by Pauly Fongemie
June 11, 2015

This column is a plea for reason, patience and empathy. Last weekend the media was aflutter with another episode featuring societal breakdown, in this case, actual implosion. The setting was Texas, although it could have been almost any suburb. The violent scene, which was videotaped by an onlooker and not a police cam, was selective, not by intent but because of the normal exigencies of any explosive situation. Right there, we know we do not have the whole picture, and even though a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, it does not necessarily tell the entire truth in a thousand words or less. It can't, because like the human eye, a picture has a perspective, it isn't all-encompassing by its very nature. It can only capture what is in view of the "lens" at a particular moment in time.

Let me set the scene:

There were twelve police officers who were called to a disturbance at a mixed race pool party. Eleven acted with cool heads, professionally. We do not know where they had been previously or what they had to confront and deal with as the keepers of the peace. We do know, quite a lot about the 12th officer - the one who is the focus of the news. Before going to the fracas, he had been detailed to two suicide attempts, highly charged and sensitive, to say the least. His nerves were pretty well shot, as one would expect them to be. In fact, he considered not being a part of this last detail, but because the situation was considered urgent he did so, against his better judgment. Perhaps we have all been there in our own lives, whether police officers or neighbors.

When he arrived there was quite a lot going on, the worst aspect being that a number of the teenagers were egging on the police - purposeful agitation for the sake of goading. Truly reprehensible, adolescence or not!

Now the pool party began as most do, innocently with nobody intending to cause trouble. But trouble broke out as it sometimes does, for whatever reason, which is not germane. Once the police became involved the tone and tenor changed for the worse. An opportunity, inflamed by months and months of hysterics about so-called "police brutality", racism, with mayors and some D.A.s adding to the problem, not helping it. There is now an expectation in the grievance community, if I may put it like this, that it is always the police officer's fault and the police are now considered a suspect class a priori. This gives "permission" or an unofficial license for those with ulterior motives to take advantage, to play the race card or the victim - it is all about personal grievance, the better if the media plays along.

The headline and the import of such is that the police are a bunch of bigots who deliberately get their kicks picking on innocent Blacks or other minorities. Actually, there is little left to that type of bigotry, North or South. There hasn't been in a long time, in fact. If that were the case, then why are we only learning about it now? Logically to ask is to answer. What has changed is that we are in societal implosion, not just meltdown. Chaos - the anarchy of those who feel entitled to not have a conscience while playing judge and jury with anyone else they deem the enemy. And the cops are it.

All this pandemonium and heightened rhetoric over the police is mainly induced by the race demagogues who have a wide assortment to draw from because of the breakdown of the traditional family and troubled schools - the latter instilling leftist attitudes favored by the educational establishment or the intellegentsia.

This police officer, surely did not conduct himself admirably at all. No argument there. And being a professional and older he should have been wiser and calmer. But we are not dealing with an everyday scenario, if we look at it from a human perspective - of course we should primarily look at it from a professional perspective, which we will do shortly. But I am thinking of the police officer under intense scrutiny and criticism, as a man, a simple, honest, caring man with a family to support and whom he loves. Someone much like your brother, perhaps. When he arrived he was near his low point. Then the kids began taunting, urging their pals to defy the law and so forth. So, he snapped. Not good, for sure. But human. Personally I want my cops to be just a little human, as in a whole lot human. Anyway, he tackled two of the girls, a White and a Black, so if he was a "racist", you would not know it by this. Hmmm ... But then, you see the new "Black value system" is that Blacks are not to be disciplined - we have to have a special legal discount for them, just as in some schools one is not permitted to treat Blacks and Whites equally - it has come to this, racism is now practiced by those who make it a business to hurl racist charges at every available opportunity, out of vengeance, not justice.

Instead of being pulled off duty for a time, without pay, as is standard, this officer resigned, doing the honorable thing in his mind. His life is in ruins, his family and he in hiding because of a series of death threats! Imagine!

