Don’t Do Crime

Here’s a message to all who truly believe the police of our nation are evil and out to kill and wound as many black American citizens as they can: stop doing crime! Do good; the police may not even notice that you exist. That’s how I survived for 70+ years in a country that is “systemically racist”. Yes, my tongue is in my cheek.

Let’s get real. The Word of God says:

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority: Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

Romans13:1-4

Now we all know that God uses nations and leaders of nations for his own purposes. He told the Egyptians that they were raised up for the very purpose of demonstrating who He was. Thus, He hardened the heart of Pharaoh to the point where he just would not listen to Moses, then did what He had to do to free His people. You all know the story. In a like manner I truly believe that the police are God’s servants, used for the purpose mentioned in the scriptures above. However, we all honestly know there are some truly bad policeman. I have personally met a few myself. Check this out.

Once, shortly after our family had moved to Covina, CA, a policeman pulled up to the curb in front of a park at Barranca and Roland Aves. next to the McDonald’s. He got out of his cruiser, walked into the park and up to a young black boy (yours truly) who was relishing his 18 cent cheese burgers, took his name with pen and paper, and told him that all drugs dealers would be rooted from the city. What?!

I have been stopped several times for “driving while black”. The officer (also from the Covina department) chased me and my wife onto a freeway on-ramp. He pulled us over and demanded license and registration. Once produced, he demanded to know whose car we were driving. I told him it was mine. He wanted to know why my wife’s name was on the registration. I told him because the car was registered in her name also. Frustrated and angry, having no actual reason for stopping us, he tossed our papers back into the car and with tires screaming drove up the on-ramp.

You’ll love this one. I had a friend, Donald, who needed help balancing his checkbook. We went to the local Bank of America on Citrus Ave in Covina (again), where we both had active checking accounts in good standing. We went up to the teller to get a register sheet (or something) then took a seat in the middle of the bank where benches were set up for the customers. Evidently it was too much for the tellers to take. Two black guys sitting in the bank looking over paper work just did not feel right.

I happened to look up and noticed the abject fear in everyone’s eyes. I told Donald something was going on and we had better leave. Once in our car, the terrified bank personnel had their faces pressed against the glass of the now locked bank door. Soon enough, we were pulled over and surrounded by a S.W.A.T. team, complete with a barking German Shepard dog, snarling 15” from our faces. Donald started mouthing off, threatening to kill the dog. I told him to remain calm and to realize the officers already knew they had screwed up. The cop with the dog did not like my commentary and ordered me to shut up. I did. We spent hours in jail until late evening when we were finally released on our OR. Later, after multiple court appearances the charges (if there ever were any) were dropped.

What’s my point? It’s this: yes there are bad cops. The good cops know who they are. I was a great teacher (now retired) and I certainly knew who the bad teachers were. Some people are just racist. Shortly after starting my job at Glendora High School, one of my colleagues (who will remain nameless) brought her class into the computer lab and said, “Boy, help my students.” I had to straighten her our front of her class. I particularly remember one Hispanic student who eyes got big as saucers when he heard his teacher’s comment. He probably thought he was about to witness a fight. Later that month, some other old fart came up to me and said, “This would not have happened in the old days.” meaning a black man would not have been hired by the district. I told him it’s a good thing the old days just eventually fade away.

So, yes I understand the genuine anger of some black people. I get it. However, for all my 70 years, I generally have not lived in fear of the police. I respect them, but live my life in such a way as to minimize contact with them. I don’t do crime. I would not want their job, because I already know I would not have the patience to deal with the people they have to deal with daily on the job. Right now we live next door to a policeman, with his wife and children. They are wonderful people. The son of one my dearest colleagues is a policeman. Again – awesome people.

However, which one of you would go out onto your front lawn with a T-bone steak around your neck if you knew where was starving man-eating tiger outside? If I honestly thought every cop was out to kill me, I would not go around doing anything that would attract their attention. I certainly would not dive into their patrol car and try to wrestle their firearm from them. I would not fight with them during an arrest and try to take their weapons from them. I would not shoot down my brothers in the street. I would not steal, or assault my fellow citizens. If a policeman said, “Sit on the curb”, that’s what I would do until I was told to do otherwise. God willing, at least I would be alive and not in jail. How about using some common sense?

I am not making any excuses whatsoever for ANY police misconduct. Evil is evil, especially when you are a police officer who has sworn to uphold the law, then gone back on your promise. You will answer to the Father in heaven. But to all the good cops out there, you know who you are; don’t loose heart. Whether you realize it or not, you are a minister of the Father for good, and to render punishment for those who break the law. We need you. Don’t give up. Don’t let this current foolishness crush your spirit. All will be made right.

To my brothers, please, stop doing crime. Do good. Further in the same chapter of Romans it says:

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. for this, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:8-10

That’s how this old black man has survived. Avoid evil when you can, do good, don’t do crime. It’s a good formula for living in this less-than-perfect world, while waiting for the King to return and administer true and righteous justice. Amen!

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