Does APD Chief Mike Geier and Mayor Tim Keller believe that cops are more special than the rest of us? That they get to ignore and disobey laws, rules and regulations that the rest of us have to obey? Does Geier get to disregard rules, laws and orders that his officers can arrest you and me for disobeying? Does Geier believe that cops a law unto themselves?
The answer is a resounding, shocking and disturbing yes. In what can only be described as a stunning display of arrogance, hypocrisy and an attitude of “We're a law unto ourselves and we will do whatever we damn please,” Geier and dozens of APD officers openly and flagrantly violated Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's coronavirus social distancing and stay-at-home order—an order that all the rest of us peons are supposed to obey under penalty of being arrested and fined.
Early in the morning on April 2, retired APD Lieutenant David Rogers died after a battle with leukemia. A few hours later, dozens of APD traffic cops on their motorcycles, and Geier himself, were at Rogers' home to “honor” him and to escort his body to a funeral home. A four-minute video of the event (posted below) shows Geier and the cops milling around the house hugging Rogers' family members, taking pictures and flagrantly and arrogantly ignoring the social-distancing order that we all stay at least six feet apart from each other.
Geier and his cops openly violated the social distancing order that his officers can arrest you and me for violating—an order that is supposed to help keep all of us safe and prevent the deadly virus from spreading and killing more people. And in violating that order and acting with supreme arrogance and hypocrisy, they put themselves, their families and all of us at greater risk of getting the virus.
Read that again. They put themselves, their families and all the rest of us at greater risk of getting the bug because they--or at least Geier--think they are above the law.
It's sick, it's sickening and it's incredibly dangerous—dangerous because we have a government and the chief of a law enforcement agency that by his actions shouted and screamed to the rest of us, “I am in control and I can do whatever I please. Your laws and regulations do not apply to me or to my police department. I am the master and you are the slaves! Peons!”
What's even more sickening and disturbing is that Mayor Tim Keller and Gov. Lujan Grisham did not condemn Geier and his little honor guard army for openly and purposely violating the social-distancing order. They basically said nothing about this disgusting violation of an order designed to protect the public health. And by their refusal to condemn Geier and his order-breaking cops, they are saying that they believe that some people in this society are more equal and privileged than others. They believe that they in government—our alleged glorious leaders— are the privileged ones who do not have to obey the orders that they impose on the rest of us. That they are the masters who make the rules and we are the slaves who are forced to obey those rules and orders.
So how did more than two dozen cops from APD's Traffic Division decide to suddenly show up in uniform at Rogers' home? Word of mouth? Telepathy? Coincidence? Or were they ordered to do so?
We're guessing that the traffic cops were ordered to go to Rogers' home and escort his body to the funeral home. That is right, they were probably ordered to go there. Who at APD issued the order? We don’t know because APD's PR hack Gilbert Gallegos didn't respond to our email asking who issued the order.
What is a traffic cop supposed to do when issued an order that he knows is illegal and can potentially harm him and his family? Does the cop refuse the order and face discipline to include termination? Or does he comply and hope he is not exposed to a virus that can kill him and members of his family? Why did Geier allow his cops to be in such a situation? He was there and he could have ordered them to disperse and go home, or back to patrolling our streets. But he didn't. A real leader who cares about his officers would never do this, so why did Geier? No one knows because he refused to answer questions put to him by the Albuquerque Journal. Apparently Geier does not work for us. And his boss, Tim Keller, does not have the brains nor brawn to hold him accountable.
If Keller had any integrity, courage and leadership, he would have publicly condemned Geier for this reckless and despicable violation of the governor's order, an order that the rest of us are told to obey. If Lujan Grisham had any integrity, courage, and leadership she too would have condemned Geier for jeopardizing the health and safety of his officers, their families, and of the public. At the next press conference when Grisham holds up a picture of her elderly relative to remind us to social distance for them, some budding journalist can ask her if that includes the elderly family members of APD officers? Or are we just social distancing for Grisham’s family?
These are your “leaders,” people. Do you approve? Do you think it is right and just that they can violate rules, orders, and laws that you can be arrested for ignoring? Do you think they are more equal and privileged than you?
APD is now reporting that dozens of their officers are quarantined because of exposure to ONE person (possibly an FBI agent) who tested positive for the covid- 19 virus. This ONE person has caused the federal courthouse to shut down in Albuquerque! Geier and Keller should recognize that it only takes ONE to infect many, make ill and possibly kill.
Policeone.com is reporting that as of April 17, 2020, 38 police officers have died from covid-19! Thirty-eight officers killed on the job because of being exposed to this deadly virus. How many of their family members have died because of the officer exposure? America has lost more officers to covid-19 than to gunfire and auto wrecks combined this year (31 as of April 18).
What about the family members of exposed officers? The elderly parents, or spouses or children who suffer from pre-existing conditions who are at extreme risk of contracting this deadly illness? Geier doesn’t understand that it’s not just his officers and himself he thoughtlessly endangered, but spouses and parents too.
Keller and Grisham’s refusal to condemn Geier speaks volumes. They issue orders and demand compliance from the citizens, under threat of fines and jail, while minimizing Geier’s reckless violation of these orders.
Either we all comply with the law, or none of us should be expected to.