Tuesday, March 07, 2006

NEWSFLASH: Never Start a Knife Fight With a Police Officer

Late last week, two Rochester police officers were called to a house on Weldon Street in the City's 19th Ward for a domestic disturbance. Upon entering the home to which they were called, the officers encountered an irate obese woman yelling, screaming, and acting belligerent. We will probably never know exactly what happened in the ensuing moments, but initial reports indicate that the woman went to her kitchen, grabbed a large knife, and ran towards the officers with the knife raised over her head in a threatening manner. Needless to say, the cops did what any sensible person holding a gun in that situation would do. They fired one shot at point blank range into the woman's chest. The bullet struck vital organs and she later died.

If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I'm as liberal as they come on most matters. When it comes to matters of law enforcement however, I apparently am quite the conservative. In my opinion, the men and women of the Rochester Police Department put their lives on the line day in and day out so that residents of this city can live in relative peace. Without the often heroic efforts of our policemen and women, this city would be a warzone. Therefore, you can count me among those who were once again outraged yesterday by the self-anointed "Pastor" Joy Powell and her infantile protests against the RPD.

Where is this person when children in our city are killed by gun-toting thugs? Where is she when open-air drug markets decimate the quality of life for low-income seniors, making them prisoners in their own homes? Where are her protests when violent gang disputes threaten once-thriving neighborhood business districts? Just last night, not too long after her protests ended, Rochester welcomed its first homicide victim in nearly a month. Did Ms. Powell show up to protest that? Of course not. She is nowhere to be found when it comes to any of the real urban issues that affect us all. Yet she is all over the news when the RPD has to use deadly force to protect themselves and others. She is a mindless and shameless self-promoter in the vein of Rev. Raymond Graves, although much more easy on the eyes.

There is much more to hate about this situation than just Joy Powell. There is the dead woman's husband, who called 911 because he couldn't get control of the situation, but forgot to inform the dispatcher that his wife has a history of mental problems. Coincidentally, he did not forget to point out that his wife had just smoked a whole bag of weed with his daughter and that his wife just so happens to get violent when she's high. Now that husband is changing his story, likely hoping to profit off of this tragedy, and possibly trying to get in Joy Powell's pants.

And what about the mental state of any law enforcement officer in upstate New York right now, just one week after two of their brethren were murdered in the line of duty in Utica and Elmira. It's only human to protect yourself when you are being threatened and these officers made the courageous decision to fire a single shot to disarm a violent and irrational person before she caused harm to them, her family, and herself. It is tragic that she died as a result of that one shot, but it is obvious that we are all safer for their decision.