Law enforcement is not a protection racket. It is a sacred charge. We take an oath not to any individual or faction but to the Constitution, or, in other words, to society at large. Because, at the end of the day, law enforcement and the community are the same. The police are the community, and the community is the police.
I served 27 years in law enforcement. I won’t lie to you: Serving as a black, female police officer, I faced barriers both inside and outside the law enforcement community. When I was appointed Orlando’s first female chief of police, one online commenter’s reaction was, “Black bitch — what’s she gonna do?”
Despite the challenges, I loved my career. Modern policing, at its best, is a dynamic, constructive, collaborative and empowering relationship between officers and civilians, predicated on the fundamental principle that in the eyes of the law, all of us are equal.
The attorney general’s words were so disappointing because that modern dynamic was not inevitable — nor is it perfect today.