Twenty-nine-year-old Cody, a family friend, was killed by a man who fired 41 rounds at police officers as they attempted to serve him an eviction notice. Cody leaves behind a wife and infant son, and he is missed dearly.
After the funeral, Cody’s wife, Mandy, told me, ‘People forget about Cody and the life he lost and only care about the people that have done something wrong. What happened in Minnesota shouldn’t have happened, but it shouldn’t have happened to Cody either.’
Sadly, she is right. In a matter of days, police officers went from being seen as hometown heroes to incompetent racists.
While imperfect, police officers are still heroes. They wake up every day ready to put their lives on the line to keep their friends and neighbors safe. Amid a sincere effort to address concerns over police brutality, we have unfairly disparaged the reputation of the entire police force, including the memory of good officers, like Cody, who have paid the ultimate price for the safety of their communities.
Unfortunately, some in Congress are exacerbating the problem.
In May, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution honoring police officers. The resolution stated cops “meet the call of duty to ensure the security of their neighborhoods and communities at the risk of their own personal safety.” I still believe this to be true, but I am not convinced my Democratic colleagues would support this resolution today.
Look no further than the Senate Democrats who co-sponsored the resolution but now applaud the deeply troubling, knee-jerk efforts to defund the police.
The hypocrisy is sad but not surprising. Now Democrats want to turn the conversation started by millions of well-intentioned Americans into partisan politics.
First, they drafted their police reform plan without any input from Republicans. Next they demonized Sen. Tim Scott’s proposal, which includes numerous provisions that have broad, bipartisan support and are found in the Democrats’ own bill, before it was released.
Make no mistake, I support Scott’s Justice Act and an open debate process to move it forward. But it is imperative we let our officers know this country’s leaders stand with them. While we should not allow George Floyd’s legacy to end in partisan gridlock, we should also not tarnish the public’s perspective of good police officers, like Cody Holte, who died on our behalf.
No one wants crooked cops exposed and uprooted from the system more than good cops do, and failing to stand up for the good cops is already causing problems, with a wave of police resignations.
The legacies of George Floyd and Officer Cody Holte deserve better than the vilification, hypocrisy and intransigence we are seeing today. As we move forward, I urge all Americans to join me in seeking ways to refine and support the men and women in uniform who serve our communities admirably.