Police Chief: ‘I Am Compelled To Speak’

Detective Benjamin Marconi of the San Antonio, TX Police Department was assassinated in front of his own police station on Sunday, November 20th. Less than a week before the majority of Americans will gather together to celebrate and give thanks for life, love, and family, the Marconi family is forced to turn their attention to burying Benjamin: a son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.

I begin this statement talking about Detective Marconi, as opposed to issuing a standard press release “on behalf of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police” or “as a police chief,” because the dreadful issue of overt, concerted, and directed violence against law enforcement officers across the United States of America is personal. And it must stop.

I am compelled to speak. I am compelled to demand outrage from the American public. I am compelled to demand that the media gives this issue the attention it deserves – because the righteous indignation that has been afforded to countless other incidents of tragedy has not been bestowed on the law enforcement officers of this nation who have fallen at the hands of hatred, depravity, and wanton explicit acts of anti-police sentiment and murder. Detective Marconi was murdered. He did not die in a heroic act of lifesaving. He was writing a traffic ticket and someone shot him in the head…twice.

Despite my visceral urge not to, I had to turn on the news and tune into what passes for news these days – social media. Imagine my horror when I came across a video on Facebook of a group of young people in Austin, Texas over this past weekend, chanting, “Fuck the police. What’s better than nine dead cops? Ten dead cops! What’s better than ten dead cops? Eleven dead cops!”

Those are vile, vitriolic, violent words. I want the media to print them, to show them, to showcase them and to broadcast them from the rooftops. Because this is the society we live in right now. Chanting for the outright murder of police officers is not protesting, it’s riot-inciting and absolute terrorism. There is a peaceful process for speaking your mind. This is not it.

Don’t bleep out the expletives, Mr. and Mrs. Media, fearing the safe space of our country’s fragile young ears. These are the mouths, lungs, and hearts connected to many ears. If the nature of this message is palatable to you and the sentiment appeals to your exploitation, let the freedom of the press and the expression of the American public cry forth in its purest and most uncensored form. Americans are screaming, “Fuck the police” in the middle of the day, the same weekend that an honorable man was ferociously slaughtered in what should have been the most reasonable boundaries of safety – behind a badge, in a police car, in front of a police station, in the United States of America.

Does human decency remain anywhere? Have we watched the last thinning shreds of civility fall to the winds of indulgent, selfish, capricious cowards who do not speak for social justice but rather, act brutally and sadistically for their own petty, indulgent crusades? Is there no safe quarter for the guardians and protectors, who at times are also forced to be warriors, who stand sentinel over our homes every day, night, weekend, and holiday, through onslaughts of weather, at the cost of personal and family time?

I am outraged. Yes, as a police chief and as a representative leader of my state, but also because I am a human being who is watching other human beings being targeted, assaulted, maimed, disabled, and killed because they wear a badge that pledges their dedication to keeping communities across this great nation safe. At this time in our country, more than ever, we must stop talking about theoretical common ground and find it…and stand on it…with each other and against the rage, wrath, and perceived vengeance of a vocal group who seek to bring great harm to our American way of life.

I am tired of grieving. I am weary of sending condolences. I am physically sickened at the thought of where our nation stands as a people in the face of a social contract between citizens and policing that has stood, perhaps imperfectly, for hundreds of years.

I refuse to accept the normalization of violence against police. Targeting, harming, and killing law enforcement officers is a vicious, calculated act of domestic terrorism. It is not to be entertained, much less tolerated, by a nation that lives, breathes, and thrives on liberty and freedom from tyranny. Every decent citizen of this country should demand that this stop. Where is your voice? Where are your letters to the editor? Where are the media that so quickly plaster stories over and over about questionable officer-involved shootings before all the facts are confirmed? Are you not outraged? Will you not give equal time to senseless killings of police officers and chantings for the killing of more?
• Detective Benjamin Marconi, San Antonio, TX Police – murdered while sitting in his police car – 11-20-16.
• Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers, Unites States Marshal – shot and killed while serving a warrant – 11-18-16.
• Deputy Sheriff Dennis Wallace, Stanislaus County, CA – shot and killed investigating a suspicious person – 11-13-16.
• Officer Darrin Reed, Show Low, AZ Police – shot and killed investigating a suspicious person – 11-08-16.
• Deputy Daryl Smallwood, Peach County, GA – shot and killed investigating a neighbor dispute – 11-06-16.
• Sergeant Patrick Sondron, Peach County, GA – shot and killed investigating a neighbor dispute – 11-06-16.
• Officer Cody Brotherson, West Valley, UT Police – struck and killed by criminals fleeing in a stolen car – 11-06-16.
• Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, New York City Police – shot and killed responding to a robbery call – 11-04-16.
• Sergeant Anthony Beminio, Des Moines, IA Police – shot and killed in an ambush attack – 11-02-16.
• Officer Justin Martin, Urbandale, IA Police – shot and killed in an ambush attack – 11-02-16.

