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September 23, 2017

Police lives matter because our lives matter

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Officer Sean Bolton’s life and death matter because he believed OUR lives matter. The Memphis police officer valued our lives enough to protect us and bravely confront the evil we like to pretend doesn’t exist.

sean boltonGod bless the men and women of the Memphis Police Department.

The Bluff City was my home for nearly 20 years, and during that time, I got to know several officers as friends and saviors.

Yes, I said “saviors,” and  I wish I could find a better word to describe someone who willingly puts himself or herself in harm’s way so others can remain safe.

I wish I could find a better word for someone who can console a mother when her toddler is the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting and then go on to stop a drug-fueled burglar from beating an elderly neighbor to death.

I wish there was a better word to describe the officer at the Southern Avenue train crossing who noticed smoke coming from beneath my car and got me out before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

“Savior” will have to do for now.

Sadly, our society has a thing for killing and minimizing its saviors.

Memphis Officer Sean Bolton was shot multiple times Saturday night during a “routine traffic stop” that ended up being an interrupted drug deal. His alleged killer, Tremaine WIlbourn, remains at large.

Bolton’s death is a small blip on today’s traditional and social media radar. Unfortunately, our headlines and public outrage are focused more on a dentist who took down a lion rather than a ruthless predator who took down a community’s protector.

Sean Bolton was the third Memphis police officer killed in the line of duty during the last four years. Shortly after Bolton’s murder, a visibly shaken Memphis Police Director Toney Armstong told reporters, “As a community we say so often as a theme — black lives matter and at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves: do all lives matter? Regardless of race, creed, color, economic status, what profession that person holds, all lives matter.”

Bolton was a white police officer. His alleged killer is black.

But none of that should make a damn bit of difference.

Sean Bolton’s life and death matter because he believed OUR lives matter.

Black lives. White lives. All lives.

He, just like thousands of other law enforcement professionals, valued OUR lives enough to protect us and bravely confront the evil we like to pretend doesn’t exist.

Thank you, Officer Bolton.

May God bless all the men and women in blue and their families during this difficult time.

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