Jul 25, 201603:46 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Madison Council hears that Blue Lives Matter
(page 1 of 2)
It was a most remarkable thing, last week’s Madison Common Council meeting. For perhaps the first time, the city’s elected leaders and many in the city itself got to hear from the people — real, actual human beings — who serve as sworn officers of our Madison Police Department.
They talked about kissing their children in the morning and hoping they would be able to return to them that evening. They talked about trying to build bridges and defuse tense situations. They explained the trauma of taking another life, no matter how justified, in order to save other lives.
In short, these police officers dispelled the Black Lives Matter lie that police are bloodthirsty occupiers motivated by racial hatred — the calumny perpetrated by much of the news media and seconded by Hillary Clinton and President Obama. (Hillary is inviting relatives of victims of police shootings to speak at her convention but not relatives of slain police officers.)
The occasion was provided by a grassroots citizen movement that has been putting up those “We Support Our Madison Police” yard signs in many neighborhoods — over 2,000 of them, so far. In concert with the yard sign campaign, those citizens presented a petition to Madison city government at the July 19 meeting. (Watch it here, beginning at the 23:00 minute mark.)
After 16 months of virtually non-stop calumny toward the police and unrealistic demands, city of Madison leaders finally are hearing from voices silent no longer. Not that Black Lives Matter doesn’t try to silence dissent.
It was heartbreaking to watch the BLM cadres heckle Midvale Heights resident Paula Fitzsimmons as she testified before the city council. And frustrating that the mayor is so timid in demanding civility (Ald. McKinney finally upbraided him for his lassitude.)
Real people, real police
They heard from Officer Rebecca Lindsey:
My mom was a police officer — she was hired in 1973 in the first female officer class in Madison. I grew up thinking only women were police officers … I wanted to be just like my mom. I don’t think we’re perfect, we’re not but we try and try and try. I am a mom to three wonderful children and I literally kiss them every day before I go to work because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me that day. That’s my reality. My mom paved the way for me and I will do it for my children. I teach safety classes in the schools … this fall, this child who had a lot of negative history sees me and swears and walked out of the classroom. I get it; people don’t like me … that’s my challenge so I am working to build relationships … fast forward seven weeks, he sits down next to me and opens his bag of chips and puts his arm around me and says would I like some. So when people insult me or insult my profession, I hold that to my chest. At the end of the day I go home and kiss my boys and want them to be proud of what I do.
They heard from Anh Sweeney:
I am a Madison resident for 27 years — a wife, mother of three, and Madison police officer for last 16 years. I am an immigrant to this country; I was born in Vietnam. I wanted to stand up for justice. I have been education resource officer in the high schools, safety education … I just wanted to say thank you for the support that we are being given … it’s very disheartening for us right now to hold our heads high, to hear all the negativity in the news and media and, frankly, to be killed now.
They heard from Kelly Powers:
I have been a City of Madison police officer for nine years. We can’t debate these things in the street and we have to cooperate. I just had a conversation with a woman Friday night in the midst of a disturbance in the street and I begged and pleaded with the people who were on the scene to provide us with some information so that we could find a resolution. Not a lot of people wanted to talk to me. It took one person out of the crowd, after waiting 30 minutes. I think it ended well. I want to see more of that.
They heard from David McClurg:
I have been a police officer for 25 years … I’m a father, a grandfather, and I am a police officer. In 2014, I had to take the life of someone, it was a profound thing … the person had killed two persons before I was there and injured another one. It is not something that I did easy or … ever wanted to happen. It affects my family, it is not something that is easy to talk about, and it is not something I ever would have wished. I value the Madison PD and what I do. What I ask you to realize that we as a Madison PD are very ethical and caring individuals who want to do the best.