The murder of George Floyd is a national tragedy and as a retired law enforcement officer, it truly breaks my heart to witness such unnecessary and horrible violence perpetrated by bad law enforcement on an American citizen. Even more troubling is the fact that we are all aware that this was not an isolated incident and too many of our neighbors of color are needlessly hurt and killed every year by the hands of rogue law enforcement officers. Simply put, this tragic and horrific pattern needs to end.
Our nation, myself included, are justifiably angry and fed up. Something needs to change in order to end this illegal and immoral violence, but what can we do? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but drawing upon my experiences as a law enforcement officer and my current role as the State Representative of District 71, I have taken a course of action which I believe could have real and tangible positive impacts to the situation our state and country currently faces in order to end this aggression and violence against our community of color.
I have been in contact with Sid Wordell from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and I believe together, with the Police Chiefs Association and the two law enforcement unions of our state, the FOP and the IBPO, we should all come to the table and discuss serious reforms that need to occur within Rhode Island’s law enforcement community. In particular, I believe there needs to be an overhaul in the training that new police cadets in the training academy and current officers during their in-service training receive to properly address racial and police brutality issues.
There are far more good and dedicated cops who care for their communities and go out every single day with the sole intention of protecting their communities and their residents of all races, creeds, and colors, yet, there are still too many bad apples and those with inadequate training to stressful situations that need to be corrected.
We do not claim that we have all the answers to this serious problem that our country faces but, this is an important step to rectify the injustices that our citizens have faced for far too long. I have faith that together, our community, our state, and our country can fix the inequities and violence unjustifiably perpetrated against our country’s community of color. The fixes that are necessary are only attainable through true collaboration and I am grateful that our state’s law enforcement community desperately wants to be a part of this solution.
As always, as your representative in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, I encourage you to contact me with your own ideas and concerns in order to make our society a better, safer, and healthier place for all of our citizens to live, regardless of their color of their skin, their personal beliefs, or the differences and diversity that makes Rhode Island strong and unified together.