In a sit-down with African-American Community leaders and The Olympian’s Editorial Board, elder Merritt Long said: “Most people will agree that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.”
You and he are missing the entire problem. Police don’t decide what crime is, and they don’t punish criminals. These jobs are for the courts.
And if we allow our community leaders to talk this way, if we allow ourselves to think that police “should” decide who “is” a criminal — and then punish them — we’re legitimizing the system that got these two young men shot. We’re admitting that this sort of policing is OK.
But it is not. When police respectfully question, justly detain and rightly arrest civilians, they have the respect and full support of the community.
When police officer Ryan Donald acting alone after midnight shot up two suspected shoplifters and the neighborhood where he encountered them and seemed to have no pressing reason to do any of this, officer Donald should have been questioned, detained and taken into custody — respectfully — and he should still be in jail awaiting (as we all have been since May 22) the prosecutor’s decision about a trial.
Gary Allan May