Support our officers

Published 11:24 am Sunday, September 6, 2015

After reading Mr. Jeff Hatch’s letter to you I was compelled to also write.

At first I wrestled with the idea because of my past and my present situation. However the urge was overbearing and I came to a point of soul searching that caused me to believe it was imperative that I write you.

I am from Orange; I get the Orange Leader from a subscription I have been blessed with. It is a way for me to follow events in Orange, provide entertainment and reading material. You see, I am in prison and it is not my first time by far, but I thank God that it will be my last.

Orange Police Officers have been more than fair to me. Former Chief Tony Taylor of West Orange tried to help me as a teenager, as did former Judge Carl Thibodeaux. Former Police Officer James Goodman helped me get charges dismissed so I could enlist in the U.S. Navy and Officer Ernie Mitchell has helped me. I failed not just them and myself but my family and God time after time.

When I was living a life of crime and addiction, I was a selfish person. I sought justification and reason for all my wrongs. I could only see wrong as right and right often as wrong. I applied “if” to anything. I served an enemy I now hate. Today I am able to see what selfishness and addiction would not allow me to see. I no longer live in a sense of self-entitlement as many criminals do.

There is not a man or woman alive or dead that can convince me that police officers just woke up one day to say to themselves, “Today I think I’ll frame or kill someone.” When police officers leave home and go to work, his or her intentions are good. They have a job to do; it is enforcing the laws of the land. It is not easy and it is a demanding job.

Like a fisherman in troubled water and storms, often to be lost himself.

When a criminal leaves home, the criminal has one thing in mind, “breaking the law.” He or she is the storm that causes troubled water.

The police officer and fisherman have something in common; it’s their job and their intentions are good. The criminal intentions are evil when schooling for prey in troubled waters.

When the police officer and the criminal meet in the troubled water, the storm will cause emotion and danger; unfortunately this sometimes will lead to poor judgment or mistakes.

The media seems to want society to turn their back on law enforcement; this can’t be done. For one it only adds wind to a stormy mind. The criminal already sees wrong as right; supporting the criminal by condemning the police only encourages the criminal mind! And it will increase and multiply. Can’t we see how often this is now occurring? Bad media towards the police is like a gateway drug, it does not fox the problem. The problem is in the intent of evil.

If the criminal was not breaking the law, the confrontation would never have occurred.

Are there exceptions? Yes absolutely. It is easy to see how a dishonest police officer always catches himself. Just like the ‘dumb’ criminal. He or she never was a real police officer to begin with.

We must ask ourselves three things before we feed into; or support their crusade against police by the media:

  1. What would the U.S. be like without police? Imagine that!
  2. Why did the confrontation occur? (The officer and the civilian).
  3. Who had society, not intent in mind?

I’ve been incarcerated since Nov. 17, 2004. A so-called ‘bad cop’ did not put me here. I did it with my intent and actions.

I encourage police to keep on keeping on and refuse to support or encourage a gateway or reinforcement of criminal behavior of any kind.

Thank you Mr. Hatch. I admire your courage and determination. Like you, I believe Orange has good police officers.

I pray we are able to keep them.

God bless the police,

Burley K. Johnson

Tennessee Colony, Texas