I am horrified by the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

This should never happen, and African Americans should never have to fear that something similar could happen to a loved one. The standard for encounters of citizens with law enforcement is that citizens remain safe, the police officer remains safe, and the law is upheld. Every incident of citizen or officer injury or death is to be fully examined.  If laws have been broken, punishment is to be meted out, and changes must be made so that it does not happen again.

In response, protests have broken out across the country.  It is appropriate for peaceful protests to occur to ensure that already enacted changes in citizen and police encounters continue until citizen/police officer death is non-existent.  Violence and destruction of property that has occurred with some of the protests is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.  Lawlessness does nothing to solve the problem of police brutality and fans the winds of racial hatred.

Once again, we turn to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for wisdom and guidance.  He said, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.  It is a sword that heals.”

“In the nonviolent army, there is room for everyone who wants to join up.  There is no color distinction.  There is no examination, no pledge, except that, as a soldier in the armies of violence is expected to inspect his carbine and keep it clean, nonviolent soldiers are called upon to examine their greatest weapons: their heart, their conscience, their courage and sense of justice.”