By Sarah Rodgers
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Dear Officer Tatum, my name is Sarah Rodgers, and I date a police officer. He is training to be on the SWAT Team for the Philadelphia PD and has been helped get young girls and boys out of gangs and prostitution since he joined the force three years ago. I know you probably get this a lot, but your videos have helped us through this past year. My boyfriend is a black police officer, something that has made him public enemy number one in the eyes, for what it felt like, everyone.
Dear Officer Tatum, I’m sure you know how he was treated this past year- the derogatory names, verbal and physical assaults, the long hours for little pay, and no praise for the good he has done. But Officer Tatum he has the same drive and passion that had been there since day one. He still polishes his badge every Sunday night after church before he starts his Monday shift.
Dear Officer Tatum, I voted for Trump even though my bleed-blue liberal family told me if I did, I would be a disgrace to them. But Officer, I did so because I needed to be the one to protect my boyfriend instead of him always being in that position. My boyfriend also did. Neither of our families and most of our friends took that fact with grace.
Dear Officer Tatum, we are a couple just like you and Corinne with our skin colors and have gotten the types of comments the two of you have. He no longer brings me around to see his family because we both fear they will do something when his back is turned, and I am left alone with them. He spends time with my family the most. Even though he says he doesn’t like his family, I can’t help but think I helped drive a wedge into it because of my pigment.
Dear Officer Tatum, my mom always told me never to pick a boy over my friends, but for this past year, I have always picked him over my friends. My friends disrespect him because of the uniform he wears and gives me ultimatums. Then they play the victim when I choose him over them every single time. It is hard to defend someone constantly, but I never allow someone to question his integrity and honor.
Dear Officer Tatum, I know you probably are never going to read it. But, by the Grace of God, if you do, please know that you helped us this year because when everyone was attacking the man I love, you never backed down from the fight, and you gave so many of us the courage to fight also.
Dear Officer Tatum, thank you for all you do.