Shara Watkins, Karen Tkach Tuzman and Andrew Skelton

San Mateo County is no stranger to racial disparities in the policing of Black and brown bodies.

While some elected officials believe this is more of a national issues than a local one, the numbers clearly argue otherwise. According to a 2020 study by Bay Area News Group, while Black people make up only 7% of the five biggest Bay Area counties, they accounted for 27% of those killed by police in the region between 2015 and 2020 — the second largest disparity in the nation behind Oklahoma City. And according to a 2018 report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), San Mateo County’s arrest rate for Black people is nine times higher than for white people; for Latinx people, it’s twice as high. 

Moreover, the handful of officials who can hold our county’s law enforcement accountable have not done so. 

In his decade-plus tenure, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has not charged any of the 52 officers involved in a total of 19 fatal use-of-force cases in San Mateo County. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, which holds power of the purse, approved a budget last year that sets aside nearly $1 million for new Tasers for the county Sheriff’s Office, despite the fact that in the last three years, officers using Tasers killed three unarmed men of color: Chinedu Okobi, Warren Ragudo and Ramzi Saad.

One year ago, more than 2,000 people peacefully marched for Black lives in San Mateo. One year ago, San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies arrived at that peaceful protest in full riot gear, including batons, zip tie restraints, rubber bullet guns and tear gas canisters. One year ago, few elected officials, and no one in law enforcement, spoke out or took responsibility.

One year later, we ask, what’s changed?

Since last year, our county has taken incremental steps forward, but is nowhere close to achieving the accountability, justice and protection our communities demanded. 

While we welcomed the sheriff’s decision to halt the use of chokeholds, fulfilling six of the items on the 8 Can’t Wait checklist, that list is not a ceiling. It’s a floor. 

Four police departments opted into a county pilot program to have mental health providers join 911 call responses, but these professionals are still riding along with armed officers. Our county could instead follow the lead of at least a half-dozen cities around the Bay Area connecting mental health first responders with fire department EMTs.

These steps are not trivial, but they are not enough. Complacency is not an option, because the lives of our community members remain at stake.

The April 7 death of Roger Allen at the hands of the Daly City police officers is a sobering reminder that our county remains a dangerous place for Black lives. The city is only now implementing a 4-year-old county recommendation to require officers to wear body cameras — too little, too late.

New data continues to reinforce disproportionality in policing both nationally and locally. 

That includes an analysis, conducted in 2021 by one of our coalition members for a Stanford University thesis, which shows Black and Latinx folks are 8.8- and 2.7-fold more likely to be arrested by the San Mateo Police Department, replicating the trends seen by the PPIC at the county level.

Latinx folks made up 40% of all SMPD arrests at the end of 2014, and 59% of all SMPD arrests at the end of 2020, despite making up less than a quarter of San Mateo’s population. It isn’t getting better with time, it’s getting worse. And it will continue to do so if we let it.

We have enough data to know these problems exist in our neighborhoods and towns, but we still have an urgent need for more transparency. Frustratingly, the Sheriff’s Office has refused to release comprehensive data on its use of force incidents, on the grounds it is not legally obligated to do so until 2022.

This isn’t some other place. This is here. This isn’t some other time. This is now. We are still waiting for ownership. For boldness. For change. 

If you plan to march with us on June 12 in Redwood City, you are committing to more than rallies, protests and words — you are committing to challenging a system that continues to police and kill Black and brown bodies at drastically higher rates than white bodies, right here in your backyard.

Shara Watkins is a member of the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District Board of Trustees, Karen Tkach Tuzman is a member of the California Democratic Party delegate representing Assembly District 22; and Andrew Skelton is a graduate student of sociology at Stanford University. They wrote this on behalf of the San Mateo County Law Enforcement Accountability Coalition.

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(22) comments

Ray Fowler

Shara, Karen and Andrew

Thank you for your passion and energy.

I read lots of comments in the DJ and sometimes I share my thoughts in LTEs and an occasional op-ed piece. I feel this is a an honest forum for such expression. IMO readers from both sides of the political aisle support changes in law enforcement to make sure officers are held accountable and justice is guaranteed for all. Who would argue any differently?

You asked what has changed since you last marched in support of the BLM banner... well, awareness has been raised concerning the need to make sure law enforcement is protecting everyone in our communities. That's a good thing. Marching this weekend to keep that awareness level high is good, too.

But something else has changed. While I embrace the movement's message that Black lives matter just as much as anyone's life matters, the movement has lost some of its original meaningfulness.

