Sunday, April 11, 2010

Up on the Soap Box

Excuse me today as I step up onto my soapbox.

Ahem...

For the past few days I have seen a few things on Facebook that have made me burn with rage.
It all started because of this:

Families of slain Lakewood officers to sue for $182 million KOMO News - Breaking News, Sports, Traffic and Weather - Seattle, Washington Local & Regional

But what really got me fired up and not able to sleep well was this follow-up article. I should clarify by saying it wasn't the article itself that made me mad, although the overall tone of it did upset me somewhat. It was the comments that readers left that got me so hopping mad. In fairness, I could only read two or three before I had to close the webpage so maybe there were some nice ones on there, but I doubt it. Maybe it's petty and I'm being emotional but it ticked me off. The gyst of the article is that the four families of the fallen Lakewood Officers are suing the county for policy change. I would too, if I were in there shoes. Honestly, a third time felon was let out on bail and then he massacred their spouses. It was preventable and yet "the system" failed. Then the community is outraged. How dare these families sue for money! They are so selfish! Their spouses would be embarrassed! I went to two fund-raisers, don't they have enough money?! Are you KIDDING me Seattle? Seriously?

It makes me crazy when we judge each other. Not the kind of judging where "this is right and this is wrong" but the "you let your son have a pacifier?" kind. The kind of judging that doesn't do any good. The kind that only makes people feel horrible and belittled. The kind of judging where you really have no idea what someone is going through but feel the need to tell them they are wrong in what their decisions are. You know the kind of judgement. Unfortunately, we're all guilty of it . Passing that kind of judgement onto four families who are in a whirlwind of loss and tragedy is subhuman behavior. To tell a widow, who's husband was murdered while having coffee, simply because he wore a badge, that community support should be enough, to question her motives when you haven't talked to her, to say that her husband would be ashamed of her, to question her character and integrity and her support of the law enforcement community is completely out of line. And what good does it accomplish? Not one thing. Except that these poor widows, the victims, have been so bullied by the community that they decided to drop their lawsuit. This is what it's boiled down to Seattle? Bullying a grieving widow? Really? Are we happy  now?

As a woman who sends her husband off to work everyday and prays prays prays that he will come home and kiss me and read our kids a chapter from The Magic Treehouse series, I cannot even begin to fathom what the families of these officers must be experiencing. To lose a spouse in such a horrific manner is unspeakable. Even if I didn't agree with what the families decided to to, who am I to judge them so harshly? I haven't gone through what they've gone through. My kids want their dad to come home every night ... to have to tell them again, every single day, that he won't be coming home? I can't even go there.

I'm just so ashamed of the backlash these poor families have had to endure. I wish I did know them so I could take over a coffee cake and let them know we don't all feel that way. That they have my support, whether they sue or not. I did find it interesting that three of the families dropped the suit while the fourth chose to wait and think about the options. That fourth spouse? A man. God love men. They aren't swayed by emotions or worrying about hurting someones feelings. Good for him.

I'm getting down now. And if by some crazy chance any one of the Lakewood families reads this, you have support. A lot of it. We need policy change. We need to know our husbands are protected. If the only way to get the attention of our law makers is by making them pay out some money, so be it.

Ok, I'm really getting down now. I'm off.

8 comments:

Momma Fargo said...

Wow! Not impressed with that way of thinking. Bad things happen to good people, but that lawsuit is strange.

Momma Hen said...

I do agree that the lawsuit is strange, but I also don't understand how change is going to happen unless their is a monetary amount associated with it. No one pays attention otherwise.

Jenney said...

Again, THANK YOU!
For one thing, the money will help feed their families...their breadwinner was just murdered...senslessly (spelling?). I am so not a sue-happy person either. Heaven knows how irritating it is to have people threaten/sue my husband and the department for arresting people. But really, I think these families have every right...and people need to lay off them.

Meadowlark said...

Well, I've always told Husband that if he dies because of something preventable (not getting new vests when the others become unsafe, not getting new Crown Vics when there are brake issues) I will sue in a heartbeat. Not for money but because somebody better be thinking not just letting my officer walk into harm's way. Interestingly, he says it would embarrass him and he wishes I wouldn't. Selfishly, I reply "you'll be dead... I'm taking down whoever I have to to keep someone else from walking in my shoes".

We don't discuss this very often because he says he wishes I wouldn't be such a hardass. Too bad so sad. :(

Mar said...

Preach it!

Sister Copinherhair said...

I love you, Meadowlark. For your bluntness. You just said it, plain and simple. I know these departments always say they have one rule.

Everyone goes home after work.

Therefore, there is no excuse for any kind of slacking. Now, the incident in Lakewood was more about the Judicial System than any error by Law Enforcement. How in God's name was this guy allowed to roam free? I just don't get it.

Momma Hen said...

Jenney - I'm not sue happy person either. I do agree though that these families have a right to it.
Meadowlark - I told OH I would sue too if he died and there was a department or policy error. And you know what he said? "Get every penny you can." LOL. I know he's only half joking and I wouldn't sue out of spite or greed but if what happened were preventable and the City or department dropped the ball I wouldn't hesitate. I also don't think the dept. would take it personally as I love everyone he works with and wouldn't be suing them personally.
Sister - I don't get it either. And that's why I agree with the families suing. Someone needs to be held responsible.

Did you all read what Mrs. Fuzz's hubby wrote the other day when he had to pull his gun? That his thought was that he was going home to his family. I loved that. It made me proud of him. It also made me think that most officers get the chance to think that they want to go home. The Lakewood officers were taken completely off guard. Only one even had the chance to fight back let alone think about his family. No officer should ever be in that position.

April E. :) said...

Go ahead! Get up there and PREACH IT!