Letters to the Editor
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter:
Dear Mayor Ashcraft and City Officials:
I am very concerned about recent treatment and attitudes toward our Alameda police personnel. I have lived in Alameda since 1965 and have seen very good work by our police department. Any discriminatory practices have quickly been weeded out and we have an excellent police force. I am concerned that you are “tar and feathering” the entire department egged on by police actions in other cities and one recent questionable incident.
How are you planning to encourage recruitment of qualified persons when it is just not happening even now? It feels like you are doing nothing to improve the situation of Alameda’s failure to recruit and the upcoming retirements of some current officers with the further diminishing of our force.
Many people in our city are worried about this and have been for a few months.
What are the solutions you are proposing?
I would like to express my concern over the police incident May 23 on Central Avenue when a Black man was confronted, detained and arrested for exercising in front of his house.
I have watched the available video and listened to the dispatch reports. The pictures of the officers forcibly pushing the man into the police car are distressing and inconceivable.
Do you have any other word than racism to describe the actions and attitude of your police officers responding to the call? Do you think for a second that a White man exercising in front of his house would be detained, wrestled to the ground, arrested and forcibly placed into a squad car?
Now is not the time to write some lighthearted piece about nothing. Now is the time to look at our society which is falling apart a White piece and a Black piece at a time.
“Social unrest” is just a polite term for minority oppression and its aftermath. We must force ourselves to look at how we treat those who are suffering the effects of poverty, slum housing and job discrimination. The “haves” are not paying attention to the needs of the “have nots.”
No police officer would cut off the air supply of a White person for almost 9 minutes. That is not justifiable. It’s enough to make some people take action.
Luckily we live in a community that respects all of its members. But we must weigh in with our condemnation of racist behavior on the part of the “hater.” I just weighed in.