We're not hearing as much about the movement's core beliefs like dismantling the American nuclear family or defunding the police. The Marxist underpinnings embraced by the the movement's founders has received more attention, and some of the good will engendered a year ago has been eroded. However, none of these developments makes peaceful protest in support of saving Black lives any less important.

Good luck this weekend. I hope your march will help inspire some positive change.

wlydecker

Figures don't lie. Liars figure. Statistics are in the eye of the beholder. All sorts of conclusions can be reached from them. What are the stats for Asians? More importantly, are males stopped more than females? We only think about what the media tells us to think about. As Will Rogers said - "I only know what I read in the newspapers." That, of course, was a long time ago. today the medium would be facebook.

Terence Y

Ms. Watkins, Ms. Tuzman, and Mr. Skelton. Maybe you could cite a few more statistics to provide context for your numbers. For instance, you say black people make up 7% of the population but accounted for 27% of those killed by police, that the arrest rate for black people is nine times higher. What was the percentage of black people committing crimes in the same period? Of the people who were killed, were they in the process of committing a crime? Feeing from a crime? Shooting at law enforcement? Without context, numbers can be used to fit one’s narrative to push a biased point of view. As for what’s changed? I posit that racism has become more pronounced due to all the talk about racism. The over $1 billion of damage caused by BLM and Antifa are definitely not helping their cause. Maybe if these three could work to reduce the behaviors associated with being arrested, there may be a corresponding decrease in arrest rates.

Mr. van Ulden, why are you not able to have civil discourse with people that you disagree with without the personal attacks? People -- a lot of people, including myself, disagree with you on many issues. It is not necessary, nor productive, nor effective to call people names if you are trying to make a valid point. Perhaps your points are not valid, which is why you repeatedly resort to such disrespectful behavior. I can assure you that your bully tactics of attacking people with different views than yours will not silence us; it will have the opposite effect. One other question I have -- you are correct about black on black crime and brown on brown crime. The one fact you leave out when repeatedly bringing these points up is that the majority of white people are killed by white people. So should we stop fighting for justice for any person in this country because the majority of people murdered in the US are murdered by people with the same skin tone as theirs?

wlydecker

I'd like to know the stats for interracial crime - white on black, black on white.

Dirk van Ulden

Dear Reverend - civil discourse is reserved for parties who both have facts on their side instead of blather perpetuated by liberals. You and those whom you presume to represent keep on piling lie after lie onto those who are not in a position or do not bother to find facts otherwise. A compliant group that I refuse to be associated with. And why do you pretend to speak for others anyway? The authors explicitly stated that Blacks and Browns are disproportionately killed by the police, implying that these victims were innocent. That is another lie which can be corroborated with statistics provided by the FBI and other government agencies. Why is the murder rate among Blacks much higher than for any other demographic? I don't hear you address that at all. We also know now that the BLM movement is a corrupt farce, yet you still support it and so do the authors. But, if stating facts is in your opinion is the same as bullying then you have answered your own question. The truth hurts. I will agree with you on justice for all, regardless of skin color or ethnicity. Conversely, unequal justice should be rooted out.

Tafhdyd

Dirk,

How about blathering baloney perpetuated by conservatives. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. How about all the garbage that Trump won the election and it was stolen from him? Are you part of that crowd or do you go along with the facts? Or the riot and insurrection January 6th was just a few tourists visiting the Capitol? It is too bad the orange idol is not speaking in Iowa, the farmers could use the fertilizer.

Terence Y

Taffy, I guess you missed the DJ article regarding the investigation that blows up the garbage reports about our great President Trump forcibly clearing protesters in front of the White House. Just another incident where TDS-infected folks perpetuate blathering fake news baloney written by lamestream media liars. Face it, you’ve been had. Yet again. I’m surprised the AP wrote about it, although they tried to add some lame left-wing spin. Maybe they’re trying to regain some credibility in political reporting. One can hope. BTW, here’s a link for your convenience: https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/national/federal-probe-protest-not-broken-up-due-to-trump-photo-op/article_fd5d87ec-c965-11eb-87f0-2fe6209baef5.html

Dirk van Ulden

Come on Taffy - that is totally unrelated. I never proclaimed Trump to be faultless as he certainly had his issues. But the BLM and the continued avoidance of folks like the Reverend concerning the Black on Black massacres have never been exposed or highlighted by her or the NAACP. That is my point. She and her organization affiliations never submit solutions. Just blaming white supremacy or the police is getting old and is not a feasible answer. She goes right along with the race baiters that finance her lifestyle.

