The Remaking of Jeanne Assam
More recently, not being able to acknowledge the fact that a private citizen in the right place with a gun and the readiness necessary to use it effectively put an end to what police and gun free zones could not, the mainstream media has sought to discredit Ms. Assam. By digging up skeletons in her past, they are painting her as a disgraced police officer. A decade ago, Jeanne Assam was terminated by her superiors from the Minneapolis police force for not being truthful during an internal investigation.
Sgt. Jesse Garcia, a Minneapolis police spokesman, said Jeanne Assam worked at the department from March 1993 to November 1997. She was fired for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.They say nothing, absolutely nothing about Sgt. Jesse Garcia's hand in the publication of Ms. Assam's private personnel file.
"In giving a statement about the incident, she was untruthful and she was fired," Delmonico said. The swearing was caught on tape, he said. "The union arbitrated the case and the arbitrator upheld the termination."
It is not uncommon after a shooting for the righteous survivor to be reviled by the ignorant. Friends may ostracize the survivor. Relatives may disassociate with them. People whisper behind their back at church and in check-out lines at the supermarket. Rumors circulate. Reputations become tarnished. Old bones are examined by the ignorant trying to find the difference between the survivor and other people. Here's a tip for those who want to know the difference...........There is none. None. The righteous survivor is just like you, or me. They are a person struggling with day to day life, who managed to survive through their own determination to persevere and live and perhaps save a few others in the process. What the ignorant fail to realize is the righteous survivor of a lethal encounter was an unwilling participant in the act of saving their own life or the lives of others. The righteous survivor did not leave home with the intent to kill. It was forced upon them. The righteous survivor did not prepare to kill. They prepared to live.
After a shooting, a righteous survivor goes through much internal turmoil. At the very least they question what they could have done to avoid the event, and if their preparation in any way brought this new and unwanted identity to their lives. At worst they may contemplate and commit suicide. While the legal entanglements are inevitable, the emotional storms of self doubt and questioning are no less imminent.
The media makes their bread and butter by building people up and then tearing them down. Make an icon, then make an outcast. Many people will say the media leads the masses. No. The masses lead the media in the dance of influencing perceptions. If we do not accept the tripe they hawk as truth and reality, they lose their ability to influence. Truth is not on the newspaper pages. Truth is not on the six o-clock report, and it is not on the internet. Truth will be found within ourselves.
We need to stop looking at righteous survivors, people who have lived by regrettably taking the lives of others, as being somehow different. They are human with the same frailties and foibles as the rest of us. They are no different than the person who has faced and survived cancer, a devastating automobile accident, or any other life threatening encounter. They took action and they lived. The morbid curiosity of dark and unknown places that threaten us, that inner fear of our own immortality within each of us, should not compel us to harm another person while they are at their most vulnerable, assimilating a new, inescapable conception of themselves, and trying to rebuild their life from the confusing aftermath of a righteous shooting.