Days after a shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas killed five police officers, a former cop shared a profound message on Facebook about the harsh realities of law enforcement.
In the Facebook post, 39-year-old Merri McGregor included a photo of her taken the day she graduated from the Detroit police academy. Although she was proud to be a cop, physical and emotional injuries forced McGregor to retire after 17 years of service.
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," McGregor told ABC News. "The frustration of being hurt and not being able to do my day-to-day routine, it wore on me. I ended up being diagnosed with PTSD. It was really hard for me to talk about. I guess I got sick of seeing dead babies and burnt bodies and I couldn't do it anymore."
She also responded to anti-law enforcement rhetoric she said she'd heard on the news recently.
"Are cops perfect? No," she wrote. "Are there bad cops? Yes. But please... understand that the vast majority of police are good, loving, well-intentioned family people."
Of course, critics of law enforcement policies and practices aren't only concerned about the prevalence of "bad cops"— they're also concerned about outdated policing techniques and inadequate training. More police recruitment resources could also make a tremendous difference.
McGregor's passionate Facebook post received over 147,000 shares as of Thursday morning, and it's primarily because of her inspiring message of peace.
"We all need to start being more understanding and compassionate toward one another," she wrote. "Violence doesn't cure violence and hate doesn't cure hate."
After her first Facebook post went viral, McGregor said that she received numerous messages of thanks from both cops and former criminals.
"I'm grateful that my words have touched so many people and grateful to have been able to see a new side of life, in the past couple of years, that I never knew existed before," she wrote on her Facebook page. "My [Facebook] post just proves the power of our words and intentions. Please make sure yours are filled with kindness and compassion."