Will We "All Perish Together as Fools"?
Who are we protecting when we can't even turn in the person who killed a cop.
The wailing cuts through the silence. The pain of the moment: excruciating. Angel Warren, held from falling down by men and women in blue, cries out in pain.
Her "man in blue" is gone.
All Angel Warren has left is her anguish. Her fiance - her protector - shot dead...shot three times in the back. Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall was murdered. Hundreds of police officers standing at attention in the sweltering heat, honoring one of their own. Doing so in Homewood, on the very streets where Calvin Hall lived, worked and died. It's what's called the "End Of Watch Ceremony," the final goodbye to a great police officer, killed while protecting others. Watch:
(Source: Katie Blackley Twitter )
"This is a very, very hard day for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police," Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert stating the obvious, his voice shaking, doing the best he can to hold it together. "Our hearts go out to the family of Calvin Hall. We're all suffering with what happened. Calvin, Officer Hall, got into the Pittsburgh Police, got into this profession, to make a difference."
"I can tell you, he made a difference with us. He made a difference with the community, and he made a difference with his life." Police Chief Scott Schubert.
Somewhere, within earshot of Saturday's "End of Watch" vigil, cowards were hiding.
It was a week after the cowardly act. Calvin Hall murdered while trying to break up a fight at a rowdy party and no charges had been filed. "The eye witnesses are garbage," a police source working the case told me. In a community where good folks live in fear and bad guys kill over territory and triviality, Calvin Hall was in danger of becoming a statistic - the unsolved murder.
Yes, police were questioning a possible "person of interest." But could they make a case to charge him with homicide? "We can't get people out here to help us," a police source told me. In the very neighborhood where Calvin hall lived and died, the folks he protected and served have thus far "abandoned him," said one of my longtime police sources.
It's not just Officer Calvin Hall's murder. The "code of silence" permeates places where folks clamor for justice and peace.
And here's the brutal reality:
Can't get justice if folks don't demand justice.
Can't get peace if folks don't demand peace.
Where are the marches? Where are the rallies?
Not a single person blocking traffic.
Not a whisper of shame.
Place a metaphorical mirror in the streets. Have folks look into it. "Mirror mirror on the wall. Do we really care at all?" We all have blood on our hands for this one. We live in a place and time where social media pablum is more important than true justice. Will we stand as one or die alone? We must have the courage to bring cowards to justice.
We cannot allow great men like Calvin Hall to die in vain, can we?
Martin Luther King Jr. made a much more eloquent plea decades ago . "Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. This is the way God's universe is made; this is the way it is structured."
Angel Warren lost her fiance. We lost an opportunity. To tell the story of a young man returning to his community to protect his own. Now the story we read is an obit. Are you sickened yet? Are you ready to do something about it?
Let me know when you're ready. I am.
(Images: Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Facebook page)