Police and Family: The Ethics of Blind Loyalty

Stephanie Dorsay Rondeau
4 min readOct 5, 2020
Photo by Spenser on Unsplash

You can love and appreciate your loved one who is a cop, but still acknowledge that systemic racism and police brutality are problems that deserve attention. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Except when they are, unfortunately.

It is unbelievable to me that this type of statement still needs to be said, but somehow it seems that it does.

Just because you are related to or love a police officer, you should not be empirically blind to the major flaws in the criminal justice system. You should still be able to acknowledge the fact that police brutality is a very real problem, and a problem that overwhelmingly affects BIPOC, right? One would think. But as I’ve come to understand, the “brotherhood” that seems to exist in law enforcement doesn’t seem to end at the badge. The blind faith and loyalty seems to extend to families and loved ones, resulting in this large umbrella of resistance to anyone who dares question the system.

There are notable exceptions, of course. Derek Chauvin’s wife Kellie filed for divorce after her husband’s callous public display of inhumanity. Without knowing either of them personally, I’m inclined to say that even if there were other problems with the marriage, the murder of George Floyd has to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But what about all of the other police officers who don’t publicly take someone else’s life? What about the officers who routinely perform stop-and-frisk strategies, or those who often perform traffic stops simply because of the color of someone’s skin? In speaking to some people in my own life, there seems to be a sort of silence around all of this when it comes not only to fellow police officers, but their families as well.

Yes, your father or husband who is a decorated police officer might truly be a wonderful, empathetic human being. I know a few of them. But what I’m unsure of is why your love for them equates to a set of blinders so large that you can’t see (or you simply refuse to acknowledge) the systemic problem with policing in this country as a whole. Your love for someone in your life should not undermine your love and compassion for other humans, “criminals” or not. Being a good person does not excuse a system that promotes blatant racism and…

Stephanie Dorsay Rondeau

MS, ATC, CSCS. Kidlit author. Mostly writes about writing, health and wellness, feminism, parenting, and daily rambles. Mother of wildlings. Occasionally funny.