This letter to the editor was submitted to LebTown. Read our submission policy here.
In response to District Attorney Hess Graf, when is enough enough? Chief law enforcement officers represent ALL constituents, not just police officers or people who do not protest. As the Chief of Police in Houston, Texas stated, “The death of George Floyd shocks the conscience. As a police chief, I see Minneapolis as a crucial test of our profession.” This from Chief Art Acevedo. All police chiefs should agree with this, as should chief law enforcement officers.
Of course, looting is disgusting and those who do such lawless acts must be prosecuted. But let’s make sure we know who they are. Could a peaceful protest be infiltrated by white nationalists, as Chief Berkihiser of Lancaster, Pa. observed? “We also saw definite evidence that we believe white nationalist groups were here [referring to the mostly peaceful Lancaster City protest this past Sunday]. Any time my officers were pelted with rocks or water bottles filled with cayenne pepper, it was coming from Caucasian individuals in the crowd,” Berkihiser said.
Why not be “sickened” by the underlying cause, another unnecessary death of a black person at the hands of a white police officer. Good and bad people exist in EVERY profession. Law enforcement is no exception. And before I’m labeled anti-police, know this, my nephew was a Pennsylvania State Trooper and my cousin was an undercover police officer in Baltimore. Honorable police officers, as most are. But dishonorable police officers exist, and not to call them out when they violate the law is an injustice. I believe good police officers want the rogues among them gone and prosecuted when they break the law…at least the officers I know do.
Failure to recognize why good people are angry, why good people are protesting, why good people are hurting is callous and a failure to comprehend the systemic racism that continues to rear its ugly head in America. These citizens, too, deserve to hear words of support and comfort from our chief law enforcers. Enough is enough.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mary L. Huber is a retired partner at Buzgon-Davis and was the first elected and first woman president of the Lebanon County Bar Association.