Law Enforcement, & The Officer and the Angel

In the early nineties I got it into my head to build a memorial to slain police officers of New York. We’d had a desperate lot of killings, eight officers in less than a year. It has an effect on a town, even a big one.

I designed and made the models in clay, small scale, for what was to be an heroic size memorial cast in bronze, and would be called            The Officer and the Angel.

For four years I went to most of the precincts in NY, talked to the cops, NYPD HQ, the Commissioner, the FBI agents, fraternal organizations, families who’d lost their sons and daughters to violent criminals, all the unions.  We got very close. Enormous grass roots support up and down the east coast and points west including the Archdiocese of New York (offering St Patrick’s Cathedral as it’s home) before getting politically corrected out. But I was, for awhile there, commissioned to build it and I started.

During the long frustrating periods waiting to hear good news and get the go-ahead I did a series of law enforcement related paintings (see the Legend of Tommy O’Toole). It turned into a traveling exhibit that went from the FBI HQ in NY, to their academy in Virginia, Quantico. Quite an experience. There’s a lot more to the story and I may try to get into it later on. Pretty heartbreaking. And small wonder the World Trade Center memorials took forever…committees…the death of all things good.

        Law Enforcement Action Paintings        The Sparhawk Traveling Exhibit:

Loss – Chicago Police Department. Commissioned 1994

3-Gun Molloy, Nabbed at the Bank. c.1925

He’s Still Breathing – Harbor Unit Rescue

Sniper Fire -- Midwest Mall

Sniper Fire — Midwest Mall

Murder at Modell's Sporting Goods Store, Downtown

Murder at Modell’s Sporting Goods Store, Downtown

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4 thoughts on “Law Enforcement, & The Officer and the Angel

  1. Police should be people who are looked up to and well thought of as our protectors who care about us and at times even risk their very lives to protect us. But far to many people, myself included, now view the police as something bad. Instead of thinking of them as a good protector, I end up thinking of them as the active abusive arm of a government out of control.

    It should not be that way.

    But the system is broken.

    Yes, there are real criminals out there and we absolutely must have the police to help protect us from those real criminals. But, in the surge of police power, it has become incredibly easy to arrest and convict people for minor crimes and hand out major punishments. Worse, people who are not even criminals can be easier to convict than true criminals, and the number of non-criminals being made criminals has surged enormously.

    The USA imprisons a greater percentage of it’s citizens now than any other country in the world.

    It should not be that way.

    From my own personal experience, I have watched the vast majority of legal officials strongly warp the truth and often outright lie. Anytime I hear one speak now, my first thought is, they are probably lying.

    We should have confidence and trust in our police. We should celebrate and honor our police. Instead, far too many people now expect only the worst from the police and fear them as an abusive force that does not serve justice and is not there to protect us.

    We need to change that.

    We need to find a way the police can protect us from true criminals while not having them turn into an abusive police state which ends up causing more harm to innocent people than to guilty people.

    At least, this is how I and many people I know have come to feel and believe.

    We truly fear the USA is only a hair’s breadth from losing it’s democratic republican government and becoming a totalitarian police state which will be worse than Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics put together.

    There must be a non-violent political way to stop this before it happens.

    A positive and contrastive way to make things better and to restore people’s trust and faith in the police, the courts, the justice system and our politicians.

    • Hello, Kat. Thank you for your comments.
      I read your own account of your young life on your website, and I am so sorry for the rough go you and your family went through. I don’t know if there’s any way I might help except for knowing, and for others to get a better understanding of what you faced by reading your work which I hope you will complete and publish.
      Were I you, I would cling to the remarkable caring for your life your family has shown. The world can be very harsh. And law enforcement does need a lot of reform. I read Bernie Kerik’s article, too. There are likely as many people helped by our legal system as harmed by it equally. I mightily credit you with discovering the creative pursuit of writing to declare, to better understand, to comfort and enlighten the way writing does. Be heroic and unfettered and bold with that. The truth, with all of us, the truth will set you free ultimately. And you can now return the kindness of your parents who sheltered and fought for you. You will also find new directions from this, that have entirely to do with your individuality, your own person. I wish you the best of everything.

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