Tafhdyd

Terence,

If Trump and his "best people" in his administration were not the greatest team of corrupt liars to ever hold any office, their explanation when it occurred may have been believed. Knowing how little they say is true, it would only be believed after a thorough report from another source is produced. If that is the case I am fine with it.

Tafhdyd

Good morning Dirk,

I don’t have a big disagreement with some of the points in your reply to Rev. Owens. I do disagree with your position that seems to imply that only the left lies and continues to lie. My point is for someone that favors the right wing side of things to talk about the left lying without giving due credit to the lies of the right is hypocrisy and is related, especially when the deposed leader of the right is the greatest liar to ever hold any office anywhere.

In your reply to me you mention the lack of submitting solutions. Another case of the pot calling the kettle black. The Republicans only solution to anything is NO. No matter what the problem is the answer is no. They had ten years to come up with something to replace “Obama Care” and what did they produce? For six years they said they would get rid of it the day they took office and then they had four years in office and still have nothing.

Ray Fowler

Hi, Tafhdyd

Trying to determine which Washington types are lying is a fool's errand. You have heard me say multiple times that Trump, when he was in the Oval Office, exaggerated, contorted facts and sometimes just created stuff out of whole cloth. That is a sword that cuts both ways, and it is more than a little annoying that DJ readers continually dodge the issue re: Joe's four pinocchios... like it didn't happen.

IMO while there is finger pointing from both sides of the aisle, there is more coming from the left. It's hard to argue against that position when you consider how much the left dominates newsrooms across the country. The left just has more fingers to point... and that same MSM media continues to report misinformation without bothering to investigate the veracity of ridiculous claims made by Trump haters.

The most recent example was exposed yesterday. The left reveled in a false report that the Donald ordered Lafayette Square protestors tear-gassed so he could take advantage of a photo op. It's just not true. Will we see any retractions?

The same ol' MSM reported in the past that Trump planned to invade Mexico, that he overfed and killed fish in the WH koi pond, that he wanted to rename Black history month, that Trump recommended bleach injections to fight COVID, and more. Stories invented by reporters who wanted to be first to break a story at the expense of being truthful. It goes all the way back Trump's first day in office... the media reported that Trump ordered the removal of a bust of Martin Luther King. Again, untrue.

I agree with points of view expressed in this section saying the left's current narrative advancing that police shootings are the greatest danger to Black lives is intellectually dishonest. It is.

Tafhdyd

Hello Ray,

I thought we beat that horse so many times he was buried a couple of months ago. I think we are the only two commenters that agree that both sides lie and are crooks, and yes, probably more from the left on lies, but, IMO, more from the right on crooks. You are going to have to find more to hang your hat on than Joe’s four pinocchios. How many four P’s has Joe received? How many forests did they clear cut to make pinocchios for Donald?

In your second paragraph, “…MSM media continues to report misinformation without bothering to investigate the veracity of ridiculous claims made by Trump haters.”, as you say the sword cuts both ways. Right wing media does the same with the garbage on the other side of the fence.

Lafayette Square. Just as Sidney Powell said that no one in their right mind would believe the stuff she said, no one in their right mind believes what Trump said. If he wasn’t a professional liar, (verified lies hundreds and hundreds of times), and had some credibility maybe some people would have believed him. I certainly didn’t believe it then but I will now after seeing the report. (Mark that down on your score sheet) It is a sad state of affairs when everything that came out of that administration has to investigated before it is believed.

As for the MSM reports of the past, you do remember Trump saying that maybe we should try bleach at the same news conference that he followed that up suggesting using strong lights inside the body to kill the virus don’t you? I didn’t hear about the koi pond but I would have believed it if I did. And finally, MLK statue on the first day in office. Zeke Miller of Time made the mistake because he didn’t see it. It was obscured by a door and a Secret Service agent. He jumped the gun but then corrected his tweet and apologized within the hour. Of course right wing media didn’t say anything about that. They just hyped the MSM error or lie if you want. Speaking of the first day in office, don’t forget Trump’s lies started then also. Remember the “Largest crowd in history to see an inauguration”?

I missed the 5 o’clock in New York so I will catch up with the 5PM in Chicago.

Terence Y

So Taffy, you believe the fake news and lies from left-wing biased AP and all of a sudden when the AP comes out with a report showing the lamestream media made up their reports you no longer believe them? Um, sounds like you have the same cherry picking hypocrisy as another commenter I responded to. Did Democrats forget to make a protection payment?

