Letters to the Editor

Bias, injustice and policing

Most police officers work hard and are to be commended for their efforts. Then there are cases such as Philando Castile, stopped with his friend and her 4-year old daughter for a tail light violation. He was shot five times by Officer Jeronimo Yanez and killed. For this extreme use of force, the officer was acquitted and later fired. Another senseless killing of an African-American male under the color of law.

It’s a common narrative ‑ the officer was in fear for his life. Imagine if there were no video evidence in cases such as Walter Scott, shot five times in the back by Officer Michael Slager (dropped a Taser next to his body and misrepresented the facts). Officer Slager recently pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing. This has to stop!

Police officers have a higher standard of care while performing their duty. As such, implicit bias and willingness to use excessive force unnecessarily against African-Americans cannot be tolerated. Martin L. King Jr., states "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

It is written in the Baha'i Sacred Writings that, "The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me" and again, "…under the banner of the oneness of humanity all people of all creeds should turn away from prejudice…”

The way forward must include a recognition of the oneness of humanity along with an embrace of justice.

Harvey L. McMurray