Hate Speech Against the Police
By Annyce Andresen
In his Aug. 9 Local Opinions commentary, “My ‘Crime’ on U Street? Offending the Police,” Pepin Andrew Tuma took pains to paint the police officers who arrested him as dangerous. Certainly, if true, their lying about the circumstances of his arrest is troubling. We hold up officers of the law as role models for good behavior. That being said, let me offer Mr. Tuma another way of looking at things.
On many days, police officers have a thankless job. They go out and do what needs to be done at great risk to themselves. There is always the chance that they will not make it home to their families. At times they receive gratitude from the public for this service, but often they do not.
Mr. Tuma is an adult and a lawyer. You would think this qualifies him for responsible behavior. Though he admitted that his behavior toward the police was neither respectful nor smart, I don’t see him taking responsibility for his hateful words. And they were hateful. Not illegal, as he stated, but baiting. Mr. Tuma used the word “juvenile.” Are you kidding me? He chanted “I hate the police.”
Yes, the police should not have risen to the bait, but here is where the days on end of bearing ingratitude come in. Maybe the officer had already had his fill of disrespect, slurs and bad attitudes for the week. Make no mistake, I am not condoning an abuse of power on the part of the police. If what Mr. Tuma said is true, the officers involved need to be held accountable.
But guess what? I bet Mr. Tuma will watch what comes out of his mouth from now on.
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