that time, I have never been involved in a shooting, have never been accused of using excessive force, and have been cleared of my three IAB complaints. Two were the result of personal grudges, and one was performance-related.
Anyway, as to the message. I’m not sure why the person is saying “I” have a free pass to shoot citizens, since I have never shot a citizen anything more lethal than a dirty look. I guess I should also ask this person what “shit” I am keeping up, because the linked story did not mention me nor my department.
Look, I get because people read stories about me, my family, and my profession, they think there is a realm of familiarity between us. In some cases that is true, but not in every case. This person doesn’t know me, my coworkers, or how I handle myself at work… and never will.
As for the readers out there, you don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like police officers. Personally, I couldn’t care less. My only question is if you are not fond of law enforcement, why would you waste your time reading a cop’s blog?
My response was sent in anger, but I believe it was measured, considering my mood at the time: “Twenty-three years and I’ve never fired a shot, or had a use of force complaint against me, but keep painting with that broad brush, brah.”
For all intents and purposes, this commenter is persona non grata. The person is not welcome here anymore.