The Star-Herald

Right cause, wrong practice

To the editor:

It would be virtually impossible to find one person in America who does not condemn the murder of George Floyd by an out-of-control Minneapolis police officer. 

So what have the protests produced? Let’s start with the ongoing pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people have clustered in proximity to each other with no regard for social distancing, thus putting themselves and the public at greater risk for contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. How many unnecessary deaths will result from these dangerous protests?

Furthermore, the protests turned quickly violent and destructive under the cover of darkness, and an inevitable orgy of looting and arson ensued. Public buildings, police vehicles, businesses and a church have been trashed and burned. The eventual cost of property loss and destruction could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The selfish [practice] of irresponsible and misguided protesting has resulted in an unprecedented disaster that is vastly more devastating and grievous than Mr. Floyd’s murder. The protests have produced nothing but chaos, destruction and the likely spread of COVID-19.

The protests are counterproductive and unnecessary. Behavioral changes will only result through procedural reform and better training of police. The police do not seek victims to murder or brutalize. Of course, there are corrupt cops, but they are few. Many deaths of suspects are triggered by their resistance to arrest. No police officer gives up his or her civil rights because they carry a badge. Most importantly, police have a right to defend themselves from bodily harm with deadly force if necessary. 

Not all the protestors are looters and arsonists but virtually all the looters and arsonists have been protestors. After the destructive rampages and riots of the first night of protesting, the peaceful protestors should have realized that their unsafe and unnecessary protesting was enabling looting and arson by giving it the cover of so-called peaceful protesting. 

Given the danger of the COVID-19 virus and the violent destruction caused by lawless mobs, only irresponsible, selfish, ignorant and inconsiderate individuals would continue to protest. These dangerous and unsafe protests must end now.

Larry Shea

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