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Yes, their job is difficult, but police can’t misbehave

A recent Another Voice column describes the death of Eric Garner as a tragedy while suggesting those who consider that analysis inadequate should “walk a mile in a police officer’s shoes.”

No one can deny that police officers attempt an infinitely dangerous, unpredictable job. I believe law enforcement personnel receive a level of support unmatched by any other occupational group. I also believe Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by New York City police, should still be alive.

That people of color may be mistrustful of law enforcement is ancient news. But the NYPD persists in employing aggressive strategies that further alienate the public.

Why is the writer unable to understand that people can at once be grateful for the efforts of law enforcement personnel and their ability to accept risks, while at the same time alarmed by police misconduct and the reflexive solidarity that often follows?

Mark Nemerow


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