It's difficult to put into words the sadness I feel over the deaths of four Oakland PD members this past weekend.
The men and women who put on a uniform and patrol the streets of America do so for a variety of reasons, I suppose, but my experience is becoming that there is a certain mind set among them. They want to be on the side of 'good'. They want to see a society where people are allowed to live their lives without having to worry about being pushed to the edge of reason by those who have given into the dark pull of original sin. They want to help, to heal and to foster prosperity.
None of them want to kill anyone, make anyone miserable for no reason and few want to simply lord it over terrified citizens and throw their weight around.
We give them an impossible task and then we watch them like hawks to make sure they never never never make a mistake. And if they do, watch out...they will be dragged through the virtual mud, tarred and feathered and run out on a rail.
This is not to say that there are not abuses in law enforcement. Like The Church, whenever there are human beings involved there will be sin. However, the majority of officers are in this line of work for good reasons and are not gunslingers or monsters.
I am tired. Tired and sad and wishing there were easy answers to the questions raised by this weekend's rampage. What I do know is that four men's children will be growing up without fathers because one man chose a course of action that goes against what is reasonable and right. Nothing can excuse what Mixon did, nothing. Not poverty, race or economics. Nothing. Too many of us struggle through day by day facing the same kind of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and do not find it necessary to execute two men lying in the street, or hold up in a closet with an AK 47 or rape a 12 year old girl.
My heart breaks for his family - yes, for the family of the perpetrator. Why? Because at some point a person has to look at what kind of environment a child was raised up in that would make the choices he made seem inevitable. At some point soul searching is required. And the first reaction to soul searching is anger and defensiveness. Thus the tendency to lash out and deflect and blame.
I ask for prayers for all the people involved. Please keep them close and hold them up to the Lord. May St Michael the Archangel defend our law enforcement personnel and may Jesus light their way.