But Harrison County isn't the only place where frustration and anger is replacing reason. Dallas Police Officer Nick Novello, a 24-year police veteran, recently filed an internal complaint against three senior officers for false arrest and excessive force. That's a hard thing to do. I know what Officer Novello is facing, and I wonder what the Dallas Police Department is going to do to support him. I know the level of support I got in most cases after reporting serious police misconduct, and it wasn't good. I still get hate mail; the most recent was just last week.
I suppose that by sharing my thoughts, some cops will accuse me of maligning the good name of all officers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of cops are good cops, especially Minneapolis cops. They work very hard, putting their lives on the line every time they put on that uniform, and I am proud to say I was one of them.
My message is and always has been this: There are a lot of things wrong with the system and there are cops that unleash their anger and hatred on the citizenry and we need to hold them strictly accountable. But for most of us, the ranting and raving is just that, ranting and raving. It may be a lousy way of communicating our feelings, so be it.
But don't let those feelings push you into acts that will result in the loss of your job, your honor, or your life. You wouldn't let a fellow officer go out and commit mass murder, even though you wouldn't deny him or her right to rant and rave about it. Rant and rave if you have to. Get it out of your system. Then be a peace officer. You owe it to your partner, you owe it to your family, and you owe it to yourself.