By Lloyd Omdahl, Grand Forks Herald
In 1978, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson popularized a song warning mothers not to let their kids grow up to be cowboys.
With the passing of the cowboy era, it’s time to make a new search for the worst careers in our society. It appears that being a police officer outranks all others. It may be time for a rendition of “don’t let your kids grow up to be police officers.”
The shooting in Ferguson, Mo., triggered a storm of protest against law enforcement across the country.
Because ethnic minorities have been involved in the most widely publicized confrontations, many actions taken by the police these days are labelled as racist.
There is little doubt that racism is a factor in some police aggressiveness, but it is not the only factor. Lawless activity is what brings the police to a scene in the first place, so criminal behavior is a major contributor to explosive situations.
This constant contact with the criminal culture gives police officers a frame of mind that anticipates trouble and violence on every call. They function in an atmosphere of constant turmoil and lawlessness.