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This Job Is Absolutely Impossible…

This Job Is Absolutely Impossible…

Officer Michael Louviere was killed today. He was a Marine and recently joined the Westwego Police Department. He was only 26 years young. He saw what appeared to be a woman involved in a traffic accident. He walked up to the car to assist the woman, only to be shot in the head from a man behind him.

He was wrong.

It wasn’t just a traffic accident although that is how it seemed.

The woman was frantically fleeing her boyfriend who shot her earlier. She jumped in her car and fled in an effort to get away from him. She ran into a convenience store and asked patrons to call 911. She fled in her vehicle and eventually crashed, while her boyfriend was still pursuing her. Officer Louviere thought he knew what was going on, but he was wrong and he paid the ultimate price for it.

How would it appear to citizens if he thought the situation seemed suspicious so he approached the car with his gun out? How would people view him if he saw the victim’s boyfriend approaching quickly and pulled his gun out on him, only to find out that he was just a frantic boyfriend trying to assist his girlfriend injured in a car accident? Close your eyes and imagine how different this story would be if a white male officer held a black man with dreadlocks at gunpoint until other officers arrived, all while the girlfriend was dying inside of the car, only to find out that the black guy was not a suspect, but simply a caring boyfriend running to aid his girl.

Who would believe Officer Louviere when he stated that he acted the way that he did because “something wasn’t right” and he thought that the caring boyfriend was suspicious because of the way he approached the vehicle? Who would automatically assume that race was a factor if the guy wasn’t a threat, but simply a caring boyfriend?

This job is absolutely impossible.

Sometimes it is absolutely impossible to determine if an officer is racist or if he is responding based on experience and factors presented to him. This inability to definitively put these incidents into a specific box is why the nation is so divided on these issues. Both sides have legitimate arguments, but the truth is often times impossible to grasp.

I don’t say these things to belittle anyone. I say them in an effort to attempt to get people to understand how impossible it is to be a police officer, while understanding the pain and frustration that comes from racism.

R.I.P. Officer Louviere

About The Author

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Chelsea Whitaker is a Dallas Area Police Officer and member of the 2005 Baylor Bear Basketball Team that won the National Championship. Her desire is to give others #perspective in order to #bridgethegap. She is a frequent contributor to Law Officer.

  • LegalBeagle

    Thank you for pointing out the ways these situations can spin.

  • Russ

    first, deep condolences to Louviere’s family…does racism among the police community exist? i’m sure it does, both ways. is it acceptable? no. but to paint as racist with such a wide brush those who are working the streets is inaccurate and unfair. an officer’s job sometimes demands that decisions be made in seconds, and those decisions are based on a number of factors that also include previous experiences, what is “out of place” or “what doesn’t fit”, and dozens of other subtle clues that might lead to the unsnapping of the holster or not. yes, in some circumstances one’s racial background do become part of that ‘mix’. as does a person’s clothing, their car, their demeanor, and a bystander’s response to them. visual cues are what officers rely upon to do their jobs well and, yes, to protect themselves until more information can be accrued in other ways…

  • JJ Haynes

    Excellent article and perspective. Thank you for taking the time to think through and to share. Be safe out there, prayers are with you and your fellow LEOs nationwide.

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