NORFOLK, Va. - A retired police officer and former spokesman for the Norfolk Police Department is going viral on Facebook.
On Monday morning, Chris Amos posted an open letter to 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
His letter comes after Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem during Friday's preseason game, which Kaepernick says was in protest of the way African Americans are treated in the United States. He specifically referenced police brutality saying, "cops are getting paid leave for killing people."
One of those officers was Chris Amos.
"There's way too many broad strokes being painted, this was one of them," says Amos. "I'm one of those guys he was referring to."
Amos' letter talks about the time he was shot in the line of duty, and shot and killed his 19-year-old attacker. He wrote that he was put on paid leave and had to support his wife and three small children on about $3,000 a month.
Amos goes on to relate his experience as an officer to that of Kaepernick as a professional athlete.
"I really pushed myself in rehab to get back on the street, kind of like you do to get back on the field. You probably have had a broken bone or two and some muscle strains and deep bruising that needed a lot of work. I just had to bounce back from a gunshot wound to the chest and thigh. Good thing we both get paid when we are too banged up to “play," huh? We both also know what it’s like to get blindsided. You by a 280-pound defensive end, ouch! Me, by a couple of rounds fired from a gun about 2 feet away, into my chest and thigh. We also both make our living wearing uniforms, right? You have probably ruined a jersey or two on the field of play. I still have my blood stained shirt that my partner and paramedics literally ripped off my back that cold night in January."
Amos also addresses what he says people seem to forget any time there is a tragedy involving an officer.
"I hope people will read this and just say you know what are there bad cops, yes there are, are there good cops, yes there are, and the good far, far, far outweigh the bad."
He says he never imagined his letter would get the attention it has. On Facebook alone, it has more than 19,000 shares.
In hindsight, Amos says, he's glad he didn't.
"Had I known, I probably would have been too afraid to push the first letter key on the keyboard," he says. "A lot of policemen, a lot of law enforcement, they are active duty, they can`t speak. It's given a lot of people a voice, is what I've heard."