Ray Fowler

Hi, Tafhdyd

So, let me get this straight... a little bit of lying out of the Oval Office is OK... is that what you're saying?

"I don't know anything about my son's business dealings... " Oh, yeah... just forgot about sharing an office with him which was also used by a Chinese energy company business partner with ties to the CCP.

C'mon, man! There's a huge cache of prevarications, dissembling, canards... in other words... lies connected with good ol' Joe. He even pulled out of a presidential race due to lying about authorship of his speeches (also known as plagiarism). Don't forget rejecting science to repay teachers unions for campaign contributions.

But here's the biggest lie and most critical lie from Joe... he wants unity. If that was the case, why is preaching to us that the US is a systemically racist country? It's not, but how else is Joe... Democratic Party leader... going to push the progressive agenda?

Check out the World Population Review's list of most racist countries in the world. They rank the top 25... see the US in there? Nope. But Joe's lie about systemic racism keeps the narrative going. It could not be more dishonest...

Almost three quarter of Americans want the border secure and voters to show IDs... not red state or blue state Americans... just Americans.

If you're a practicing Catholic, how can you endorse a political policy that supports abortion? Some recent PEW and Gallup polling asks if people feel that generally should first term abortion should be legal. Response... 60% or so say "yes." For third term abortion... same question. Do you feel that generally third term abortion should be legal? The percentage of "yes" responses drops to 10-15%. Yet, Joe is right there with all the other Democratic Party heavyweights saying "Abortion now, abortion tomorrow, abortion forever." How honest is that?

Yeah, Trump says some crazy things... no doubt. Your example re: the inauguration is a great example. But how does that ego boosting inveigling by Trump compare to ending the life of an unborn child and saying it's an OK choice? The unborn child didn't make that choice...

There's some Chardonnay tonight in my future.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

I won’t say lying is OK but every politician lies. Those that don’t think think they lie are either naive or unrealistic. I guess internationally a few lies are not a big deal compared to a lot of lies tied to a crook. The Pew study released yesterday seems to show that.

https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/06/10/americas-image-abroad-rebounds-with-transition-from-trump-to-biden/

Jumping down to the abortion issue. I am a opposed to abortion but it is legal under our laws and it is up to the lady with the baby. It is a decision she has to make between her and her doctor and her God if she has one. She has to live the rest of her life with the decision. The only thing banning abortion will do is make for higher prices on coat hanger stocks and higher medical bills for those that have them under unsafe conditions. Prostitution is illegal in most places, how is that working out? The problem with “right to life” people is that most are actually “right to birth”. They opposed programs for prenatal care and once the child is born they say your the one that got pregnant, you take care of it. If they were truly right to life they would all be against the death penalty and killing people with bombs and missiles around the world.

BTW, is lying about sharing an office better or worse than subverting the Constitution and abuse of power by using the Justice Dept. to do your dirty work on your political enemies as Trump was doing?

https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/national/justice-dept-congress-probing-trump-seizures-of-dems-data/article_cc8117d5-26fd-5950-ab62-e57218db5f1a.html

Ray Fowler

Tafhdyd

You wrote, "I won’t say lying is OK but every politician lies." That's why I like you so much... you're honest and you look at things from different angles.

America's image rebounding? Well, if you poll left leaning countries, you will get a positive response to Joe Biden's ascendancy. Imagine that. And it's no surprise Merkel and Macron are highly rated in polls. Trump pulled out of the WHO (will Roger Daltry ever be the same?) and the Paris Climate Accords... for some, there is nothing more vile. That's OK. They're entitled to that opinion. Funny, how the countries that vilified the Donald were largely the same countries that the Donald told they have to pay more for their own defense.

You wrote, "I am a opposed to abortion but it is legal under our laws and it is up to the lady with the baby. It is a decision she has to make between her and her doctor and her God if she has one." First, thanks for writing "God" with an uppercase G... Next, we agree with a lot and I am smack in the middle of the data with respect to other aspects of this discussion.

Early on... it's the woman's decision. I still don't like the idea of ending a life, but I agree with that 60% that say "generally" it should be legal. But later on... especially if the child is viable outside the womb... I find myself in the 85% that say it should not be "generally" legal.

The left goes to the argument that young women will resort to back alley abortions. I'm not sure that would be the case for most women who carry a baby for eight months. Have the baby... put it up for adoption. This goes back to the Bush era... the Senate passed a bill banning partial birth abortion, but the courts... the liberal courts... struck it down. Boxer objected to the bill saying it needed provisions to ensure pregnant women got information about alternatives. Feinstein... went to the old standby... she said if partial birth abortion is prohibited then Roe v. Wade will be in jeopardy. This all happened almost 20 years ago. They tucked tail and ran. That's when I left the Democratic Party. No leadership... just leftist noise.

