This is a key moment in history to be an American and work alongside my fellow Americans for the well-being of our nation.
I am running for the Democratic Party nomination for New York’s 16th Congressional District. I hope to have a chance to share my vision for the district.
I am saddened and heartbroken by the death of George Floyd. As a retired New York Police Department officer, I am outraged that it came at the hands of the police. It is unacceptable for this officer to restrain an apprehended and handcuffed prisoner by placing a knee to their neck.
Shockingly, this practice is acceptable by the Minneapolis Police Department, even though it is not in conformance with the major police departments across the United States.
The Minneapolis police must ban this practice immediately, and retrain all its officers in acceptable restraint techniques.
The wanton disregard for human life exhibited by the Minneapolis police officer sets back all the positive gains made throughout the years by police departments across the United States. There is no denying the actions displayed were not only criminal, but morally unacceptable.
Real change in policing and society must occur so that this may never happen again. But police are not the enemy! As much as politicians place blame on police departments and parrot the narrative that police are the enemy, this I can assure you, is a lie.
Right now, across the United States, police officers are on patrol protecting the public. This happens 24 hours a day, every day. Officers that look like you and me are risking their lives to protect ours. They will continue to do this without malice or prejudice because that is what society requires, that is how they are trained, and that is who they are.
I want to be clear and go on the record: What we all saw on video is criminal and the justice system has begun the process of holding the officer accountable for his actions. I am not condoning those actions when I defend police officers and their departments — when they are doing what is right.
I want police officers who are working in the Bronx, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and across American to know we appreciate the hard work and sacrifices they make for us daily. Policing is a difficult job, where life-changing decisions must be made in a split second.
I want police officers to know we understand their difficulties, we support them, and have their backs.
Many politicians today displace blame on police officers due to their own and society’s failures. Those same grandstanding politicians imply there is a concerted effort by law enforcement to murder people of color!
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Politicians have a responsibility to speak the truth and not stoke the flames of division. We cannot allow the gains of the past 20 years to be lost because of political and hidden agendas. We must come together to ensure that does not happen again.
If it were to happen George Floyd’s death will have been in vain.
The author is a candidate for New York’s 16th Congressional District.