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From the Editor’s Desk – Some thoughts on the death of George Floyd & recent protests

Opinion by Clint Parker

Asheville – The horrifying death of George Floyd has set in motion events that could alter our nation’s future forever. Either for the betterment or destruction of our country.

We all hope that the results of protests across the country show that we never have to watch the slow, needless murder of a person of color, any color, by a police officer ever again. The more than eight-minute video viewed by millions of Floyd’s death should turn all decent people’s stomachs.

Peaceful demonstrations against such outrageous acts have their place in our representative republic and should be afforded every opportunity to take place without the interference of politicians or police. There should have been an immediate arrest of all officers involved in this criminal deed. The slowness in action on the part of the superiors of the officers involved helped to throw fuel on an already simmering pot of contention, causing it to boil over.

However, what cannot, indeed, must not be tolerated is the effort by a small group of radicals to take these protests and use them for an opportunity for their own private agenda by destroying private citizens’ property, depriving others of their lives and causing chaos by telling us we don’t need law enforcement.

Such is the case in the city where Floyd was killed. The majority of the city’s council is now calling for the disbanding of the police force in that town. Such talk is nonsense, and the nonsense seems to be spreading. Do you think criminals are going to come and sing ‘Kumbaya’ with law-abiding citizens? We have to have law enforcement to keep the peace.

At the same time, how do we stop what’s regarded as a war on people of color by a minority of law officers? Maybe we just never arrest another person of color for any crime. It’s said that perception is everything and whether or not law enforcement unfairly targets minorities or not, the perception is the reality.

We need law enforcement’s thin-blue line to help hold our fragile society together to keep us from descending into a free-for-all where everyone does right in his or her own eyes.

I know a lot of law officers who I’ve always thought of as defenders of the people against the darkness of evil. Like a sheepdog guarding the sheep against the wolves. However, when a sheepdog starts eating the sheep, you have to get rid of the sheepdog, not all sheepdogs.

Police need to start policing their own ranks to weed out the racists and the bad apples.

People need to afford police every courtesy when dealing with them as the police don’t know who is trying to kill them and who’s not. Honest citizens and those being arrested for minor offenses should not fear that their life is endangered by those officers arresting them. As much as possible we should try to live peaceably with all people.

Editor’s note: The Tribune invites opposing opinions to commentary offered by our editor, publisher, or any opinions published in our paper.

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