The officers listed above, sons, brothers, fathers and grandfathers, were murdered in the line of duty, just this month. This reflects a rate of one officer murdered every two days in this country. This should shock the conscience of every American. Again, I ask you, where is your outrage? I ask you to grieve for the families of these officers. I also ask you to grieve for all families of the 128 police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty so far this year. I ask you to reflect upon the 20,789 police officers, whose names are etched in granite at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, who gave their lives to protect this country. They did it for you. It has to stop. That’s what the American public, community after community, leader after leader, elected official after elected official, and person after person must say about attacks on law enforcement. It has to stop.


Steven R. Casstevens is president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. He can be reached at scasstevens@vbg.org.

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14 Comments

  1. watchyatalkinabout

    There is outrage amongst the good Police Officer’s across the nation re. Azzhat’s who slipped through and are wearing a badge. Usually these turds don’t last long on the job LJC, because they are castigated and shunned by the 99.9%. I spent 27 years on the streets, saw a lot of creeps come and go..power hungry, racist, or just plain dishonest and pieces of shit. Now..to address your remarks, to suggest that police action pertaining to a land dispute ( and don’t get all word, because that is exactly what it boils down to)…to suggest that “when officer’s come down to earth over a civil problem, somehow links with assassination of Police Officer’s is incredibly creepy). I personally helped/saved/ and hopefully inspired a few folks that I took an oath to Serve and Protect. I feel for you, if you believe that anyone who is assassinated deserves it.

  2. Barbara Guffey

    My son Aaron (7) wants to be a police officer when he grows up. And as proud of that as I am, it scares me to death. I’m torn between praying he changes his mind and praying he doesn’t, because we will need strong men and women able to stand against this onslaught. More than anything, I just pray as a nation we change from where society is now and we revert to respecting officers and the law.

  3. Harrison Hill

    I believe that killing a police officer at any level, (municipal, county, parish, state, or federal) should be a Federal Offense. Causing a suspect(s) to be charged with in Federal Court, bypassing the states appellate system. I also believe as a Federal Crime of murdering a police officer (law enforcement official) that the charges should carry an automatic death penalty. That is what I believe but it doesn’t make it so.

    I also believe that no matter how spotless a law enforcement agency is, one officer who goes awry staining the achievements of his peers no matter how great, will cause a great majority of the community to find doubt and mistrust with the agency that had only a day before shined in its perfection. One officer or a group of officers who have a pack mentality, can destroy the very best image and opinions of even a region’s law enforcement body. From there it continues to creep outward. Until like the blob it has encompassed the entire profession.

    Law Enforcement Professionals cannot change force the media to not report on subjects that carry a loud voice. However Agencies can be professional, rise above those airing blame, and conduct themselves with a manner that is above reproach. Law Enforcement agencies can continue to perfect their service and with pride serve knowing they are doing the right thing regardless of the odds being waged against them. It has always been the plight of the police officer to do so, it is a thankless job. It isn’t going to get any easier with technology advancements. Still the basics of being the best police officer you can be still stand. Pride, Integrity and Guts, is something every officer must maintain.

  4. Judy Witherby

    Random acts of violence, where ever they are happening speaks volumes about our society as a whole. Killing someone for doing their job or even standing up for their beliefs is wrong. The random assassination of police officers must stop but so should militarized action against native peoples protecting treatied lands which are part of Sacred Burial grounds…. anywhere else in the USA that burial plots are disturbed immediately halts construction …Why not at Standing Rock? Why is a corporation being allowed to control law enforcement? Historically, Native Americans have been bull dozed into western culture … Have we not learned from our mistakes? Thanksgiving?? Is that not a national holiday to commemorate peaceful and friendly relations with our Native brothers and sisters?… Can’t the unions and various organizations raise questions… BEFORE people get hurt? Stop the work crews … Listen to both sides… #HonorTheTreaties … Show that law enforcement will serve and protect the people of this nation and not the corrupt politicians and companies … Hold those taking violent acts against officers without provocation accountable…. but also hold those that turn a blind eye to basic human rights to the Higher Standard… My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of slain officers… and many prayers for those standing on principle to PROTECT our water ways from pollution … corporate land grabs and whose ancestors resting place have been destroyed….

  5. Ron Harper

    The 18,000+ law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are overseen by the the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, and ultimately the President. If a particular policy how law enforcement operates seems bothersome to some people, i.e. Standing Rock, then there is a method for dissent that does not jeopardize others. Saying, “You’re getting killed because people don’t agree with law enforcement methods,” is lunacy. It’s also cowardly. I wonder what would happen if there were outright assassinations of some of our politicians or media people? Would there be outrage? Would they consider the assassinations as Domestic Terrorism or even a Hate Crime? The best people in our society are being assassinated and our lame duck President is conspicuously silent. That is very telling about his character and agenda. Obama’s legacy will not be getting Bin Laden, or unaffordable health care. It will be throwing law enforcement under the bus but so be it. We’ve endured worse and we’ll be around long after the politicians and mainstream media have left the scene.

