Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Phoenix Police Officer Nick Erfle was killed nearly a year ago while making a routine stop. The man he tried to detain turned out to be an undocumented immigrant, illegally in this country.

Officer Erfle's wife, Julie, probably has every right to demand every person illegally in this country be immediately deported. Instead, she has began to speak out calling us to common ground in order to find a "real solution...discussing our fears and concerns in a mutually respectful way."

Recently she was verbally assaulted by KFYI talk-radio personality Bruce Jacobs. He said, "You should be ashamed of yourself...If I were in your family, I would be embarrassed. When the next officer is gunned down...I am going to give you partial blame."

Talk radio is a forum that promotes vitriol. Jacobs is fueling his listeners. So, this is a free country with the freedom of speech. Is it, however, a country without civility towards those who hold different points of view? Obviously.

Nearly the entire Police community, it associations and unions have called for a public and personal apology. Arizona Casino suspended its advertising. Nothing in this world would be lost if Jacobs was fired. However, if the personal attack on Julie Erfle continues what does that say about those who allow it to persist? Nothing good, that's for sure. She deserves more than an apology, she deserves for this community to listen to her. What is wrong with being civil with one another in an attempt to reach a real solution to palpable problem?


tamie said...

Great post, friend. Very well said.

rmberra said...

My father is a police officer. We always lived with was the possibility something would happen to him, and that possibility affected my family's decision making. When evacuations were required in my hometown because of hurricanes, we stayed because my mother refused to leave him in Mobile alone.

But even knowing the anxiety families of police officers feel, I can't imagine losing a family member to the call of duty. I know it must be much worse when one, like Julie Erfle, tries to begin a healing process, refuses to become a tool in the debate over immigration, and is personally insulted because she showed more class than a talk radio personality. We may have freedom of speech, but advertisers also have freedom of choice. They need to take their money, leave Jacobs, and let his show die out.