Let me introduce you to Lt. Robert McGarner. He is 47 years old and was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His father was a construction worker while he mother was an extremely hard working hotel manager. His mother, Marian, walked seven miles to and from work everyday in order to help support her family. McGarner was a standout baseball player in high school and therefore earned a baseball scholarship to college. He was unable to afford school without paying for expenses and joined the army for six years. After his years in the service, his brother who is also a police officer told him about an opening at the police department. McGarner went in for an interview and the rest is history.
McGarner has never second-guessed or regretted his decision to become a police officer. He was been in the police department for 28 years and has worked on narcotics teams, the Mayor’s detail, and even SWAT teams. He recently started a street crimes unit that he commands. McGarner’s motto is, “I’d rather talk a person out of going to jail than put them in jail.” He tries to teach the kids he speaks to that, “you cant beat the streets; the streets are undefeated. If you’re out there living that life, either you’re going to die or you’re going to end up in the penetration.”
As many are aware, there was a shooting of police officers on July 5 that left three officers dead. It is extremely difficult for McGarner, as one African American officer that he was very close with was shot. The tensions are rising and minorities look at him as a threat when he is in his uniform yet when he is not in uniform he is seen as a criminal. He noticed that despite what the media and people are noticing, the day after the shootings he did not pay for one meal. He noticed the streets were lined up with blacks and whites. He believes that everyone needs to come together as a whole and respect the movement Black Lives Matter, but also respect police officers.