Police officers devote their lives to the protection and service of others, but sometimes they need to be protected and served. A rookie Oklahoma City police officer found that to be true while pursuing a robbery suspect on foot. After becoming separated from his partner, Officer Adam Eller struggled with one of the suspects, who snatched Eller’s baton and beat him with it. An armed citizen came to the rescue, however, drawing his firearm, warning the assailant to stop, and holding him until police backup arrived. Eller likely owes his life to this good guy with a gun.
Two Hattiesburg, Mississippi, officers weren’t so fortunate. Officers Benjamin Deen, 34 with a wife and two kids, and Liquori Tate, a 25-year-old rookie, were conducting what they thought was a routine traffic stop when the vehicle occupants opened fire, wounding the officers. Both later died at a local hospital, the first deaths for the Hattiesburg Police in three decades.
We note these cases together for two reasons: First, the assailants in both cases were black, while two of the three officers were white. Profiling doesn’t happen without reason. Second, black lives matter, but so do police lives. Officers are human and capable of doing wrong, but they put their lives on the line for their communities, too.