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by: Clare O’Keefe

Last week in South Carolina, a female student was assaulted by a police officer at her school and was dragged across the floor. The video of this assault went viral and was all over social media and the news.

Are police offices good or are they bad? This question has been a hot topic of conversation for the past year. It is a heated topic of conversation, but is something that is very near to my heart.

I am the daughter of a retired NYPD officer. For as long as I can remember, police officers have always been my heroes. They risk their lives everyday and put themselves out on the front line to protect and serve their country. When people start talking badly about police officers and the work they do, it saddens me. I think people tend to forget that police officers are just people, like you and I.

It’s really as simple as that; police officers are just normal people. I think it is the title “police officer’’ that has gained the negative connotation, not so much the actual people who hold that title. Everyday, police officers are put into situations and are forced to think quickly under pressure. These situations can be as simple as deciding to pull someone over for speeding, or even something more life threatening like having to take action to protect oneself from something or someone dangerous.

I could never imagine being put into a situation like that. I know for sure that it takes a very special person to be able to do that.

Not everyone is perfect, so why are our police officers automatically being shamed and bashed by people who think the officers acted wrongly?  There are plenty of other people, including you and I, that mess up on something each and everyday. We have no right to judge others because we are not perfect ourselves. There are good and bad people everywhere in this world, even in every profession. I understand that because of their high title they are held to a higher standard, but that is how much more pressure they are put under. I think we have to step back and look at the bigger picture. We could all say we would always do the right thing, but would we actually? Police officers are trained to do what they do. They go through a series of exams and tests in order to be able to become a police officer. They are highly trained to do their jobs.

The hashtag “Blue Lives Matter” came about last year in response to people retaliating against police officers and their actions. Along with that, the other hashtag ‘’Black Lives Matter” also came around. In my opinion, it does not matter what race or ethnicity you are because all lives matter. It is as simple and clear as that; everyone does matter because we are all humans on this Earth together. We all have to learn how to co-exist, regardless of race, religion, or any other differences. Blue lives matter, black lives matter and all other lives matter. We should stop pinpointing certain races and saying that “their lives matter” because we all matter and that will never change.

All lives do matter. I hope the next time something controversial comes about we can all take a step back and be thankful that we have people who are willing to step up to the front of the line for our country. Just imagine how our world would be without the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting us.