Editor’s note: the following Facebook post and photo (above) of Jamie Del Rio were reprinted with permission.
By Detective Jamie Del Rio
I’ve been a member of the NYPD for 18 years. I have worked with phenomenal cops over these years, all of whom took this job with the best of intentions. And I cannot think of one cop that I’ve ever worked with, or anywhere for that matter, regardless of their agency or jurisdiction, that would be ok with what they saw in that video in Minneapolis. It was extremely disturbing. Horrific. Criminal even. Everyone wants justice. And justice will be, and is being served. The officer responsible was fired the very next day and has now been arrested. George Floyd didn’t deserve that. We all agree. His life mattered.
Nobody dislikes a bad cop more than good cops. That former officer has made all of our careers, all of our lives, so much more difficult. Our jobs are tough enough as it is. It’s bad enough that we risk never seeing our families again each time we go to work (when most professions don’t carry that risk). Now we have somehow all become hated and targeted, while still having to protect and serve.
I was proud when I decided to become a police officer, knowing then, and still believing now, that this is an admirable and respectable profession requiring a special kind of person. And I’m sad to say that I truly hope my kids do not follow in my footsteps (in their career choice). I do not want them, or any of my loved ones for that matter, to face the danger, the scrutiny, the hatred, that we face.
I am obviously not a Black man so I won’t claim to know what it’s like being a Black man. But I absolutely do not believe that this incident is the norm or that this kind of thing is happening every day in this country. I also believe that nobody saves more black lives from violence and danger than the police do. We respond to multiple emergency calls, each and every day, from people in fear for their safety, people needing assistance, victims of all types of crimes, without asking or even considering the race of the person we’re going to help. We then go and hunt the evil that so many pretend doesn’t exist. We search for missing persons and we track down and apprehend violent criminals that wish to do us harm. We run towards danger while others run away. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do, no matter how hated we may be or how discouraged we currently are.
And then we’re going to go back to our families to be the best husbands/wives, dads/moms, brothers/sisters and sons/daughters that we can be while trying to not let the horrors that we see and experience affect our interactions with our loved ones.