This week, 6/3

The violent murders of black people by police—and the recent extensive media coverage—has taken a toll on the mental health of black people across the nation. PC: Eze Amos The violent murders of black people by police—and the recent extensive media coverage—has taken a toll on the mental health of black people across the nation. PC: Eze Amos

Over the past few days, videos of the murders of unarmed black people by cops and white “vigilantes,” which sparked nationwide protests, have been replaced by new videos, of cops brutalizing those protesters in cities across the country.

Many police officers have met the legitimate expression of pent-up rage with violence, beating demonstrators and journalists on camera, firing tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets, holding protesters all night without food or water, and, in a sickening echo of Heather Heyer’s murder, plowing their cars into crowds.

As I’m sure someone will write to me to point out, a few agitators have taken advantage of the chaos to loot and destroy businesses, including the office of an alt-weekly in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, where the editor reports their office was set on fire. Obviously, this is reprehensible (not to mention counterproductive). But it’s also no excuse for law enforcement to escalate violence.

Here in Charlottesville, hundreds turned out for a protest on Saturday, and the Black Student Union at Albemarle High School led another demonstration on Sunday. CPD, perhaps finally learning from its heavy-handed approach to past protests, was on hand largely to redirect traffic. Cops did not confront protesters, and the events were nonviolent.   

That’s commendable—though it’s also disturbing that police not attacking nonviolent protesters should be such an anomaly. But the city still has work to do. The Police Civilian Review Board, created in the wake of summer 2017 to promote transparency and build trust, has yet to meet (the final member was appointed by City Council on Monday). And no board exists in Albemarle County, where residents have complained of racial bias by the police, and African Americans are disproportionately arrested, as shown in a report the county declined to fund.

Charlottesville spends $300,000 a year to put police officers in city schools, part of an alarming national trend that has contributed to the school-to-prison pipeline for youth of color. Ending that contract is among the demands put forward by the organizers of Saturday’s march, a list that could serve as a handy map to the steps required for real change.

Demonstrations matter. But supporting the work that follows is even more important.

Posted In:     Opinion,The Editor's Desk

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not really?Totally really?JackMitchell carr Recent comment authors
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Mitchell carr
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Mitchell carr

It is amazing how BILLIONS of dollars worth of looting and arson is being done by “a few agitators”. The truth is that Charlottesville was the exception, and in most places the protests were violent and destructive. Many businesses hanging on by a thread from covid-19 are now going to go bankrupt from the childish behavior of people who refuse to work within the system to get things accomplished. It would be interesting to find out how many of the protesters, looters and rioters actually voted, or attended a council meeting in the last decade. My guess is that a… Read more »

not really?
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not really?

Again no examples given to support your opinion which really? weakens the point you are trying to make. You “guess” that the majority of “them” have done nothing. How informative…

Mitchell carr
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Mitchell carr

You say no facts were given, but is it not a fact that a barber was arrested, and not a fact that police cars were burned while the police stood by and watched? Justifying violent behavior and destruction of property as “acceptable” because the government didn’t treat them the way they wanted to be treated is the exact same “justification” the KKK used. It was wrong then and it was wrong now. The problem with retribution is that it leads to more retribution and the cycle usually continues to escalate and never for the better. The simple fact that so… Read more »

Jack
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Jack

The facts prove that there is not widespread brutality or racism against blacks. More whites are killed by police than blacks each year and it’s not close. Wake up people, you are being used as fools.

And this article appears to support violence including looting, rioting and attacking police. Disgusting. You are part of the problem Cville.

not really?
Guest
not really?

What part of this article appears to support violence?
Your opinion must be based on something right?>
Help me out here with some “facts Jack.

Totally really?
Guest
Totally really?

I like how this article give links throughout to provide examples of what has happened and what is happening. Unlike the comments made here which give no actual examples to back up their opinions. CPD being characterized as having a “heavy handed approach to protests” which no link or example was provided. I would say they have had a more clueless approach in the past my example would be the chaos that ensued few years ago while their presence was weak and unorganized.