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While the article "Reinventing police" (July 2) does a fairly good job of providing multiple perspectives, it misses some key points. Focusing on officers like Tricia Langan distracts from the real issue: a culture of normalized racism and violence. The red flags in this story are Daniel Rogers, the woman who is scared to file a complaint for fear of retaliation and the sheriff's deputy with more than 40 complaints against him. These are the clues that inform the root of the problem of policing.
These show that 1) Officers will kill someone for resisting arrest, even if the person is unarmed and mentally ill. This is apparently not considered a problem. 2) Complaint statistics overlook unreported incidents of police brutality, even though people have good reason to be scared about speaking out. 3) Officers in good standing and well-liked by the brass can get away with rampant abuse.
Lastly, if you are going to allow police chiefs to construct a narrative about not having enough money, do your due diligence and tell us the reality of their budget.
George Floyd suffered a racist public murder because of his black skin, but the wise know most racism manifests itself in a subtle manner ("Questioning statehouse statues," July 2).
Statues of slave owners are prime examples. Racist statues are promoted through (mostly men) that believe in white supremacy. These statues should be removed from public places and places in a museum to slave owners. Such museums would preserve the history of the slave owners for our younger generations.
The slave owners pictured on U.S. currency is the most malicious, devious act that our government conjured up. As African American citizens, we have to spend currency to meet our daily needs with pictures of the very ones who raped our children, hung our Black men, reduced us to two-fifths human and chained and branded our ancestors like cattle.
George Floyd is a bridge to put an end to these two great offenses. When these bridges are crossed, racist money and racist statues will fall with white supremacy.
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE
Upon learning recently about an incident in Springfield where a mother and two young sons were at a gas station when two white men in a car drove by and yelled the "N" word at them, I said to my friend, "You just really cannot even know how distressing it is to have to think of dealing with that kind of indignity in 2020, 60 years after I had to deal with it as a kid." Jesus declared in Matthew 26:11, "The poor you will always have with you." Perhaps it can be declared as well that there will always be sadists among us who derive great pleasure from inflicting pain on others.