War on police
But it’s not hard enough to envision what will happen Friday inside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Unfortunately we have seen the sad scenario all too often.
The long blue line will gather once again on Friday to bury one of their own.
Officer John Pawlowski was gunned down Friday night after arriving at a call for a street disturbance.
He was met with gunfire from a suspect who had concealed the gun in the pocket of his coat. He didn’t even bother to draw his weapon; he just opened fire.
Officers had asked him several times to show them his hands. Instead he showed them exactly what he thought of the uniform and the badge.
It’s a recurring theme.
Pawlowski is the sixth Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty in the last 16 months.
It is dangerous work. Cops know that when they put on the uniform.
But today they battle something else. They battle the knowledge that there are those in society who do not blink when confronted with the men and women charged with enforcing law and order on our streets.
The suspect charged in Pawlowski’s killing had been involved in an argument with a hack cabbie during what police describe as a holdup. When his victim indicated he was calling police, the suspect replied he would shoot both him and the responding officer.
He soon made good on his threat, and did just that.
While Philadelphia prepares to say goodbye to another officer and gentleman, a newylwed with a pregnant wife at home, police in other areas must be wondering what happened to the respect once offered to the badge.
Early Sunday morning police in Chester chased down a suspect after they witnessed him blowing through a stop sign. The suspect crashed his car. Instead of surrendering, he pointed a gun at responding officers. When he refused to drop his weapon, officers fired several shots at him, wounding him in the process.
They were not alone in putting their lives in danger on these increasingly mean streets.
Friday night, just a few hours before Pawlowski was fatally shot, another Philly officer was in the line of fire, and again the undercurrent here seems to be complete disregard for the badge.
Allan Thomas, of Yeadon, was stopped on 48th Street near Walnut in West Philly. Officers smelled marijuana when they approached the car. Thomas was asked to get out of his vehicle. Instead, according to police, he attacked the officer, punching and kicking them. He got back in his car and gunned it. He dragged two officers about 15 feet.
Thomas, who has 17 arrests on his record, remains on the loose.
Something has to change. Before we lose one more officer.