  6. LiberalJohnConnor

    I demand outrage from the good police out there against the systemic racism, scumbaggery (Take a look at what your fellow thugs are doing to the Standing Rock protesters) and corruption within your good ol’ boys club, and maybe once you bring the police back down to earth and repair your image, this stuff won’t happen.

      • LiberalJohnConnor

        The fact you’re dismissing me because of Liberal in my name AND you are linking to me “facts” on a Facebook page which is an obvious gas & oil industry propaganda outlet tells me all I need to know about you too. You’re either a shill or a complete ignorant moron.

      • Judy Witherby

        Placing a pipeline UNDER a major Aquifer is NOT okay!!! Pipelines break… Then what?? 2 major tributaries are contaminated … and not only is the local water supply in jeopardy … but millions of people are affected…. When we look at sources outside the oil companies. … the information is just as damning or more so than this… Why is streamline media NOT investigating? Why are people not researching? … historically no protest is ever without people trying to incite it further to escalate it to the next level… nor are companies innocent of planting rioters on the other side to garner support or rebut things they do not want known by the public… We must think of the future.. #WaterisLife … protect our natural resources… respect nature …

    • Alec Theora

      You’re full of your own vile dung! All you know about DAPA you probably got from some one-dimensional meme on facebook. You stupid ignoramus! Bernie exposed the whole duplicitous sham right out into the open. CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISM… pure and simple. It’s all a big stupid MSM leftist charade about Global Fucking Warming. There a quite a few pipelines going under the river. The damn oil IS going to be pumped out and it IS going to get to the refineries despite what your lying front wants. The deal is, now it will be put on trains and trucks and cost more, and SPILL more, but it will still be drilled, pumped, and refined, that’s a given. So screw you and your lying bunch of cry baby anarchists. You want to do violent protests? Then be prepared to have violence put back onto you. You only fool the FOOLS with your insipid, stupid climate change agenda arguments. I’m fucking sick of hearing about your whining shit! You want your nutcase demands to be met or you approve of cops being assassinated? You are sick, and I hope they bury you all at wounded brain cell, which is what you’ve got, and what you deserve.
      Meanwhile Black Lies Matter is even more full of vile lies and shit. BLM is based on complete LIES! It has NO basis in facts, just ignorant feelings, MANIPULATED FEELINGS. BLM is as stupid as the stupid people who believe in it. It has unleashed the hate and violence and bigotry and prejudice that has been carefully nurtured by the Leftist’s complete lies and their hijacking of facts with twisted narratives. The black community’s biggest enemy is.. wait for it.. itself! The black community’s biggest enemy is ignorance and their block voting for the destructive policies of their master, Democratic party. Look at the wanton violence of the black community. Look at it’s level of dysfunction on so many levels, despite all the programs and benefits they are now entitled to, based on only the color of their skin. It’s so fucking obvious what the real problems are, but NO ONE dares say it, because of stupid mind controlling PC rules and taboos. Well, until the black community takes a long, hard and honest look in the mirror, it can shoot up cops and everything else til the cows come home, keep killing themselves in record numbers, and NOTHING will be fixed, but there will be more death, destruction and violence. All the phony Leftist cult lies have to stop.

    • ThatOldCop

      I hope and pray that someone starts systematically killing off your family members and that some loser tries to blame YOU for those deaths.

    • macsvens

      There are 8 other pipelines under the Missouri River. This all started when Dave Archambault, Tribe leader and owner of a standing rock gas station, Was in negotiations to have the pipeline pass through the reservation. Another Tribe already had been paid to pass though their land and was paid handsomely. When NDPL offered him 10 million he rejected it. Then the offered him 20 million. He rejected that. He countered with 26 million and 10 percent of the oil that moved through the pipe. NDPL refused and decided to put it near an already existing pipeline. Archambault got mad at this and invited a environmental group to protest. It has blossomed from there.

    • macsvens

      There are 8 other pipelines under the Missouri River. This all started when Dave Archambault, Tribe leader and owner of a standing rock gas station, Was in negotiations to have the pipeline pass through the reservation. Another Tribe already had been paid to pass though their land and was paid handsomely. When NDPL offered him 10 million he rejected it. Then the offered him 20 million. He rejected that. He countered with 26 million and 10 percent of the oil that moved through the pipe. NDPL refused and decided to put it near an already existing pipeline. Archambault got mad at this and invited a environmental group to protest. It has blossomed from there.

  7. Sue Rawson

    as the mother of a Police Officer I seethe with disgust when I see these foolish ignorant people… and my heart aches for their ccolleges, friens, and families. The blame for this is placed right in the disgusting humans, the media, all the way up to the ‘Commander in Chief’, and I use that term loosely! What a disgrace ALL these people are… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/259931f1c77596d69387e4011c9e13bb23c601d9e2343f9727fd93636e837ad3.jpg

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