A Letter to Both Sides

To my fellow citizens and those who aspire to be citizens of this wonderful country. Yes, Black lives do matter and SHOULD matter to all, not because of the color of our skin but because we are human and in the eyes of God, equal! We are all human and there should be a mutual respect for all regardless of differences of opinion. Black lives matter no matter who is responsible for taking that life. To only protest and show disgust when a life is taken by a member of law enforcement and ignore all the other lives lost due to insignificant reasons is a tragedy in itself. We have to learn to communicate with each other a little better and show a mutual respect for all, in addition to learning to not sweat the little things. So what, that you don’t like the shoes I wear, the person I date, the job I have, how I looked at you, LET IT GO!

All lives have to matter! We should not view all police officers or every police/citizen encounter in the same light. Each incident should be analyzed on its own merit. The police are necessary to maintain order and enforce the laws of the land. There are flaws that can be addressed by community calm, collective and organized community involvement. Those laws ELECTED officials drafted and voted for. We should not judge an entire law enforcement community by the actions of a few. There are great officers serving the citizens of our communities. Understanding the job these officers do, being able to understand what is expected, being able to communicate effectively and listening is paramount in a citizen police interaction.

To my fellow law enforcement personnel. We took an oath to protect and serve the public, the entire public, not just the ones we like or the ones we understand, but everyone. Let’s put any biases away and continue to uphold the laws we vowed to uphold, with honesty, integrity, and zeal. The country needs us whether they realize it or not. We have come to a difficult hurdle with public perception, with increased deliberate training in effective communication, an increased understanding of criminal procedure and best practices in addition to increased training in de-escalation tactics we can do our part in eliminating the gap in police-citizen relations. Let’s continue to work hard for the citizens, I mean isn’t that why we got into this business? There are great citizens who comprise the communities we serve, don’t judge entire communities based on the actions of a few. I have listened to “community leaders”, attended numerous forums and seen only blame. Let’s agree there is a problem and move towards solutions.

This letter is not meant to call out, degrade, accuse or address any particular incident but simply in my heart to express it. Education knowledge and understanding is the key!

Written by B.L. Brown Author of The Justice Academy What You Should Know

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