Fallen Officers Demand America’s Reawakening

July 20, 2016 Updated: July 21, 2016

The diabolical brutality that erupted against our police pierces the hearts of loved ones, communities, the law enforcement family, and the very heart of America.

This senseless, unending anguish violates America’s security and rips the cohesiveness of police-community relations, critical to the preservation of society.

The alarming killings of police throughout the country is like one not experienced in decades. It is not just the horrific recent killings of police in Dallas or Baton Rouge. Police are being killed nationwide and the appalling reality is that things might get worse before they get better.

These tragedies are a sad commentary about the brokenness of American society since without collaboration between the police and the people, a society cannot endure.

America must be reawakened and build ethical bridges of respect, dignity, and decency within every facet of society, especially between the police and the people.

These bridges must be built in our schools, campuses, workplaces, families, and communities.

A bullet hole is seen in the window of the Fitness Expo in Baton Rouge, La., on July 19, 2016. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
A bullet hole is seen in the window of the Fitness Expo in Baton Rouge, La., on July 19, 2016. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Honoring Fallen Baton Rouge Officers

America was shaken to its core when five police officers were senselessly killed and nine wounded in Dallas on July 7.

The somber memorials and funerals were witnessed not only by America but by countries around the globe, bearing testimony to this reprehensible violence against law enforcement.

Compounding this heart-wrenching loss of heroes gone too soon, was the additional unspeakable killings of three additional officers, and three wounded only ten days later in Baton Rouge.

These officers, representing the best in all of us, were killed responding to protect their community to a call about a suspicious person with an assault rifle.

It is a dangerous time to be a police officer in America. This is manifested unceasingly with violence in our schools, campuses, workplaces, homes, and communities. The violence is also inflicted upon our society’s ethical guardians who have sworn to protect us.

America must respond with full force commitment to resolve the crisis. The lives of the most recently fallen officers, along with all who have died protecting and serving America, must not be in vain.

People attend a vigil on July, 18, 2016, for Matthew Gerald, one of the three officers killed Sunday, July 17, at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)
People attend a vigil on July, 18, 2016, for Matthew Gerald, one of the three officers killed Sunday, July 17, at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)

Corporal Montrell L. Jackson—was a 10-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. He was a proud new father since he and his wife had just celebrated the birth of a baby just two months ago.

The morning after five police officers were killed in Dallas, Corporal Jackson memorialized his sentiments on Facebook.

“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”

Corporal Jackson added foreboding words applicable not only to his city but to America:

“Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city must and will get better.”

Just nine days later, Corporal Jackson was dead, killed by the hatred that his admirable life of duty, sacrifice, and honor contradicted.

Officer Matthew Gerald—was assigned to the Baton Rouge Police Department uniform patrol bureau.

He was a member of the police department for less than one year and a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq.

Shortly after the Baton Rouge rampage started, his wife ominously posted on Facebook a link to television coverage of the tragedy. “Everyone please pray!!! She added, “My husband along with others is out there.”

Deputy Brad Garafola—was a father of four and member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office since April 23, 1992.

Tonja Garafola, Deputy Garafola’s wife posted these heart-wrenching sentiments about her beloved husband on Facebook after the tragedy, “Our hearts are completely broken and still in disbelief of it all. Brad, I love you so much and I don’t know how to do this without you, you’re my best friend, my rock, and my hero.”

Final Reflections

According to grim statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), preliminary 2016 law enforcement fatalities as of July 19 show a 72 percent increase of firearms-related deaths compared to the same time frame of 2015.

The unity of effort between the police and the people is critical to America. Our nation will only be on the path of reawakening when we fully commit ourselves to ethical pillars of leadership, character, dignity, and respect.

The virtues enshrined on the Baton Rouge Police Department website are protection, obligation, leadership, integrity, courage, and excellence.

The fallen Baton Rouge police officers honored these virtues with their heroic sacrifices. America must honor their lives, and the lives of all who perished protecting and serving our nation. Only when our police and people are truly united will America be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Vincent J. Bove
Vincent J. Bove

Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.