We need to support the po­lice

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Enough is enough, but this is way too much to con­tinue un­chal­lenged. The Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, the me­dia and crim­i­nals have been al­lowed to at­tack the po­lice with­out chal­lenge for too long. The Wash­ing­ton Post has stated that over 900 po­lice may or may not be re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of black peo­ple in one year. A front page Post ar­ti­cle June 22 [“Na­tion­wide study sheds light on how of­ten po­lice of­fi­cers com­mit crimes”] re­ports that 1,100 po­lice­men were ar­rested for crimes and about a fourth were con­victed. Af­ter quot­ing some pro­fes­sor that this is “the tip of the ice­berg,” eight para­graphs later, the Post notes that the po­lice ar­rest rate was 1.7 per 100,000 of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, while in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion the ar­rest rate is over 3,900 per 100,000, about one in 2,294.

In Bal­ti­more, six po­lice­men are were in­dicted and tried for crimes re­lated in the death of a drug dealer by an un­qual­i­fied elected state’s at­tor­ney who would never have passed vet­ting by the State Bar As­so­ci­a­tion un­der the old ap­point­ment sys­tem. She was ob­vi­ously play­ing to the ri­ot­ing ar­son­ists and loot­ers and the protest­ing rab­ble with­out let­ting proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion be com­pleted first. For­tu­nately, the court sys­tem is still just.

Na­tion­ally, I am sure the ra­tios are the same as Bal­ti­more where I lived for 29 years. For the 200 loot­ers and the 900 pro­test­ers, there are 350,000 good, hard­work­ing and re­tired black peo­ple who stayed home. They don’t have felony records, they go to church or don’t go, they raise their chil­dren and, yes, some of their grand­chil­dren as well, and they rely on the po­lice for pro­tec­tion from crim­i­nals. They need the po­lice. Their black lives mat­ter, too (per­haps more than the crim­i­nals’).

All of us, es­pe­cially the good black com­mu­nity, need to support the po­lice. We need to re­port sus­pi­cious crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, tes­tify at trial and as­sist law en­force­ment and the courts in ev­ery way. We can­not stop the protest­ing rab­ble and the press, but we can make sure pub­lic of­fi­cials know we do not agree with them.

Sam Berge­son-Wil­lis, Solomons

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