The Transylvania Times -

Local Leaders Need To Make Statement


Last updated 6/8/2020 at 3:03pm

I was disappointed to read that our newly appointed county commissioner and our duly elected county sheriff will be selectively interpreting and enforcing the governor’s executive orders regarding the COVID pandemic. I am appalled and heartbroken over the death-by-cop of yet another unarmed black man, the “birding-while-black” incident in New York’s Central Park, the assaults on media by police sworn to protect, and the tear gassing of peaceful protestors and a minister in a church courtyard in Washington, D.C.

I applaud Sheriff Mahoney’s recent statement calling out the death of George Floyd as unacceptable. I applaud Chief Harris’ support of the NAACP and peaceful protests in Brevard.

But I ask for more: I ask that the county commissioners, city council and mayor, the police chief and the sheriff release a joint statement that there will be no selective interpreting or enforcement of the laws regarding civil rights, human rights and constitutional rights. That their decisions will be made for the benefit of the community they serve regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion or sexual identity or preference. I ask that the statement reflect stronger emphasis on police community outreach, de-escalation techniques, and recognition of those in mental health crisis, and less emphasis on the militarization of local law enforcement.

There is so much more that needs to be said and done, but a strong statement from our elected local leaders is a step in the right direction. No more Trails of Tears. It is way past time to do better.

Gil Newbury



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