So, Barbara... let's get that info to pregnant women. Dianne... we can stop the slaughter of innocents without assailing the Holy Grail of progressives... Roe v. Wade. A huge majority of Americans don't believe late term abortion should "generally" be legal, and they are right.

Spare me the left's claims that Trump was a huge "existential" threat to out democracy. I have submitted a list of scandals and other issues from the Obama era to leftist DJ readers, and they just ignore them.

To be fair, you have heard me say that Hunter deserves the presumption of innocence even as he is being scrutinized by the feds. Has he benefited thus far from his father's position? I think so... but let's wait and see what happens.

Last of the last things... I resist playing the "what if this was a Republican who did the same thing" game. However, in this one instance... what would the MSM be saying about Trump's son if they uncovered emails from him using racial epithets? Would the full fury of the cancel culture be unleashed against him? Absolutely. Has that happened to Hunter? Absolutely not. Proof that if it wasn't for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

Mr. van Ulden -- all human beings, who are created in God's image, deserve respect, whether you agree with them or not, or even whether you think they are lying or not. You have made a number of erroneous or outright false statements.

but I will not demean you or call you names. I don't have enough space to list all of your false statements, but I do want to quickly address a couple of them. First of all, please give one example of where I have said anything publicly, in this publication or any other, in support of or in opposition to BLM. I represent the NAACP, not BLM. Next - there is no such thing as unequal justice; if it is unequal, it is not justice. You have called me a race baiter a number of times. I have no need to "bait" anyone; racism exists in this country, period. You and I agree on one thing - the truth hurts. That particular truth hurts us all. Lastly, at least for now, per another of your comments, I do want to inform you that my lifestyle is funded probably the same way yours is -- by hard, honest, legal work. I have a full-time secular job in addition to my work as a minister and as an NAACP leader. I have never accepted a penny for my work as a minister, and no local NAACP branch president, officer or executive committee member is paid. We're volunteers, giving of our time, talents and treasure in the fight for justice for all people. I'm not sure where your lifestyle statement came from but the fact that you even said it suggests you do not truly value the truth that you proport to champion. In this case, the truth is that most black people work to sustain their lifestyles, just like you.

Ray Fowler

Hello, Rev. Owens

You wrote in your April 23, 2021, op-ed piece, "Too many Black people are dying on the streets of America."

I responded, "Yes, and the leading cause of death for young Black men is homicide. We can look to the courts for accountability and justice in the case of a young Black man being shot and killed by a police officer. Derek Chauvin's conviction is a step in that direction. But where do we look for accountability and justice for the thousands of other young Black men gunned down in our streets?"

Rev. Lorrie Owens, NAACP San Mateo

Mr. Fowler, as a minister who has officiated at the funerals of some of those who were murdered, I am very well aware of the tragedy of young black men killing young black men. I do not deny that the leading cause of death for young black men is homicide. But if you study history, or even if you look throughout the world today at impoverished communities (regardless of the ethnicity of the inhabitants), what do you find? You find increased crime. When a young black man is caught and found guilty of murder - in a fair trail with appropriate legal representation - he should be held fully accountable. Another view, however, is to ask what can we do as a society do to provide a more level playing field for all of our young people in this country? For example, many impoverished communities of color have still not recovered from decades of redlining, which directly contributes to this day to under-resourced schools which produce young people who are not equipped to participate in a 21st century economy. In California, we spend more on incarcerating people than we spend on educating them. Some people resort to crime when they can't find legitimate employment. It is a complex issue, deep-seeded in racial and economic inequities that have plagued our nation since its inception. If our society were truly concerned about the number of young black men dying at the hands of other young black men, we would work on how to better level the playing field, rather than continually reciting black-on-black murder rates. I'll be called a socialist for suggesting we should do more to help our impoverished communities, but Jesus offered some socialist ideologies. He talked a lot about helping the poor, so I'm in good company . And, as the mother of two college-educated, devout Christian young men, I'm more afraid that one of them will get killed in an encounter with a bad police officer than by another young black man. Not all young black men live lifestyles that put them in situations where they may be killed by someone who looks like them. But young blacks, male or female, cannot eliminate the chance of an encounter with the police. It is not true that you won't get pulled over if you don't break the law. Both of my boys have been pulled over, more than once, for no reason whatsoever. They were DWB (driving while black) in places the officer didn't think they should be in. My husband experienced the same thing in his younger years. Even I, as a female, got pulled over all the time when I worked the night shift at a job I held when I was young. My white male colleagues never experienced that, not once. Most police officers are good people who put their lives on the line daily to protect our communities. They are also called in to do things law enforcement should not have to handle. In my role as NAACP president, I am proud that we work with law enforcement, rather than against them. However, the truth is that there are some bad police officers out there; the truth is that racial profiling is real, and the truth is that too many unarmed black people end up dead in some of these encounters. My saying that does not deny the need for accountability of those who commit black on black murder. However, to suggest that we say nothing about unarmed black people being killed by the few bad police officers out there, because more black people kill black people is incongruent with the concept of justice we Americans say we hold dear.

