Richmond, Calif., police chief stands with protesters holding #BlackLivesMatter sign
Dec 12, 2014 2:18pm PST by Frank Vyan Walton
Chris Magnus, chief of Richmond police, held a sign that read “#BlackLivesMatter,” a Twitter hashtag used by civil rights advocates, as other officers joined in the peaceful protest, reported the Contra Costa Times.“I’ve never seen anything like it, not in Richmond, not anywhere,” said resident Mary Square. “All these police, and the police chief, holding signs calling for an end to police violence.” “I spoke with my command staff, and we agreed it would be nice to convey our commitment to peaceful protest and that black and brown lives do matter,” Magnus said. “And to help bridge the gap that we understand sometimes exists between police and community around certain issues.”
“We get the conversation about use of force, we get it,” said Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown. “This is an opportunity for all police departments, including ours, to look inward and examine our approaches and get better.”
They stood for four and a half hours, but rather than having police on one side and protestors on the other, they stood together in solidarity that all lives, black, brown, white and others – all lives matter.
Even more than one officer who won’t automatically shoot an armed, explicative-spouting, 63-year-old man in the street on sight, or a set of Texas Rangers who will calmly affect an arrest while being verbally abused viciously by a loud crowd of jeering onlookers, these guys have shown what a “good cop” should be, even if all too often, they aren’t.
Please continue reading over the flip.
Sadly displays like those by the Richmond police and their chief is not what we commonly see from our law enforcement. Generally it goes more like this example, where you have a Sacramento sheriff’s deputy repeatedly Tasing and beating a man with his flashlight—for simply asking the officer to please move his car.
We all know being a police officer isn’t easy. But it’s not the toughest job in the world, it’s not even in the Top 10 most dangerous or deadly jobs. This giving a pass to every horrific thing they might do—in our name—has to stop. We have to reach a point where the consensus is that every person wrongly arrested, prosecuted, beaten, yes, even torturedor killed is not just the “cost of doing business” in law enforcement. We have to realize this is a crime, and punish it accordingly.
We can do better than this. We should expect and demandbetter than this.
It’s really just a shame that we usually don’t, or at least we haven’t been—until now.