Police Join With Protesters in Norfolk, Flint, & Other Cities to Show Us the Way to Battle Injustice
While violence erupted in some cities last night, the protests in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd were peaceful in many other cities. And in Santa Cruz, CA, Flint , MI, Norfolk, VA, and Juneau, AK police officers joined demonstrators in a show of solidarity. They too wanted to show America that they were sickened by Floyd's death at the hands of an individual sworn to uphold the law.
Norfolk, VA, WTKR: [Norfolk Police] "Chief Boone met with protesters outside the station. He spoke with them and marched with them. He wanted people to know he’s listening to their concerns, and is willing to sit down and meet with them."
“My response to them was let me help you; here’s my number; let’s meet; let’s come up with some game plans; let’s do this together,” said Boone. “We got programs after programs after programs, and it breaks my heart to see an incident in Minneapolis destroy all that.”
Flint, MI, ABC12: "The protesters carried signs and chanted as they made their way by foot and in cars along Miller Road in the heart of the Flint Township business district.
They marched to Police Headquarters where they demonstrated briefly.
While there, police and protesters talked and bumped fists."
"Then in a show of solidarity, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson joined the crowed and walked side by side with the large crowd."
Saturday’s protests marked the fifth day of street demonstrations since the release of a cellphone video showing a white police officer grinding his knee into George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as he struggled to breathe and onlookers begged the officer to stop. The officer's brutal treatment of Floyd is indefensible, as is the failure of other officers to stop it.
Every American should be sickened by this incident and it should spur a national dialog about race relations and policing in our nation. We must redouble our efforts to root out bad officers and regain the trust of communities of color. But, the violence in some cities this week is not productive, and just plays into the hands of those that would further divide us. Former Vice-President Joe Biden's statement this morning has it about right.
Biden, NY Times: “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us,” he wrote. “We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.”
The actions of some police officials in joining with protesters in Norfolk, Santa Cruz, Flint and elsewhere is a start. We will only achieve the racial harmony that we desire when police departments nationally demonstrate that they won't tolerate bigots in their midst, and swiftly take action to address brutality and injustice. We have come a long, long way since the 1960s, but fighting racism has always been hard in America and it's a never-ending battle against our lesser angels. And the vicious killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis reminds us again that a few bad officers can quickly undermine the progress we have achieved.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content