In a moving tribute on Thursday—both to murdered Memphis police officer Sean Bolton and to law enforcement officers across the country, who increasingly find themselves under fire from the media and anti-police activist group Black Lives Matter—Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong repeated the message that police “are not the enemy” and “all lives matter.”
Police officer Sean Bolton, who was killed last weekend after interrupting a drug deal, was remembered by Armstrong as “a hero.” And Armstrong went the extra mile and tied Bolton’s senseless loss into the wider issue of animosity towards the police that has been stirred up by Democrat-aligned radical group Black Lives Matter:
We are not your enemy. We are not the enemy. When most people run away, we run too. When most people hide, we are right there for you to see. Regardless of the circumstances, we are right there. We check behind that dark corner that most people would be afraid to do. We encounter shady characters that most people would go a mile out of their way not to even encounter, but we do it because we love this city.
Most of us get up on a daily basis knowing that this is the reality; that any given day, at any given time, this could possibly be the reality. But yet we leave our families at home, and we come and we try to do our absolute best.
I know there is a mantra which says “black lives matter.” Let me tell you, I get that. I understand that. I’m an African-American man, and I truly understand that. But we can’t say that black lives matter only when they are taken at the hands of law enforcement. Or only when it’s at the hands of non-African-American people. Black lives matter, period. All lives matter.
As Breitbart News reported earlier in the week, Armstrong had also told reporters that “all lives matter.”
Acknowledging the sacrifices of police officers is no longer politically correct in the current racially-charged atmosphere. Some even applaud and support the people who murder law enforcement offices, such as the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement who honor convicted cop killer Assata Shakur at every one of their events.
Even before Sean Bolton was buried, supporters of his killer started an online support fundraiser. Breitbart reported the shocking story that there was a crowdfunding effort to raise money for Bolton’s murderer that explicitly used the Black Lives Matter talking points to seemingly justify the murder of the white police officer. That Indiegogo campaign read in part:
This year, police have killed 558 people. 68% of those people were black. Most of them were unarmed. Police brutality and terrorism on the black community remains largely unchecked and less than 1% of those police officers who murder black people without cause are charged with murder or manslaughter.
Tremaine Wilbourn turned himself in to police on Monday, August 3rd for fatally shooting a police officer during a traffic stop and he wanted to make clear two things: one- he is not a cold-blooded killer, and two- he is not a coward. While the murderers of Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, 12 year old Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and countless others are free to enjoy their families and lives, these men are no longer among the living.
In contrast to the message of police hatred, the message of faith, unity, and respect that Armstrong delivered was especially powerful. Armstrong told the hushed crowd:
When Sean made it home, God embraced Sean. And I want to say to Sean now, what we should have said a long time ago: Thank you for your service to this country and for the ultimate sacrifice to this city. God looked at him and said, Sean, all lives matter.
Meanwhile in Shreveport, Lousiana, a memorial service honoring Officer Thomas LaValley will be held on Friday afternoon. LaValley was killed in the line of duty on Thursday night while on a call about a man threatening people. A suspect who police had been searching for in a another murder from mid-July has been charged with first degree murder in LaValley’s death.