I Am a Black Man and I Am a Police Officer—But I Am Not Derick Chauvin, and I Am Not George Floyd

I am ME….

I am not like Derek Chauvin

I WILL NEVER treat you like George Floyd

Why do you want to do this to ME

I would NEVER ever wish that upon YOU

And there are many many more just like ME.

Since the definition of a “good cop” has been up for debate by those who truly believe there is no such thing and the meaning of a “good black man” has been criticized by the opposition – LET ME REPHRASE – I am a good BLACK PERSON who swore an OATH and wears a BADGE.

I was born and raised in the City of Albany N.Y. – capital of New York State. My family wasn’t rich but we weren’t dirt poor. But my father and mother were dirt poor – they are both from third world countries (Kenya/Philippines) so we were raised to survive on only what we needed and to be grateful and appreciative of what we have.

But I was young and immature once too. I’ve been in trouble, gotten into fights and had to learn to hold my own in a small city. Growing up, believe it or not, I never had any interest in becoming a police officer – truthfully – I never really cared for cops. But I respected them, even when I felt indifferent (and believe me there were a few times I did).

It was the birth of my first daughter that changed my whole outlook at life. I’m not perfect. Yet I was fortunate enough to learn from my mistakes. At that time I decided it was time to dedicate the rest of my life to serving and protecting the city that never gave up on me.

And now, what was once a career path I had zero interest in, has become something I found out I was extremely good at doing – my calling. Once I embraced empathy and compassion, I became what a cop should be…but everyone must understand and remember – there is a human being – a breathing being of flesh, blood, feeling and emotion – under that uniform.

We spend 8-16 hours a day listening to and solving other people’s problems and then somehow try to suppress all that so we can go home and deal with our own. My life is REAL just likes yours – last year my beloved father passed away from cancer, my mother suffered a severe stroke, my wife gave birth to our baby girl, we haven’t had a raise in years and I became backed up on bills – I HAVE REAL PROBLEMS LIKE THE NEXT MAN.

I wake up a black man every single day of my life. A blue uniform doesn’t prevent the personal injustices I’ve faced in my life. I wear a uniform but I LIVE IN MY SKIN. One can be taken off and the other cannot. But one half of me will never encourage or discourage the other – I CHOOSE PEACE AND UNITY. I understand your frustration – Please understand mine.


A version of this post originally appeared on Facebook, published with permission.

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