Tony Miano spends one day a week in downtown Iowa City, promoting his pro-police Christian ministry. On Wednesday afternoon, I spotted him standing in front of the Iowa City Police Department, displaying his “Law Enforcement Lives Matter” sign and chatting with passers-by.
Miano is not alone. Following the growth of “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in the past few years, a countermovement has emerged to proclaim “Blue Live Matter” as well.
Miano said he served 20 years at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He was there during the 1992 Rodney King riots, when law enforcement officials shot and killed 10 people, according to a Los Angeles Times database. Miano admits that there are some legitimate issues about policing in minority communities, but says he’s more concerned with the public’s attitude toward police.
“I think what we’re seeing … is a presupposition that law enforcement is bad, and that’s simply not true. While there are no perfect police officers — I can attest to that because I was not one — the vast majority of the men and women who choose to serve in law enforcement do so with a desire to help their communities,” Miano told me.
So, do law enforcement lives matter? I think it’s obvious they do. When police officers are killed on duty, stuff shuts down. We hunt down the suspects, we put our flags at half-staff, and we grieve publicly.
In contrast, Black Lives Matter organizers argue that it’s not quite as obvious that black lives matter. They point to the many cases of black men being unjustifiably killed by cops, who often go on to continue working in law enforcement.
The “Law Enforcement Lives Matter” sign makes a point that society overwhelmingly agrees with. Of course all lives matter, but it often seems like some lives matter more than others.
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