All of us can, and should, do better
There is news that a "peaceful protest" is coming to downtown Richmond this weekend.
Hopefully, the "peaceful protesters" are protesting what has happened in several cities around the country -- the abuses by a very small number of police officers, directed at black individuals.
Racism and discrimination, in ANY form, against ANY individuals, is WRONG, not just in America or anywhere on Planet Earth.
We as human beings still have a long way to go, to educate ourselves, to strive to improve our acceptance of others, who may be "different" from ourselves.
None of us are perfect, but ALL of us can and should do better. We owe it to the future of our world.
As the founder of Richmond Police Department Appreciation Day, Richmond, is very unique in it's approach to having a great community police department. We don't complain about our police department -- we embrace the officers who risk their lives everyday, in order to protect and serve those in this community.
The Richmond Police Department is extremely humbled by the unique support they have in our community. This support creates an "expectation" that we all want a top-notch police department -- and the police department knows they have a high expectation in return to the community they serve.
While we all mourn the tragic death of George Floyd, and others, who have suffered at the hands of a few "bad" officers who should not be so honored to wear THAT BADGE and what it represents, let us also appreciate ALL THE GOOD POLICE OFFICERS, who serve our community with pride in doing their job.
We shouldn't stereotype any group of people, different than you or me. We also shouldn't disrespect all the good police officers, that do a great job, day-in and day-out, without any "news" being made. It's not an easy job and it can be a very dangerous job in a split second.
To the "peaceful protesters," I have a simple message.
Honor Black Lives Matter.
Be respectful, and trust me, you will be respected. Your voices will resonate because of that respect.
To the Richmond Police Department, show the "peaceful protesters" that we all hear them, respect them. Take a knee. Talk with them. Show them that you are human. Support them and listen to them. Show them what a great community police department looks like.
Above all, the citizens in Richmond, support you 100%.
Wear "THAT BADGE" with honor and pride.
I have hope for the future
My name is Paula.
I am 51 and I am proud to work in law enforcement.
As both sides of the line prepare for the coming protests, I find myself making wishes for everyone's safety. Because of this, I thought I would share them with you.
Since we are dealing with a race issue, I will tell you that I am white. It is only fair that you know where I am coming from.
The truth is, as a child, I remember there being plenty of violence in the world, but I cannot think of another time when police officers spoke out against the actions of other police the way we are seeing today.
There was no national outcry for change, no one recorded the event, no witnesses ever came forward.
These are things that give me hope for the future.
They make me realize how much things have changed for the better, and yes, how far we still have to go.
I have no problem with peaceful protests and I have participated in them myself. For this reason, I am sharing my biggest wish for the outcome of the protests this weekend.
I wish for everyone to go home safe at the end of the night.
No matter which side you are on, no matter where you are standing, remember that going home at the end of the night is the most important thing to the people who love you. When we wake up the next day, we will all find ourselves at Walmart, or in church together again.
So, if you find yourself screaming in someone's face, remember that the person across from you is a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a daughter and a son.
Good luck and God bless!