The girls were not harmed, except in their own minds which do not seem enlightened enough to aid a well-informed conscience. Elements of the "Black Community" are front and center in the media, which finds all this simply delicious for ratings, demanding he be prosecuted. For what? Losing his temper? Well, okay, then, let's put every parent, every teacher, every cop, every everybody who has charge over kids, and has lost their temper in jail or before the court, although nobody was ever injured. Let's be consistent and equitable, shall we? Let's see, which one of us wants to volunteer first? You, or me. I wonder how many in the media could pass their own criteria? Not many, I wager, because I bet they are also human beings.

Now, when we do so, let us also be certain that the kids that are the concern also taunted each and everyone of us, not when we were fresh in the morning right after our prayers when everything seems right with the world because we have spent time with God, but after a long, trying day. Then let us see how many of us also snap. Just a thought.

Now, let me get this straight, a cop loses his resolve to remain calm and for this he is public enemy No. 1? Give me a break. A simple time-out from detail at his own financial expense ought to be sufficient. But oh, no, he has to be drawn and quartered in the media, by people who did not follow him around all day and really are judging without all the relevant facts. He probably will never get to be a police officer again, will have to begin his life all over in midlife, his family is terrified because of the threats. And those who started the whole imbroglio and exacerbated it with mean-spirited taunts - perniciously for the sake of doing so - are now the "victims", at least one is, anyway and the mob is screaming for VENGEANCE! But vengeance is God's alone.

The mob thinks it moral and worthy to threaten an innocent family with death. And where is the compassion, the willingness to forgive? I mean, it is not as if the officer intended to mess up.
Come on, not with all the media attention on ALL THOSE BAD GUYS, the men and women in blue. And not one broken bone or dislocated arm. Nothing but misplaced indignity and too much pride. Where is the indignity at the deliberate disobedience of the kids, in order to goad the police? Gee, I can't seem to find it anywhere. My goodness! After all, it was a set-up for certain. Sure he ought to have known better. I believe he did but for one moment he could not keep it together. It is not as if he has some big bad record along this vein. If he had, do you think he would have been allowed at such a situation in today's atmosphere where anarchy has the same rights as civility? Come on! As for the revelers, how many think their conduct was exemplary, how many do not? Will they even learn any lesson if they do not? We know that the officer, who is repentant, will learn something of great and lasting value, because it has cost him his life in so many words. But those kids? It seems to have cost them nothing at all. They probably started out as pretty good kids all in all. But now they have the odor of the thug about them for their behavior was so void of any virtue. They started the melee and prolonged it on purpose. And we are supposed to think of them as heroes or at least victims? You must be kidding!

What a mess! I think it will get worse, that we do not want to learn anything here but prefer to perpetuate our own biases. And the media will be only too willing to accommodate us.

Look, I know something about what I am writing about. You see, I was once a member of Operation Rescue and other pro-life groups. I have been arrested and thrown in jail because I only wanted to rescue a baby from death. I did not use violence, physical or verbal, but practiced civil disobedience a la Martin Luther King. I never taunted a single police officer or anyone else, for that matter. I was always compliant and quiet, what is referred to as "a prayer warrior". My thing is the Rosary, it is always my weapon of choice. Let me tell you, I know quite a bit about police brutality, the real thing, not an exploded temper at the last moment in human weakness. I will briefly tell you about only two incidents that were typical of some departments - only a few precincts - in those days. Most officers are spot on and admirable and heroic at times. Period.

It was in the Boston area - the suburb is not important - I only mention the locale so you know the police were highly trained and long on experience with Operation Rescue and its sister organizations. It should have been an ordinary sunny Saturday with a peaceful protest in front of a brick building where the littlest and most innocent of the innocent were being executed because someone claimed they were "unwanted". The police, of course, were expected to do their duty and break up the protest using the usual means when dealing with the non-violent, fully compliant rescuers. And normally that was and is the case. But not this Saturday. Operation Rescue was the focus, but Operation Act-Up, a very naughty, disingenuous homosexual rabble-rousing up-raised fisted bunch were the means to deliberately debase the rescuers. The police permitted Act-Up to act out in all sorts of hideous ways, to cross the police line and stand over the rescuers who had been hurled to the ground with their arms tightly bound by plastic cuffs that bore into our flesh. We were not permitted to move an inch except to shift a foot here and there. The homosexuals, who were all men, kept shouting loud obscenities and nonsense, too, such as "Get you Rosaries off our ovaries." It made no sense - but then abortion makes no sense to me at all - because men have no ovaries. They were so unimaginative they were unable to come up with a quip on their own, but had to borrow from the feminists in league with them. It would have been laughable but for the utter profanity and blasphemy the cops allowed and refused to calm it down even a notch. I saw two of the cops snicker. It was all we deserved you know.

