12 JUNE 4, 2020 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
We must work together to change together
There are so many layers to the
unrest we’ve witnessed this
past weekend with the protests
sparked by the police-involved death
of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Here in New York, the vast majority
of those who took to the streets
demanding justice were peaceful.
There were no fewer than a half-dozen
protests across the fi ve boroughs on
Saturday. Most of the protesters — especially
those in Queens, where the
demonstrations did not escalate — exercised
their First Amendment rights
with respect for the community, the
mission and themselves. Police offi cers
largely stood back and let the protests
happen with little interference.
But then, in what Mayor Bill de Blasio
described as “pockets” of Brooklyn
and Manhattan, all hell broke loose.
Physical struggles between cops
and protesters. Police vehicles torched.
Businesses vandalized. And some cops
used very questionable force against
demonstrators. The struggles continued
into the week.
Each side blames the other for
provocation. Each side has merit in
their arguments — yet each side also
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NYPD offi cers kneel with protesters
during Queens rally
One day aft er a mostly peaceful protest
in Jackson Heights, demonstrators
marched down the streets of Jamaica
Sunday calling for an end to injustice
following the death of George Floyd
at the hands of Minneapolis police
offi cers last week. One demonstrator
posted a video showing police offi cers
kneeling in solidarity with protesters.
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Protesters march near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
has responsibility for the chaos that
Yet this situation is not just about
riots; it’s much deeper than that.
There’s anger and outrage everywhere,
and it is more than justifi ed
— though violence isn’t. To not acknowledge
and understand that anger
and outrage is to willfully ignore the
Look at the nation we live in.
For decades, Black and Hispanic
Americans have been treated like
second-class citizens by bad cops
in police forces across the country.
More oft en than not, acts of unjustifi
ed brutality result in exonerations
or dead-end investigations, without
justice for victims who were harmed
or killed without cause.
In the present, the economy is in
shambles while more than 100,000
people have died from the COVID-19
pandemic. Even this virus has underscored
our unequal society: Most of
the victims of this illness are people
The police find themselves in a
tough place of their own. The majority
of cops who respect an individual’s
rights and serve with integrity are tarnished
by every bad cop who doesn’t.
Every time there’s a police-involved
death like Floyd’s, they all take a hit.
They then have to face angry
throngs who hurl insults and objects
at them. That leads some of those cops
to cross the line in an instinctive response
to protect their colleagues and
themselves. And then they become
objects of further scorn.
We are caught as a society in many
vicious cycles that, more and more
each day, resemble one giant death
There’s only one way out of it:
Changes in government to finally
fulfi ll our American declaration, set
244 years ago, that “all men are created
And to do that, we must work together
— protesters and police, community
activists and law enforcement
unions, elected leaders and police offi
cials — to rebuild communities and
ensure that every police department
in America has the best-trained men
and women who can keep the peace
while always fulfi lling “equal justice
under the law.”