Ray Fowler

Good morning, Rev. Owens

Thanks for such an articulate and well-reasoned response… and for staying up late to post your comments. You are a busy lady.

We are not only close in our feelings about some of the issues introduced in this op-ed piece; we share the same feelings about some of these issues. And I agree with your statement there is a glaring incongruity in the larger conversation if we “… say nothing about unarmed black people being killed by the few bad police officers out there, because more black people kill black people… “

Yes, we can learn from history, but neither the 1619 project nor the 1776 project can inform us sufficiently. Poverty does drive a lot of the crime in our inner cities, and that is beyond sad. However, it is too simple, and it stops the larger conversation to say race is driving that poverty. The white supremacists knuckleheads (I cannot identify them in stronger terms as the DJ filters would block such descriptions) who are out there are probably sitting around in their meetings and smugly taking credit for the poverty we see in our inner cities. They did not create it…

I voted for Barack Obama, once. The day after his election in 2008, I had a meeting with one of my supervisors who happened to be Black. We were alone and I turned the conversation to the election results. My supervisor, who is also a friend, began to weep openly and unashamedly. It was inspiring to see how much the election meant to him and by extension all Blacks. He said he thought he would never see the election of a Black person to the presidency in his lifetime… but it happened. I was also heartened because the elevation of Barack to the Oval Office brought with it the hope of real changes coming to impoverished communities… but that did not happen. During Barack’s term, our national debt was only somewhere in the 20 trillion-dollar range. Using history as a guide and going back 50 years before Barack’s election to the creation of the Great Society, the US spent about 20 trillion dollars on social and entitlement programs. That should have helped to lift many persons of color out of poverty. It did not.

I do not know if you are a socialist, and I guess it really does not matter if you are because racism transcends political affiliation. You can be Karl Marx or Adam Smith and still take a stand against racism. I do not think Jesus was a socialist… that is just my opinion. While he encouraged listeners to sell their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, he was not against wealth when it is used for good. The Lord tells us that he has plans to prosper us if we keep his commandments, and the accumulated wealth from such prosperity should be shared with the needy. Twenty trillion talents… er, I mean dollars. Yes, there were some lives changed and uplifted through social and entitlement programs in the 50 years before Barack’s election, but too many of those dollars were squandered not unlike the failed stewardship noted in Jesus’ Parable of the Talents.

Profiling… yes, it happens. Part of the drive to take badges away from rogue cops must include police training and the insistence that the law be applied equally to everyone regardless of color. Defunding the police is not a way to achieve that goal. There is an aspect to police contacts that may surprise you. In one peninsula city, there are several non-Black officers who just will not stop Black drivers. And if they do come across a Black driver by happenstance, they will give a warning and not a citation. Why do you think that happens? Well, regardless of the reason for stopping a vehicle, e.g., blowing through a stop sign, serious speeding, etc., those officers just do not want to hear, “The only reason you stopped me is because I’m Black.” So, it is easier to look the other way and avoid being accused of racism while trying to do your job. Is that fair to all the other non-Black motorists stopped and ticketed? Of course not. Do you think this reaction by officers is limited to one peninsula city? Of course not. You can find this reaction by police officers in towns and cities across America. I say again… across America.

I also agree with your statement, “Most police officers are good people who put their lives on the line daily to protect our communities.” We should not lose that focus, and your observation that officers have to deal with things they should have to handle is equally true, but it happens. They deal with families shattered by tragedies, abused children, and victims of violent crimes… they do so because it their way of serving our communities. A way regular folks… regardless of color… simply would not do.

Ray Fowler

Oops... a couple of typos. Sorry.

Last paragraph... "officers have to deal with things they should NOT have to handle" and "it IS their way of serving our communities."

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