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Testing the Limits of My Compassion

I try to make a point of understanding other peoples’ points of view. It’s possible to get where people are coming from and disagree with them. Seeing the steps they took to reach the wrong conclusion can be a way to point out their fallacies, correct their emotional math so to speak. People that are hurting tend to lash out in inappropriate ways, precisely because they’re hurting. Current events, though, are testing the limits of compassion.

Martin Gugino is a 75 year old activists. From all reports he was protesting peacefully. During a scuffle, a Buffalo, New York police officer lost his helmet. Martin picked it up and handed it to another officer. For his troubles, he got shoved down. He cracked his head open. He was clearly bleeding and appeared to be unconscious. Not only did the police not try to help him, one officer stopped another officer who might have been going to check on him.

This is already incomprehensible to me.

Two officers were suspended without pay for this. I don’t want to get into whether or not that’s a harsh enough reprimand, what the process is, or the pattern of police suffering no real consequences for this sort of thing. It’s what happened next that blows my mind.

All 57 officers on the department’s Emergency Response Team resigned from the unit. They think it’s unfair that two of their brothers are being reprimanded for “following orders”. They were ordered to clear the square, and that’s what they did.

If this were really a case of “they’re being punished for doing their job” then I’d see their point. But clearing the square didn’t require pushing an old man. Clearing the square didn’t mean no one could check on Martin Gugino, make sure he was okay, or radio for an ambulance. Doing your job doesn’t preclude being a decent human being.

In the midst of protests over the use of excessive force, the hill you’re willing to die on is the use of excessive force?  Really? Seriously? An you want people to feel bad for the two officers that did this to Martin Gugino, as if they’re the victims in all of this?

Testing the Limits of My Compassion

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