Editorials

One cop stood above the evil

Garland Police spokesperson Joe Harn addresses the media during a news conference at the Garland Police Department, Monday, May 4, 2015, in Garland, Texas. Police shot and killed two men after they opened fire on a security officer outside the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, which was hosting provocative contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons Sunday night, authorities said.
Garland Police spokesperson Joe Harn addresses the media during a news conference at the Garland Police Department, Monday, May 4, 2015, in Garland, Texas. Police shot and killed two men after they opened fire on a security officer outside the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, which was hosting provocative contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons Sunday night, authorities said. AP

So many points were proved at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland on Sunday. So many people showed they were right all along.

The New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative and its president, Pamela Geller, proved there are violent Islamists, even in the United States, who can be provoked by people who exercise their rights in so silly a fashion as offering a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon that’s offensive to many Muslims. The event attracted two gunmen.

“The freedom of speech is under violent assault here in our nation,” Geller told The Washington Post. “The question now before us — will we stand and defend it, or bow to violence, thuggery, and savagery?”

The cartoon contest was her organization’s protected First Amendment right.

Two men who were apparently offended, Elton Francis Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, proved they had assault rifles and were willing to use them. Simpson had been on the FBI anti-terrorism radar for years; he and Soofi were villains.

But the most convincing statement of all came from Garland police. They proved that one officer, a traffic cop on security duty, well-trained and well-prepared, can stand in the way of evil. Under fire from Simpson and Soofi, he killed them both with his service pistol.

There have been too many bad images of police in the news lately. Garland put them back in balance.

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