THE BLOG
12/22/2014 06:32 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2015

Cause, Effect, and Justice for All: Cop Killers Should Be Brought to Justice, and So Should Cops Who Kill

What are you talking about Rudy?!? The extremist right-wing absolutes have to stop! When did Obama ever say that people should "hate the police?" That's the latest divisive rhetoric from former mayor Rudy Giuliani, and others, in response to the killing of two officers in NYC, meant to distract people from those not taking responsibility for policies that ran unchecked when he was mayor, on top of glaring disparities that exist across the nation allowing bad, poorly-trained, and under-resourced cops to get away with killing. Killing a suspect, particularly innocent unarmed ones, shouldn't be written off as some occupational hazard, or an inevitable consequence of the job. Nor should large communities of people of a variety of races feel threatened by the police who serve and protect them. These protests aren't about all cops, but there is a problem of excessive force with some. As people take responsibility for their communities and trying to tackle the socioeconomic issues and complexities that contribute to crime in general, so too should a seemingly intelligent man and those of his ilk who implement, or ignorantly justify, policies that do more harm than good. This in my mind shows no leadership, which Giuliani swears by (I read his book, entitled..."Leadership," well, most of it); these statements, at best, are cheap strategies to stay relevant and drum up irrational anger, continuing the political gridlock and gamesmanship that is plaguing our system and leading to another year of a mostly ineffectual and inefficient Congress.

In reality, however, this statement, and others like it, may be some desperate reflex in response to the recognition that the dynamic of inequality in our country is about to shift, and those in positions of power are threatened by that change and are reacting from base emotions of fear and vulnerability. It's sad. If people are resorting to vigilantism with cops as the targets, then we should all work to swiftly and sternly serve justice appropriately and show no tolerance of such acts. Similarly, we should take action to stop vigilantism of cops overstepping their duty to kill innocent black men. There are examples of a long-neglected problem of mistrust, unrest, racial disparities, racism, and misallocated resources. If all lives matter, then the response should be mutual outrage and remorse for the loss of life. That should include the lives of cops and citizens, whether black, white, or of any race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. We are reminded that part of the bloody rampage included the gunman's ex-girlfriend back in Baltimore. Throughout these struggles, many victims are being ignored. You arrive to these conclusions by a different series of events, but the net sum, or reaction should be the same. This is a national tragedy, and the loss of life that has us embroiled in such tension should be upsetting to us all.

Much like people feeling uncomfortable and confused about cries for riots and shutting things down as people have die-ins across highways, the same puzzlement could be attributed to the supposed pro-cop movements that are mocking the subsequent response to the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and others. How is "I Can Breathe" a helpful retort? Is "Hands Up, Don't Loot" really a productive reply? This cranky conservatism is not productive. To be clear, none of the families who lost loved ones at the hands of police, now thrust into the national spotlight, and attributed to these movements are anti-cop, neither are President Obama, Mayor de Blasio, or Al Sharpton. They are against the killing of innocents. They are anti-murder and are also seeking justice. Here's another parallel to consider, as people of a variety of ages and races marched in protest against police brutality across NYC, the vigils for the slain officers in Brooklyn have a variety of faces as well, the torment felt for both tragedies is not mutually exclusive. Until we realize this and act for change, the pursuit of blame will become quite disappointing as we discover if we do nothing... we're all to blame.