When it was time for us to be put in the vans for transport to jail things got very rough. Not because any of us gave any of them a hard time - just the opposite - we were docile in keeping with our Christian ethos. The cop nearest to me grabbed my arm, which was not necessary as I was moving along in line without any problem. Then he purposefully twisted it until I could feel real pain searing through to my shoulder. I was injured. Since I had not said one word to him, I was mystified. So I asked him why he did that. The media was scattered and no reporter was focused on the two of us, so he said he was free to be honest. He told me that he was very angry with us - I just happened to be the one closest to him, it was not personal - that Saturday was his day off and he had purchased some beer to drink while enjoying the family pool and now here he was. So to vent he did his best to hurt my arm without getting into a whole lot of hot water. I required a police medic, who was very nice, unlike that officer, and was in a sling for a few days - no big deal but you get the flavor of the atmosphere and the tensions running high among the police. Another cop, a few feet away, waited until the media left, and man-handled a compliant, quiet young man, whom I did not know, but he was slender of build. I heard every word that cop said to him: Now that the media are gone, I can do this, and he shoved him real hard on purpose. This was not a case of snapping in a weak moment. It was planned and purposeful brutality because in both situations the officers either waited for the media to be gone or took note that the media had its attention elsewhere at the moment. Both were opportune and taken advantage of.

We were placed on a cold cement floor without blankets and were not fed until the next day and at that it was not a full meal. The first day there was one bathroom - single toilet - for the men and one for the women - upstairs, and we had to stand in line, hour after hour to make sure we made it in time. Eventually one of the women officers decided this was punitive, so she arranged for a second restroom for the women at least, probably because so many of us were in our "time of the month." There were over a hundred of us, men and women combined. The jail was not equipped to humanely handle us, so I gave them that consideration. I am certain we saved at least one baby and the small sacrifice we made for a few days was a trifle. What a bargain to save a life!

The upshot was that only the leaders were put before the bench. The rest of us were never charged, never saw a lawyer until after 24 hours, and only for a few minutes. But all the other stuff was totally gratuitous because of anger. I could have understood it if one of us had said something untoward or unkind or taunting or anything at all, but there was nothing at all.

The next incident was much closer to home, here in Maine. In Maine almost every police contingency, whether municipality or sheriff or state troopers are very nice, tops in my experience, except for this one small city, again the name is not important for our purposes here. In that place there are a couple on the force that are notorious for mischief when it comes to pro-lifers and ACT-UP, one of their "pets". That town is home to an awful hospital, associated with another Catholic hospital [at that time] that did late-term abortions. A group of us would assemble - complete with police permit, once a week, when they did the killing, and quietly show signs about what an abortion really is and pray the Rosary with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We were always quiet and obeyed the police rules for protest, staying where we were told to remain and so forth. Always. Our purpose was to pray, educate those who might take an interest, and save the lives of babies if possible. We were not there to showcase ourselves or make "trouble" as such. That would defeat our purpose.

