On either side of the thin blue line that separates police from civilian, we all have the same aspirations. Chief among those is justice.
But if we truly want justice for all the victims of senseless violence, and not just the ones who look like us, we must do more than stand up for the rights of civilians shot by police. We must also stand up for the rights of police shot by civilians.
Just as it was wrong for Eric Frein to ambush two state troopers in upstate Pennsylvania due to his long-running grudge against police, it was wrong for Ismaaiyl Brinsley to shoot NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
That’s why we must be careful to view Brinsley in the same way that Frein was viewed—as an outlier whose actions reflected on no one other than himself.
Brinsley doesn’t represent those who are calling for justice in the deaths of unarmed men and women killed by police. He represents himself, and he alone is responsible for his actions.
Just as the policemen who killed unarmed men don’t represent the majority of officers, Brinsley is not a metaphor for the protesters seeking justice.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon