Minneapolis police officers have gotten no support in the aftermath of the 2020 protests, and many are struggling with PTSD.
I sit here in mourning.
I had a friend over for dinner recently and she told me that two Washington, D.C., police officers have committed suicide since the civil unrest at the Capitol on Jan. 6. I know so many people will jump to blame former President Donald Trump, but I don’t. I know better.
You see, I was a lieutenant with the Minneapolis Police Department, assigned to the Third Precinct. I had been a police officer in Minnesota for 37 years. I use the words “was” and “had been” because effective this month, I am retired.
I did not retire because I wanted to retire, despite many thinking 37 years was enough. I didn’t feel as if I was done just yet. I still had a mission to complete and that is what makes leaving difficult.
I don’t know how to respond when people congratulate me on my retirement or thank me for my years of service to the community. I want to scream “This isn’t what I wanted to do,” and “Don’t thank me.”
While our leadership held us back and we remained unsupported by our state, our city and our police administration, our neighborhoods burned. We felt helpless. And to add insult to injury, they gave up our home, and called it “just bricks and mortar.”
It wasn’t just bricks and mortar to us.
If you want to totally break down the morale and mission of police officers, hold them back and leave them hanging without any support. What you are left with is a department that sees almost one-third of its sworn personnel leave due to PTSD both diagnosed and undiagnosed. I am one of those.
It’s hard to get up every day and be happy to go to your job feeling like damaged goods. I received over 4,000 voicemails of vitriolic hate, and I didn’t have a phone left or a desk to put a phone on. My office had been firebombed.
The people now being touted as “peaceful protesters” hacked the city’s e-mail and subscribed me to more than 1,000 online sites. “I” have done everything from signing petitions to abolish the death penalty to subscribing to the Harvard Law Review and Change.org. And my personal favorite: I am Cowgirl911 on FarmersOnly.com. Although I should thank the trolls for saying that I am a 30-year-old Gemini.
I got a call in the middle of the night when I was out with officers in the riots from a “friend of the police” who told me to immediately shut down my [ … ]