Philip Holloway: We should be just as outraged about deputy's killing as Freddie Gray case
Holloway says life is precious and all lives matter
Editor’s Note: Philip Holloway, a CNN legal analyst, is a criminal defense lawyer who heads a law firm in Cobb County, Georgia. A former prosecutor and adjunct professor of criminal justice, he is former president of the Cobb County Bar Association’s criminal law section. Follow him on Twitter: @PhilHollowayEsq. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
The seemingly unprovoked killing of Harris County, Texas, sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth brings the total number of law enforcement officers shot to death this year to date to a staggering 24 – 24 human lives lost to violence – 24 lives that mattered.
According to a police friend commenting on the story in the last 24 hours – “If a guy like this wants you – you’re just SOL – your head can’t be on a swivel every second.”
The motive in Goforth’s death has not been determined, but according to the Harris County sheriff, the killing was linked to the broader national conversation about police shootings of African-Americans –sometimes armed and sometimes unarmed.
“When rhetoric ramps up to the point where cold-blooded assassination has happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” he said, according to USA Today. “We heard ‘black lives matter.’ All lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter too, so why don’t we drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter’ and take that to the bank.”
Recently an Alabama detective was pistol-whipped to within an inch of his life because he says he hesitated to use force lest he be the next headline.
Then there were the killings of New York police Officers Erik Jansen and Brian Moore in the wake of the Freddie Gray case.
According to Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, “There are a few bad apples in every profession. … That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement.”
The solution is first to be just as outraged at this deputy’s killing as we collectively were when Freddie Gray or Eric Garner died. Next community leaders and police leaders need to find a way to reconcile. It won’t be easy, but it must be done.
The police community was hit as hard by this disgusting act as the journalism community was by the WDBJ-TV killings last week. Let’s acknowledge that. Violence is out of control, and I agree with the sheriff that “#livesmatter.” It is time to drop any other descriptive adjectives – journalists’ lives matter, black lives matter, police lives matter, every single life matters.
If you don’t believe me, just ask Kathleen Goforth, the widow who says she was “lucky to have him” or ask Andy Parker, the grieving father who lost his daughter Alison in the WDBJ shootings, or ask the families of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown or any of the other countless surviving family members of human beings who have lost their lives due to violence.
Not all violence is criminal – but all violence is violent and all pain is pain and all suffering is suffering. Life is precious and life matters. Life is short enough as it is so let’s allow each other to live, because life matters.