LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Racial inequality is not as prevalent in law enforcement incidents as people may think.



I am responding to the article you wrote in the HiLite school magazine. I started my police career in 1984 as an Indiana State Trooper assigned to Hamilton County. I left the State Police in 1990 when I joined the Carmel Police Department. I was the first black officer Carmel hired on the Police Department. I spent 21 years as a K9 handler and trainer for our department prior to being assigned to Carmel High School. While in K9, I was involved in many high-risk arrest situations involving felony suspects. I always used the force necessary to make the arrest without injury to myself or any other officers involved. Suspects were sometimes injured during these encounters; however, this decision was dictated by the actions of the suspect. When a police officer leaves his or her family to go to work he or she does not know if they will ever see their family again. We as officers take that chance every time we mark on duty in our city, county or state. Officers will sometimes make mistakes in stressful situations. We as police are not perfect; we have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. I do not know of any profession more scrutinized than that of an American police officer.

You mention racial inequality in our country. While I am sure this goes on to some degree in our country, I personally have not observed it within law enforcement. I was raised in the inner city (the real hood) of Indianapolis by my mother. We were taught to respect all people of authority regardless of their race. My older brother is a vice president at American Water in Iowa, and my younger brother is a 24-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).  Over the last decade, violent crimes are being committed by younger suspects.  This is not a black or white issue; the issue is a lack of parenting. It’s hard for me to see how the “Black Lives Matter” movement is doing anything positive to support their views when they block the flow of traffic, take over a stage of a person exercising his first amendment right to speech and shout, “Pigs in a blanket; fry ‘em like bacon.” I think the “Black Lives Matter” movement would have more support if it directed its energy towards the violence taking place within the black community.

I am in full support of officers being trained properly according to their own policies and procedures. You mentioned two examples of what you perceived as poorly trained officers in your articles. Tamir Rice was pointing what was later determined to be a toy gun at people in a park. He was shot and killed when responding officers confronted him. The second person you mentioned was Samuel DuBose who was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati Police Officer when he attempted to flee in a vehicle after a traffic stop. This shooting was captured on a camera worn by the officer. I was not present during either one of these deadly encounters, and it is not my job to Monday morning quarterback the decisions made by these officers. However, if they violated the law or their own department policies, then they should be charged. I am sure neither officer went to work that dreadful day wanting to shoot a black person.

A black parent living in Carmel recently asked me, “What should I tell my child to do if they are pulled over by a police officer?” I told her that the most important thing to do is be courteous to the officer and if he or she feels like he or she was not treated fairly, he or she should file a complaint against the officer after the encounter. It is never a good idea to argue with the officer over a driving offense, and more times than not, you are guaranteed to get a ticket, just like it is never a good idea to physically resist a police officer if you are being arrested.

Here’s a quote from the book On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman: “We could go for a generation without doctors, and it would get ugly if you were injured or sick, but civilization would continue. We could go for a generation without engineers and mechanics, and things would break down, but civilization would survive. We could even go for a generation without teachers. The next generation would have to play ‘catch up ball,’ and it would be hard, but civilization as we know it would still survive. If, however, we went ‘but a single generation’ without men (and women) who are willing to confront human aggression every day, then within the span of that generation, we would truly be ‘both damned and doomed.’”

I hope the next time you look at a police officer, you do not notice the color of his or her skin. I would hope you see a professional who has taken an oath to protect you and your family from evil regardless of your views.

Master Patrol Officer Scotty Moore
Carmel Police Department

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