My friend was murdered today.
His name was Alyn Beck. He was a cop. And today he became the victim of a murderous rampage posed as the start of some kind of revolution.
Two wackos walked into a fast food restaurant, ambushed my friend Alyn and his partner, Igor Soldo, shooting them point blank as they ate their lunch. They then turned and yelled something about it being the “start of the revolution”, killed one other person and then themselves.
These two idiots didn’t start a revolution. They just ripped the life from two heroes as they ate. They took fathers from their children. They brought darkness into the lives of those who loved these two men. They traumatized people who witnessed the tragedy, probably for the rest of their lives. They left a horrific scene for dozens of police workers to have to process emotionally and mentally. And the greatest irony of this infuriating act of horrific stupidity and delusion is that if they were truly acting out of some kind of perverse revolutionary intent, they only hurt their own cause — whatever that is.
You don’t start a revolution by killing two innocent men taking a lunch break in a fast food restaurant. Men who were just doing their jobs. Men who did nothing more than take down bad guys, split up domestic disputes, try to straighten out wayward teens, take drug dealers off the street, listen to neighbor’s complaints about neighbors, and on and on…daily…so we didn’t have to do it ourselves. These weren’t policy makers. They weren’t “Obama’s henchmen.” They weren’t hired drones of the “evil Koch Brothers.” These were two of the good guys.
Sure, we all hate cops sometimes. I’ll admit there have been times after getting pulled over by some huffy, arrogant jerk in uniform that even I for a moment wanted nothing more than to introduce the guy to a Louisville Slugger. But then I, like the rest of us would, calmed down and started thinking like a normal human being again. And yeah, I know some cops are just plain turds. Some are just out to push people around. Some are so drunk on their authority that they can’t help but try to dominate everyone they encounter. And some hurt people. Throughout history there have been far too many stories of cops doing horrific things to people of all kinds. It’s happened. And it still happens today. But those are the exceptions. Because for the most part, cops are good folks simply doing what we the people tell them to.
Cops do our dirty work. They are the societal version of janitors. Don’t want to take out that car thief yourself? Call a cop. Don’t want to chase down that shoplifter yourself? Call a cop. Don’t want to try to hunt down all your belongings that were stolen from your house while you were on vacation? Call a cop.
Cops are employees. They’re just like you and me, working for a paycheck, only their office is a squad car, their industry is the Wild West and their briefcase is generally a 9 millimeter. Unless you are in fact a bad guy, these men and women in blue aren’t making your life more difficult, they’re making it easier. THEY’RE NOT A TARGET OF YOUR REVOLUTION.
Whatever your desired revolution, it shouldn’t be born from cowardly acts of violence. And it definitely shouldn’t be exacted on the innocent.
I’m sure the talking heads can’t wait to start lobbing their rhetorical bombs at each other about “crazy conservatives” or “liberal nut jobs” or the need for tighter gun control, legislation to prevent officers from eating in public, or whatever fodder will fill their airtime sufficiently to sell commercials. It won’t change anything and it certainly won’t bring Alyn back. I can only hope they never show the killers’ faces. I hope they never release their names. I hope the rest of us choose to become more united, rather than use this to forward agendas. What these two scumbags did is inexcusable, unforgivable and sadly, irreversible. They should not only be publicly shunned, they should be outright forgotten until the day of reckoning.
My friend, Alyn, was a dynamite guy. He was a riot to be around. He was kind and funny. He was capable of ridiculously juvenile behavior but also shockingly profound intellectual depth. Alyn helped me build the shed in my backyard, in fact he insisted on helping. He was a untiring workhorse beyond physical comprehension — the man was better with a pick axe than any human I’ve ever encountered, and once he was done, he’d be the one bringing you a lemonade.
He was an amazing father and a loyal and loving husband. Alyn liked to swim with his kids in the backyard. With the birth of a new baby daughter, he was enjoying the joy of becoming a new father again after over a decade of raising his first two kids. He loved going dancing with his wife (a scene I could never fully comprehend!) and surprisingly, he even liked musicals.
As a cop, Alyn was top notch. When it came time for business, Alyn was the first guy through the door. He relished telling stories about busting down the door of white supremacist gangs, about chasing down gang-bangers after a mile-long foot chase, and about consistently outsmarting bad guys. He was the guy you picture when you think of a trained weapon. He was the guy you would want showing up if you were in any kind of danger, because he was fearless and beyond capable.
Alyn was also as patriotic as they come.
And now Alyn is dead, because two jerks decided they couldn’t patiently let the system work like the rest of us. They couldn’t control their impulses. They couldn’t act like adults.
These killers weren’t patriots. They weren’t revolutionaries. They weren’t heroes. They were just sickos. They were murderers. They were were cowards.
If you’re frustrated with government, if you’re worried about the republic, if you’re convinced black helicopters are watching you in the night, if you think Obama is a reptile alien sent to destroy the human race, or whatever is under your skin, do us all a favor: start a blog, write a book, go to a protest, join a cause, call a senator, call a talk show, run for office, do what people in a free society do, not what people in the Lord of the Flies would. And if you just can’t restrain yourself from going on a murderous rampage followed by your own cowardly suicide, do the rest of us a favor and do it in reverse order.
Shooting a cop doesn’t make you a revolutionary. It just makes things worse…for everyone.
Goodbye, Alyn. Thanks for making my life better than it would have been otherwise.