My father was a K-9 handler in the beginning of his Air Force career. Over the next 20 years of his military service, he succeeded in many areas of law enforcement including NCOIC and Air Force One Security detail.
My brothers and I were raised to respect the American flag and those who were willing to die for it. We were also raised to respect the law and those who enforce it. Some officers do their jobs on a voluntary basis with no pay. Some officers are killed in the line of duty. Most officers work overtime just to make sure their jobs are being done and the streets aren't left to the criminals, unsupervised. These officers are overworked, overstressed, and immensely underappreciated.
And in Jacksonville, the guns are blazing! The officers' guns, that is. Here we are, barely 2 months into the year, and JSO has already shot suspect #5.
I put a small blurb in my Year in Review post a few months back about the controversy surrounding the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the handling of suspects and police shootings. It should be no surprise to discover that I'm on the side of JSO. Jacksonville is a large city. And I don't mean in terms of metropolis-gridlock-and-NYC-skyscrapers-to-house-the-millions-of-people. I mean large, as in it takes me an entire hour of clear traffic to drive from the Northside to the Southside, from one end of Duval County to the other. Yep, Jacksonville is pretty much the entire county. There are a few other incorporated towns like Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach, but they've got their own problems. One of which is an overpopulation of homeless people who ride bicycles around the square scaring little children and making parents nervous. Oh, and asking you if they can have a lick of your ice cream. Ewww. See what I mean? Nervous...
But back to the Jacksonville Vigilantes (JSO): I support you. Just like I support a soldier in Afghanistan who makes the understandable (in my mind) mistake of shooting a suspected insurgent before the soldier can invite him over for tea in order to get to know him better and find out his intentions first.
So when two JSO officers were sitting in an unmarked vehicle in the bad part of town and some dude just walked up to the driver's side window and shot at them, the JSO officers shot back! He died. Hallelujah. There's one more dumbass off the streets. Now these two officers are being scrutinized, not because they shot the guy, but because the guy was deaf. Yes, deaf! Last I heard (no pun intended), being deaf did not make you unable to think logically enough to consider that if you shoot at someone, they might shoot back. He was just unlucky enough to shoot at two undercover cops. They should be promoted.
I haven't heard the story about #5 yet, but I'm sure he was a dumbass, too. And I'm sure the officer(s) involved is getting the full-on "you're ruining Jacksonville's reputation" treatment or else the NAACP is demanding the officer gets fired. And I'm sure this guy's mother, or girlfriend, or baby mama, or whatever, will be featured on tomorrow's local newscast crying and screaming about how #5 never did anything to hurt anyone and he took care of his kids, all 9 of them, and he was a good person who loved his mother, or girlfriend, or baby mama, or whatever.
Anyway, I'm one of those emotional people who gets choked up when I hear about a police officer who's been killed. I'm very happy to report that at least five JSO officers are still alive.
My advice: Don't do stupid shit that's gonna get you shot by the cops.