A police might wake up in the morning like an ordinary man and put on his pants one leg at a time, but as soon as he dawns the badge he transcends his personal identity and becomes an icon of public safety. Injury inflicted upon his body is not a crime against mortal flesh but a crime against society.
Two stories of cop killers within 30 days, the common thread between Christopher Monfort and Maurice Clemmons is the media and community response. Who would willingly wage war on an icon of public safety? What kind of monster enters into a state of war with the man in the white hat?
The more important question is, what circumstances lure an individual into making enemies with a system he cannot defeat? He must know, upon breaking the social contract that there will be no return. Society will dehumanize him. His friends and family will become suspect of assisting and enabling him. His political affiliations forever tinged.
Monfort could be lucky if he never sees trial. History shows that the jail system shows no mercy to convicted cop killers.
From Seattle Times archive:
PASCO — A man convicted of killing a (Washington) State Patrol trooper is suing Franklin County and a sheriff's deputy over the way he was treated after being arrested.
Nicolas Solorio Vásquez, 30, alleges that Sheriff Richard Lathim's "tepid disciplinary action" condoned Deputy James Dickenson's behavior and the use of excessive force.
Solorio Vásquez is serving a life term in the October 1999 shooting death of Trooper James Saunders in Pasco.
Dickenson pleaded guilty in June 2000 to assault on Solorio Vásquez and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.
The details surrounding the death of Maurice Clemmons leave no room for reasonable skepticism. Make no excuses, Maurice Clemmons executed four police officers in cold blood. He deserves none less than punishment at the fullest extent of the law.
In the hunt for Clemmons, police trashed the house of one woman (a family member of Clemmons) who decided to do the right thing and call the police. When Police have a monopoly in the business of capturing criminals, there is no accountability for the collateral damage of their man hunts. Begin moral debate over the legality of citizen vigilante groups. Or individuals.
Monfort and Clemmons are not heroes. It is wrong under all circumstances to kill another human being. Do not idolize their actions. Do not give them pity. Rather, is there no cure for mental illness? No way to reform a system than reaps absolute dualism between cops and criminals?
If Clemmons was a bicyclist, hit by a car, we might be inclined to put up a memorial at the scene of the accident. Society is not keen on sympathizing with cop killers and yet, how much like a bicyclist was Clemmons, precariously sailing our lives in a separate reality until just recently. He collided with reality?