We each have our own path that each of us follow during our journey in life. Some of us will walk many different paths as we grow and develop new ideas. Throughout my 46 years on this planet, I have gotten involved in many causes and types of activism. The causes may have all been different, but the one common factor is, they all involved the desire to help people.
I have always been drawn to causes to help those less fortunate or have been victimized by others that felt the need to trample on the rights of others. This is why I got involved in cop watching and with Cop Block as a CopBlock Network Contributor.
Getting involved with Cop Block was a big change because I am not much of a joiner. I have always taken pride in the fact that I have always been my own person rather than follow what someone else is doing.
I truly believe that our country is plagued by corruption from the top of the government all the way down to the local governments. One of the most visible aspects of that corruption is that of our nation’s law enforcers who carry out the orders of policy makers and elected officials.
I hold certain beliefs about the police to be fact when I think about why people become involved with law enforcement. Some became cops because they come from a family with of cops and want to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. Some become cops because they truly believe that they want to help people when something happens that could be the worst day of their lives.
Something then happens to those that wanted to make a difference. What started out as noble intentions turns to something dark. Their beliefs in justice, and doing the right thing, gives way to their desire for accolades for making arrests at any cost. They fall to the pressures of protecting the blue line rather than the citizens they originally desired to help.
Then there are those that have an agenda to get back at a society that victimized them growing up. These are the cops that were bullied as kids and feel they can make themselves feel better about their childhood by abusing the power that comes with that badge by bullying others knowing that most likely they will get away with it.
When I made the conscious decision to get involved with the police accountability movement over a year and a half ago, I wanted to effect change. My intentions were to bring to light that there is a problem in this country with police abusing and violating the rights of citizens. It was never my intention to foster or promote hate towards all police. I simply wanted to bring to light those that were not honoring their oaths and were getting away with it.
My hope was that if there was enough public outcry for the bad actions of an officer it might begin to bring about some change in the actions of police officers. Negative reinforcement when used correctly can be a great tool to bring about desired changes in behavior. When used incorrectly it can bring about the opposite outcome.
Back in June I was invited by Ademo to come aboard as a CopBlock Network (CBN) Contributor, who’s work would be published at this site, for the CopBlock Network (read about CBN here). I was still building an audience with my videos and I felt that this was a great opportunity to take part in the growing police accountability movement. I’m grateful for the opportunity that Ademo offered me by giving me a forum to share my voice with such a large audience.
All of the sudden, I had a whole new audience and it was exciting. I made it a point to do stories that were either original content or those submissions from readers that could be verified by making phone calls and internet searches for facts of the case. I formatted my stories by first laying out the facts of the case. I included links to sources for my stories for those that somehow thought I was pulling this information out of thin air or making it up. I can assure you than I never made up anything that I wrote.
The last part of my stories were usually my opinion about what happened. I left it up to the reader to make their own decisions about the story. My opinions at the end of a story were not put there to put a twist or angle to the story, but to share how I felt about what had happened.
As time went on, I started losing sight of what I originally intended when I got involved. This is when I started to question what I was doing. Was I starting to change from objective writing to that of subjective? Yes. I started churning out stories just to put something out rather than write about something that was in line with how I felt about how a certain incident happened.
I’ve spent the last month thinking about everything that has taken place over the last several months. I started thinking about where I was when I started out and where I am now. I came to the realization that I have become my own biggest problem in my struggle to understand what had changed. I let my ego get in the way and quite a few opportunities to change people’s minds were lost by lashing out at people that didn’t share the same thoughts and ideas that I have.
I believe in the idea of Cop Block, that “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights”, I believe that there is a need for groups to wake the public to the realities of the bad things that some police out there do. With that being said, I do not believe in all of the same things that some involved in the movement (this site, CBN or otherwise) do. I do not agree with some tactics that are used. Those differences of beliefs have been a major source of the conflict that I currently have raging inside of me.
I have remained quiet about my feelings for a couple of different reasons. First I believe that we are all responsible for our own actions and as long as someone else’s actions are not causing harm to another person, I have no place to tell them how to conduct themselves. What’s right for one person may not be right for another person. Second, I was worried about disappointing friends for having a differing view than theirs. I have my insecurities just like any other person and mine just happen to be about displeasing those that I have a genuine care for.
I no longer feel good about what I am doing or trying to accomplish in my current setting. Second guessing myself does no good for myself or the movement. For these reasons, I need to step away and find my own place where I feel most confident in effecting positive change and feel good about it. I appreciate the opportunities that have been provided to me during my time here and I have a lot of love for my fellow activists regardless of differences in beliefs or opinions.
I wish each and every one of you; including our detractors, the best and hope that whatever path you choose that you find peace and happiness.