If you told me you were drowning
It's a good piece of journalism because I think they do allow the police to present their side of the story. You get a glimpse into what goes through someone's mind as they hear about looting and murder barely miles away, and they realize that they don't have the necessary resources to ease those people's needs either.
It's important to hear both sides, because it's so easy to judge this from afar. It's easy to lump this in with all the other Racist Southern Cops stories. If, like me, you think most things boil down to money, it's pretty easy to define this as Haves versus Have-Nots. But it's scary to put on those other shoes and take the viewpoint of someone whose primary duty is to serve and protect his local community.
And let me make something perfectly clear. That's no excuse. It doesn't make it better.
It makes it worse.
It speaks to the banality of evil. It speaks to how easily we can let fear and a narrow viewpoint lead us to a horribly wrong action. It is a concrete example that you didn't have to be in the floodwaters to choose only to look out for your own gang. Gretna was wrong, entirely wrong to do those things. But if we wish to sit in judgement of their failure to see beyond their own boundaries, we owe it to ourselves to listen to Gretna's words.
A piece of advice I should've considered before I chose this title. Perhaps I should've turned my radio up 16 years.
I'm not a coward, I've just never been tested.