It’s been great to be back in South Florida, especially on the occasion of our daughter Aubrey’s college graduation from Nova Southeastern University on Friday. And of course, Friday was the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, the end of World War II — in which my father, Buck West, served. So I can just imagine the smile on Dad’s face yesterday as he and Mom looked down from Heaven on the auspicious occasion.
Another great piece of news is that the remodeling of our home in Plantation here in Florida has been completed and we were together as family in our first home after retiring from the Army 11 years ago. And so one of my rituals was reignited — the Saturday morning run with one of my best friends, Miramar police officer Juan Ulfe. It was hilarious in that Juan’s wife, Andrea, was so happy that I was here to get him back into his running routine. Our other compatriot, Mike Burt, has since moved on with his family to Mobile, Alabama.
Our runs were always good and intense, but they were also filled with fantastic and insightful conversation. And as dads, we all would share thoughts and perspectives about raising children. Since I was the oldest of the bunch — by some 10 years — I was nicknamed “Papa Bear.” So this Saturday morning, Juan and I took off for a nice four-mile run – he’ll need time to build back up to the six miles we once did.
And immediately Juan launched into what has become a disturbing trend in our country — the lack of respect and regard for our police officers. Juan is what you call an SRO — School Resource Officer. He has a tough job at one of the local schools in Miramar, Florida. We have always discussed the issue of how the culture has so changed with kids in schools these days.
This morning during our run he brought up the subject of kids at his school asking him, “why are you police officers always shooting us black kids?” He confided as to how that question hurts, but even more, angers him. This is part of the false narrative promulgated about the men and women of the Thin Blue Line.
I shared with Juan an interesting fact he needs to present next time such an opportunity presents itself — ask how many blacks have killed blacks in Baltimore this year. The number is rather telling, as it is close to 65. Funny thing, no one remembers any of their names. Or how about the names of the hundreds of young black men killed by other blacks in Chicago?
You know, yesterday, Friday, as I mentioned was a very memorable day for the West family. But it was a very sad day for another American family — the loved ones of NYPD Officer Brian Moore. Like Freddie Gray, Brian Moore was also 25 years old, but instead of having a life filled with crime and multiple arrests, he sought to serve his community as a law enforcement officer. In this past week there have been no violent protests and marches for Brian Moore, and quietly he was laid to rest after a violent black criminal who had been given an early release for attempted murder, was this time successful – as we wrote about here. But there was something very telling and disturbing about the funeral of Officer Brian Moore.
As reported by Gateway Pundit, “Obama sent three White House officials to criminal Freddie Gray’s funeral. How many should we expect for decorated Officer Moore’s, murdered by a criminal?”
“CNN reported: The White House sent Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, chair of the Obama administration’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force; Heather Foster, an adviser in the White House Office of Public Engagement; and Elias Alcantara from the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Gray also had a history of run-ins with the law. According to court documents CNN obtained, there were more than 20 criminal court cases in Maryland against Gray, and five of those cases were still active at the time of his death”
“The Obama White House sent three officials to robber Michael Brown‘s funeral in Ferguson. But the White House did not send any officials to Officer Brian Moore’s funeral today.”
New York 1 reported that at Moore’s funeral, his commanding officer at the 105th precinct in Queens said Moore was a true hero. “He was every commanding officer’s dream. If I had an army of Brian Moores, there’d be no crime in the city,” said Deputy Inspector Mike Coyle of the NYPD. “He could walk into a room, and his smile would turn your day around if you were having a bad day. A real crime fighter, a true believer, a heart of gold.”
What message does this send to our country from the Obama administration? This comes long after the infamous “police acted stupidly” comment about Professor Gates in Cambridge, Massachussets. It seems this administration is conveying a message that “police lives don’t matter” but “politically-select black lives do.”
It is unconscionable that not a single person from the Obama administration could find the time to attend Officer Brian Moore’s funeral service. Now, you can bet if President Obama wanted to raise some funds and hang out with NYC’s liberal progressive elites, — he’d find a way to be there and tie up traffic. But NYPD Officer Brian Moore wasn’t worthy of his time, or anyone else’s in his administration.
It kinda reminds me of another Brian, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, long since laid to rest with no accountability or responsibility to anyone regarding the nature of his demise — Operation Fast and Furious.
As Juan and I ran, I began to think, as we draw close to the 2016 election cycle, whom will the police unions all across America demand that law enforcement officers support? We know historically whom the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) has sided with, as opposed to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) who judges individuals based upon their character. And yep, I speak from personal experience.
There is a very apparent disdain manifesting itself in the political arena towards our law enforcement officers — and we know from whence it comes. And it’s also rising up against our military. It is a time for choosing. It means choosing between those who stand on the side of dismissing and embracing bad behavior and castigating blame elsewhere, or the side of those who recognize and embrace the individuals who put their lives on the line for the good order and protection of our society — realizing there may be bad apples but not a rotten bushel.
Requiem en Pace, Officer Brian Moore. I never knew you, but anyone who serves, is willing to sacrifice, and is called to commit in the name of selfless service is my brother or sister. Anyone who cannot honor our fallen law enforcement officers is a stench in my nostrils.
Miramar Officer Juan Ulfe is not just my friend and running buddy. He is my brother along with all the men and women of the Thin Blue Line — and although yesterday was a proud and happy day for me, it hurt to know one of our own was laid to rest.