Sometimes police officers are heroes. Sometimes they’re assholes (see Black Lives Matter, if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Sometimes they’re both. Sometimes they’re something in between.
Yesterday I came across the story of a hero. Officer Garrett Swasey, originally from the Melrose neighborhood of Boston, was one of the police officers killed during the shootout at Planned Parenthood in Colorado. The Boston Globe wrote about him because he was one of our own. A hometown guy who had moved far away, to find his denouement in Colorado Springs.
This officer seems to have been unusual in a number of respects:
- He was a nationally ranked figure skater who had emigrated to Colorado to train;
- He won a national championship as a junior in pairs skating;
- He was a man of “abiding faith,” ready to “lay down his life for someone else.”
And this, he got the chance to do.
As most of my readers know, I’m a born again atheist, and there is much about the Christian faith that I find suspect, if not downright disingenuous.
But there are Christians I admire. Jimmy Carter for one. Jimmy Carter is the definition of what I believe a good Christian should be. Or could be.
And so maybe with Officer Garrett Swasey. I never knew the man, but I respect what he did. I honor him for his courage and his sacrifice. In the defense of Planned Parenthood, no less. If there is a “better place” – unlikely as that is – I hope Officer Garrett Swasey is there.