It takes a toll..

My wife said I had been different lately. Telling me that my mood is different, not cheerful, not happy as normal.

A couple of days ago, my wife went to the gym with me and snapped this picture.

After seeing it, I realized what the last few weeks has done to me.

As an officer in an undisclosed location and undisclosed unit, I have been on the front lines. A front line that caused me to use my riot shield and baton to stop rioters.

I stood on a bridge on 6-3-20 and witnessed my black brothers, my brothers of the line, standing beside me. All of our brothers and sisters holding that line.

My black brothers and sisters being called Uncle Tom, traitor of their race, ACAB, quit your job, these names being yelled not only at my black brothers but mine as well. As a father of a bi-racial child, husband to a bi-sexual Asian female, I have been called many names. I have been asked to kill myself, throw my badge away, find a new job, “have a discussion with your brown wife”, "put your shield down".

I will stand behind my brother to my left and to my right, my sister to my left and to my right.

The last few weeks have taken a toll. The thought of being targeted by groups that hate police, individuals who hate police, I worry about my bi-racial family. I worry about my neighbors who are black, having their house confused with mine.

I worry about my children growing up thinking that all police are murders because of one officers choice to ignore human dignity.

I woke up Thursday to the smell of tear gas in my nose, on my skin. I’m not waking up to bacon and eggs. I wake up to gas, gas, gas, The thoughts of being kicked in the throat, my police car being destroyed and hated because of my skin color and the badge I have on my chest.

I wake up and put that uniform on with pride. I wake up and protect your right to peacefully protest. Police across the nation are condemning the actions of the officer that killed Floyd. That’s not by accident.

It because we see the evilness that occurred that day. We see the problem.

Regardless of what we see, regardless of the 99% of officers that faithfully protect this nation daily, we are hated because of the badge that we have on.

You can hate us, you can throw and say certain things, but we are here for you.

Mentally these things take a toll. We hear and see everything. All the hate, all the violence toward us, yet we still hold the line.

To my brothers and sisters holding that line, I love you, I respect you, you're not alone.

This picture my wife took of me:

That is not me. I am an upbeat person, love the gym, love speaking and helping people. When I saw this photo, I saw what she saw. An officer that has been diminished, an officer who has sacrificed everything for everyone, and officer that cares. This officer is mentally and physically beaten down. This officer only pushes forward because of the love at home and his brothers and sisters beside him.

It takes a toll.

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