I would like to address Daniel Forst’s letter “Their blood isn’t white or black but red.”
I totally appreciate that Mr. Forst is a former policemen and knows the “streets” far better than most.
I also totally agree that in a perfect world all people should be treated with equal dignity and respect. I assume that is how Mr. Forst conducted himself as a police officer.
That said, it seems as if he has not read the Black Lives Matter mission statement nor visited it’s website. Perhaps he equates the behavior of people protesting the murder by police of George Floyd with the BLM organization.
BLM advocates for rectifying the well documented fact that people of color are disproportionately subjected to violence by police officers than Caucasians.
If Mr. Forst truly believes in being “color blind” then one would think he’d support BLM’s quest to achieve color blindness in policing.
Secondly BLM does not call for the death of police officers. Again Mr. Forst must be equating some of the language and signs in protest marchers with the BLM organization.
As for intolerance of voices that differ from BLMs, I’m not sure where his evidence is but I do agree that we need more, not less dialogue.
I assume that Mr. Forst, as a former police officer is appalled by the brutality of some police officers and police departments in attacking the right of free speech of peaceful protesters.
Police officers and police departments have a sworn duty to uphold the laws of the land, the most prominent is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to freedom of speech.
It is shameful that police departments condone knocking over elderly people and then walking right past them when they are gravely injured, or pulling down the masks of peaceful protesters and spraying them point blank in the face, or beating a U.S. veteran in a wheelchair.
As a response to peaceful protests initiated by the murder of George Floyd, President Trump has now unleashed unidentified Federal “police” in the streets of U.S. cities. We are on a very slippery slope tumbling towards the crushing our democratic freedoms.
Police officers of every city and state should be standing shoulder to shoulder with those exercising freedom of speech who are being brutalized by anonymous “federal officers.”
Let police do their jobs in treating all people with dignity and respect.
This starts with changing the focus of public policing to exactly what Mr. Forst calls for – treating all people regardless of their race, color, creed, gender, etc, with dignity and respect and upholding the constitution.
Since people of color on a per capita basis are not treated with the same dignity and respect (a fact not an opinion) then the work to put meaning to Mr. Fort’s words starts with actions to rectify the unequal treatment that exists.
If all lives matter then make it so, by treating all people as if their lives matter – we are not doing that today and that is why BLM exists.