If people were a bit more insightful, and a lot more honest, this photograph taken in Ferguson, Missouri during the riots would win the Pulitzer Prize. It illustrates the struggle of efficient, proactive law enforcement literally being held back by fear and opposition.
Look at the unknown officer on the left. Look at his intensity and confidence; his chin up and eyes wide as his body leans forward toward a swarm of violent usurpers. He took this job for this very moment; to stand up against those that would try to weaken or destroy the order and peace that everyone takes for granted.
It’s uncomfortable to say these days, but he wants to smash the unjust uprising! You can see it in his eyes. There is no fear; he is intense and willing to fight. His confidence almost suggests that God must walk beside him, or that St. Michael appeared to him in a dream the night before to enlist him to fight in some new Crusade.
And then there is Captain Johnson: a political move, ushered in on the wings of political correctness and risk management as fearful leaders appointed him command. Depending on when the photograph was actually taken, within hours on either end, Captain Johnson walked with protestors and offered this message:
In the photograph, he holds back our hero with a look of insecurity in his eyes. He knows that his job is not to smash the uprising or to provide hope to a peaceful, law-abiding citizenry that violence will not get its way. He is there to let things blow over and make the power structure a softer target by having a diverse face. And when the dust settles, he will happily accept and perhaps promote concessions instituted by federal agencies to hold back officers like our hero even more, and with a hand much stronger than his.
Captain Johnsons are being appointed to high-ranking command positions all over the country. They are replacing strong police leaders by surpassing more qualified candidates because of their diversity.
When your community appoints a Captain Johnson to your local police administration, remember this photograph. When your corners are occupied by drug dealers and derelicts as blight explodes, you’ll wonder where officers like the unknown officer in the photograph are at to clear those corners, but you won’t find them. They will have shrugged.