Richmond has become an uncivilized city
I want to love it here, as Richmond now is my home.
But maybe I was spoiled. I grew up in a civilized city, where cops ignored you if you lit a joint and smoked it 10 feet away from them; where, when the country’s major cities were burning in race riots, my city didn’t. But my idea of a civilized city has badly been shaken. On my way to the Juneteenth vigil at the Robert E. Lee monument, all streets around the monument were blocked by police, as though they expected trouble. It has been my experience following the recent George Floyd protests nationwide that trouble, as often as not, is instigated by the police. There was no need for the police the night of the vigil.
I also noticed civilians openly carrying firearms. In 50 years of living in that lost city of mine, I never saw a civilian carrying a firearm, and it wasn’t because they were carrying concealed. A city populated by thousands of John Waynes is not a civilized city. What I saw in Richmond — even if it was legal — was crazy. It seemed to scream: “Let’s see if we can attract trouble.”
There is only one side to the Black Lives Matter movement: Police may not, without proper cause, take a human life. Failing that, it’s murder. When good cops defend a cop who unnecessarily has taken a life, they become bad cops. They, too, need to be removed from police work.
If a community and its police are at odds, there is something terribly wrong, and it always is on the police. It is the job of the police force to protect the citizens under its care, not to be their prison guards.
Richmond needs to think and act like a civilized city.