George Graham

Those Cops are not Heroes to me

There was Rachel on MSNBC last night excitedly giving us the “news” about a troubled young woman who was gunned down in Washington yesterday afternoon.  I thought I heard the popular pundit reporting that Congress had passed some kind of bipartisan motion praising the Capitol police who had been so diligent in protecting the country’s leaders.

I didn’t wait to find out whether Rachel was for the motion or against it. I clicked off the TV and drifted fitfully off to sleep.

I could see no heroism in the law officers’ actions. What I saw was a police state in action.

Where was their justification for deadly force? The woman – later identified as 34-year-old dental hygienist Miriam Carey – was armed with nothing more dangerous than a year-old infant.

So she was driving erratically and her car brushed a cop. Since when has that been justification for a death sentence? Of course, the police didn’t know who was in the car. It could have been a suicide bomber, I suppose. But they didn’t have to shoot to kill. They could have stopped the fleeing car with one of those tire-puncturing devices I’ve seen on TV shows, for example.

But today’s truth is deadlier than yesterday’s fiction. The Lone Ranger used to shoot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand. Today’s real-life cops aim at the heart.

In the aftermath of this sickening tragedy, I was left wondering and worrying about the kid.

Will he or she grow up in a succession of bleak foster homes, deprived of a mother’s care?

The media hadn’t said whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

Was the baby in the car the dead woman’s kid? I didn’t even know that.

The last I’d heard, the media hadn’t bothered to find out. They were too busy showing and re-showing the woman’s car smacking a checkpoint barricade, backing up and driving away as the cops blasted away.  What drama!


The way I see it, this was no national security threat, no heroic defense of the nation’s Capitol. It was the senseless butchery of a confused woman who panicked.

What is happening to America? Is this the kind of society we want?

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About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for