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Learning from George Floyd

To the editor:

Recently, we watched in horror as an unspeakable tragedy unfolded in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Like all Americans, I extend my deepest sympathies to George Floyd’s family.

Since George’s death, many Americans, including myself, have exercised their first amendment right to peacefully assemble, and understandably so. That’s why I joined protesters in Houghton to have conversations about what we can do to prevent future tragedies, like what happened in Minnesota, from happening again. I was grateful that protests remained peaceful, and most protesters were happy to engage in constructive dialogue.

All too often, though, we see these terrible tragedies used to justify violence and generalizations toward law enforcement. I hope that this pivotal point can be used as a catalyst for positive change and reform instead.

So much importance lies in not vilifying those who share no blame in what happened. The vast majority of law enforcement officers are outstanding men and women who seek to do no more than protect and serve. It is my sincere desire that we work toward reforms, while still recognizing the immeasurable sacrifice made by our police community.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other!

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