I've always said I would do any type of work necessary to survive. I'd dig ditches if it came to that. I'd slither under houses in spider-infested crawl spaces and do plumbing work.
Perhaps, most unpleasant of all, I'd work a register at Walmart.
But there's one job I know I'd never want to do. I'd hate to pull over a speeding car then get out and approach the driver. You never know what could happen in an instant.
That's why I'd like to give a huge shout-out to our many fine law enforcement officers in Warren County and beyond. As our nation protests -- and riots -- over the actions of a few officers, we shouldn't let this overshadow the fine work the majority of our officers do each and every day.
Before you pick up a pen or prepare to write me an email, let me stress I do not condone what took place in Minneapolis to George Floyd. Like most folks, I've seen enough video footage, and heard the medical examiner's report that his death was a homicide, to convince me Mr. Floyd died due to excessive police force.
This is inexcusable and I stand against police brutality in all forms. I also realize we didn't get to this point in one step. America has a poor history of excessive force used by officers against black suspects and that is certainly disgraceful.
I understand the nationwide protests and their value. We're not going to enact change by sitting quietly in our bedrooms.
But at the risk of playing both sides of the fence, it's also worth emphasizing the dangers our police officers face every day. They put themselves in harm's way and they've often had to pay the price.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 92 officers killed in the line of duty already in 2020. That includes 20 killed by gunfire, four struck by a vehicle, and four killed in a vehicular assault.
There are some bad officers, and it appears Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin falls into that category, but the good far, far outweigh the bad. Looking around Court Square in downtown McMinnville on Monday was the perfect example of this. Officers from McMinnville Police Department, Warren County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were protecting the streets, ready for whatever unrest the night may have delivered.
When a man in handcuffs gets killed due to the actions of a police officer, it is cause for alarm. The nation should be outraged that this seems to happen again and again.
But let's not forget the officers who are out there risking their lives and conducting business the right way. They sacrifice their lives for the personal safety of others and I for one am grateful for that.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.