Most of us were middle age or older as the young were still in school, etc. One morning as usual the squad car parked across the road in case of any incident. SOP and just fine by us, believe me - we were not anti-cop at all. But then it all changed because ACT-UP showed up with a vengeance, like they sometimes did, but only in that locale were they given permission to act-up. That morning did they ever! We got the standard, and by now banal, "Get your Rosaries off our ovaries." But so much more. In full view of the police who were only a few yards away, ACT-UP began shoving us and kicking us as hard as they could, while taunting us. This went on for several minutes, as much as ten, I estimated. I feared they would hurt one of the other women who was older and physically fragile - a docile lamb of a lady, she was next to me. I kept looking over to the cops to see if they would do anything to stop the unfairness. They just looked on and away, content to let matters be. We were continually pushed and kicked, and I mean hard, it hurt like all get out - the shin bone is sensitive as you know . The point for ACT-UP was to get us to act out, in self defense. Now, since we were assaulted under Maine law, really assaulted, if the cops were doing their duty they would have at least stopped the abuse. But no, they did not. But for sure, if but one of us had tried to defend ourselves - we did not move a finger or say an unkind word - we would have been immediately arrested and prosecuted for assault, trust me. That was the whole point, to create a disturbance and hope human nature would take its toll.

ACT-UP could not get any "takers" so they finally tired of their sordid shenanigans and left after ten minutes or so. In that town, ACT-UP knew they had free range to do what they wanted if it was against pro-lifers at least. So they would appear every so often, but not usually, thanks be to God. But every time we had a chance to exercise restraint and forgiveness. I don't know what ACT-UP ever gained from their forays, but I know we became better people, better Catholics through the grace of God. Persecution, no matter how slight as in our case, is like yeast and bread. Before one adds the flour and other ingredients to the liquid and yeast, it is best to "proof" the yeast, to test its viability as a riser. This is done by putting the yeast in very warm water with a little bit of sweetener, covering the mixture and putting the bowl away from drafts and let it set for twenty minutes or so. If the mixture is thick and bubbly and doubled in depth, the yeast is good and the bread will rise properly. This is what groups like ACT-UP provide - the yeast that brings us grace - God draws good from evil - and more strength so that we can continue to rise another day to keep going for the sake of the sanctity of human life.

We forgave those cops - in the Boston area and here nearby in Maine. There was no retaliation or vengeance, no woe is me stuff. In another Maine town the cops were great when the abortion supporters showed up and started using violence to cause a commotion so we could be blamed. We held our ground and the cops came to break it up. By the time they arrived on the scene one of our men was injured and his glasses deliberately broken. He did not fight back. The cops were astute and sized up the truth really fast. The pro-abortion side was prosecuted. We did not have to do anything other than truthfully answer their questions, the police simply did their duty as most officers do across the country, even now, when they are objects of scorn.

So I am a big supporter of the police. Always, in good times and not so good. Life would be a hell-hole and then some without them.

As for former Officer Casebolt, if I were an entrepreneur, I would hire him, if he would have our company, because I know he would be invaluable. You see, he has learned a lesson too few of us in modern society, what passes for society, that is, are willing to learn in their magnified idea of themselves as victims. One always learns when something costs us as much as it does Officer Casebolt, who is truly sorry. Seldom does a person learn anything when there is no penalty for his sin. We are all sinners, but some of us do not think so any longer, if they ever did. They do not have normal consciences and because our fractured culture gives them the upper hand in conjunction with the meddling, self-righteous media, there is little hope they will ever develop consciences worth the name.

I am a simple housewife with no company and few assets. But if anyone knows of a web site that is assisting the Casebolt family, please let me know, I want to help him and them if I can. I think he deserves a second chance, especially in view of all the opprobrium being heaped on him, the death threats and the dishonesty about so much of that incident. Can we not at least have some compassion? Can we not be at least a little more patient with one another as fellow human beings? Why does every sin have to practically "end" a life? if the person is not a felon, while real felons are getting away with slight sentences for major crimes, especially if they are illegals - no protests there!

If the insanity, the chaos, the anarchy and ginned up bitterness proceed unabated, full steam ahead, we will rue the day anyone had contempt for the police. The Soviet Gulag will seem like a cakewalk in comparison!

Officer Casebolt, if you are within the "sound of my voice" know that I am praying for you, for those "brats" who should have been better themselves, and for all those who are so certain that you are without any defense worthy of any man, who are condemning you in public, who are calling for your "head". I think we should all be better men and women, as I know you will be ...