In the hierarchy of lives that matter, you have blacks on top, most other people in the middle, and at the bottom, just below the potato peelings and rat excrement, you have cops — especially cops of pallor. That would explain the abject lack of sympathy for Baltimore police officer Andrew Groman, who was shot in the line of duty.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the 27-year-old Groman took a bullet to the abdomen during what should have been a routine traffic stop last Sunday. Donte Jones, the shooter, 19, was subsequently collared and has been charged with attempted murder, assault, resisting arrest, and other offenses. Groman is said to be recovering from surgery last Monday and is reported in stable condition.
Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said at a news conference Monday, “This really exemplifies the risk that first responders face every day.” Commissioner Anthony W. Batts was unable to attend conference but released a statement: In it he asked for prayers for a member of the force who lay injured in a hospital.
Here is the response he received from Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP:
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Although I certainly understand the pain and frustration expressed by Commissioner Batts, I believe his questioning of the community’s response to the shooting is misplaced and not helpful to the dialogue between the police and the community we’re trying to build.
A group named Baltimore Bloc not only spurned the commissioner’s plea for solidarity and communal healing but attacked him. On its Facebook page, the organizers wrote:
Baltimore Bloc condemns the insensitive and deliberately provocative comments made by Anthony Batts last night. Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the community. They are aware this is a dangerous job, as is the community who pays them for this service, arms them with several weapons at a time, and provides them with bulletproof vests and other protective gear that in some cases we are not legally permitted to own ourselves.
This is quite different from the circumstances surrounding the in-custody murders of unarmed civilians by those same extremely armed and protected agents of the state.
And you wonder why we as a nation can’t have nice things.