Fair treatment by cops is a right not a privilege: Reader views

I am a white man. I live in the United States, so I have privilege. I am less statistically likely to be killed by a police officer than my black counterparts. Not getting killed by cops should not be a perk or a privilege. It should be the right of every law-abiding citizen in this country.  

The horrific death of George Floyd has again brought this to the attention of the world. Black men are being killed by police officers.  A young, black, Christian law-abiding man named Botham Shem Jean was shot and killed in his own apartment when a white police officer wrongfully entered his home. This must end today. Do we shoot middle-aged white men just because they are statistically more likely to be serial killers? I think not.

The image of Floyd having his neck pinned to asphalt begging for his life is a scene from Hitler’s Germany, not 21st-century America. There is no excuse.

I understand what police officers go through. My brother-in-law was a police officer and was killed in the line of duty. I remember his funeral and the hundreds of officers who attended. Yes, we in this house understand the pressures and sacrifices of police officers. But there is no understanding of the murder of innocent black men. I know countless black men who are afraid of being stopped by the police, and being killed, simply for being black. 

A protester holds up a sign during a night of clashes in downtown Detroit.

A protester holds up a sign during a night of clashes in downtown Detroit.

A protester holds up a sign during a night of clashes in downtown Detroit.

I spoke to a friend today who is a white mother who adopted a black child. As he is a young man now, I hear the fear in her voice that her son, a gifted student and fantastic actor and singer, will be killed. This must end, by legislation and by purging police departments of these monsters. No more excuses or endless discussions. 

Wiley Lowe; Flagler Beach, Fla.

There are riots in many cities. Violence is never OK, by the police or protesters. The lack of moral and ethical leadership from our president has set the stage for these tragic scenes. Those who seek to sow division between blacks and whites, liberals, conservatives and moderates, rich and poor are reprehensible. They are hateful and egotistical people who seek justice for themselves, but not for others.

Story continues

Patrick Frank; Arden, N.C.

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The horrifying image of former officer Derek Chauvin dominating George Floyd by pressing his left knee across Floyd’s neck, paints a disturbing yet accurate portrait of the current leadership in this country. We have become a nation overrun by arrogant, racist, power-hungry thugs with no empathy or concern for human life. 

Floyd did not murder or kidnap anyone, nor did he steal a car, break into a home or assault another human being. What grisly crime did he commit to deserve the penalty of death? He allegedly used counterfeit money; and he was black.

Our only hope now is that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will restore integrity, civility and health to a nation deep in mourning.  

Andrew Ginsburg; Southport, Conn.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder in the death of a black man. And so, protesters show their feelings against this officer by going on a violent spree. They are looting and burning down businesses and destroying property in their own neighborhoods. They didn't hurt Chauvin, they hurt themselves.

Joe Mercer; Memphis, Tenn.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fair treatment by cops is a right not a privilege: Reader views

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