Law Enforcement and Criminals’ Mistakes: It all Boils Down to Intent

Every time I log into Facebook it asks me what’s on my mind. Yeah, I don’t think so. Today, though, something has been simmering in my blood all day so now I will speak my truth.

Last night a young policeman from Raleigh, NC was shot in the neck while doing his job stopping and attempting to question two men driving a stolen car. Before he could even reach the car, he was shot. Let’s review. An enforcer of the law, who vowed to protect us and our property, encounters a criminal, who is a threat to us and our property. Anyone can easily imagine the emotions felt by the other officers, and yet there were no riots, looting, or arson avenging the shooting of this man who did nothing except try to uphold the law instead of break it. His brothers in blue, instead of destroying the neighborhood in which the tragic event occurred, closed the streets and maintained vigilance there to protect residents, and at the hospital to ensure the safety of the injured officer.

I know policemen aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. So do lawyers, business people, doctors, nurses, teachers, clergy, etc. People. Humans. The difference between one mistake that results in harm and another one that results in harm is intent. Do police officers go into a situation intending to harm people? No. They are there to prevent crimes from occurring to person or property. Do they occasionally make a mistake that results in injury or death? Yes. Do they ever get blamed for injury or death even when they haven’t made a mistake? Yes, again. They can’t seem to win among those seeking radical “justice” for the “victims” injured or killed during the commission of a crime. How does destroying other innocent people’s lives by burning down and looting their homes and businesses serve to change the path of  justice? It doesn’t. It just creates a deeper chasm between unreasonable people and law enforcement officers. What these people need to remember is that the police serve and protect those that have disdain for them, also.

By this time you have already formed an opinion on my subject matter, and you are either nodding your heads or shaking them. The fact of this matter is that you may be wrong. Admittedly, I have based my information on true, publicized events such as those I describe, but I am not anti anyone. I am anti violence, anti intentional harm, anti law-breaking, and anti knee-jerk reactions that are formed prior to the acquisition of real facts.

Our judicial system is not perfect and needs some tweaking, but violence and anger are counter-productive to effecting change. Peaceful protests and meaningful dialogue are much better received and stand a greater chance of fixing what needs to be fixed. While change is often necessary, our system must maintain the integrity needed to support law enforcement in its quest to protect our citizens, and changes must remain within this structure.

In summation, I would like to request prayers for Charles Ainsworth, his family, police officers everywhere, and for those living “on the edge” to be able to make rational decisions in their behavior so these unfortunate situations do not occur.



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