I recently received a very unsettling fundraising letter from the Berkeley Police Association (BPA). The second paragraph, with my italics, reads: “Today as I ask for your continued support of our community mission, we are mindful of the unprecedented wave of violence against our fellow officers in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and especially the execution murder of a Texas Sheriff’s deputy…”
I am very upset that the strategy used in this letter is to note only the tragic deaths of law enforcement officers while carefully omitting any mention of the pervasive, daily acts of police brutality, racial profiling and killings of African American men and women by police officers across the U.S.
This is a very lopsided, unfair and self-serving representation of violent events as written in this BPA letter to elicit financial donations. There is the intentional omission of the racist treatment of black and brown people in Berkeley. There is no mention of the violent and unjust treatment by the Berkeley police of the peaceful protestors on Dec. 6, 2014 in Berkeley.
As a white woman, I fear for the safety and lives of black and brown men and women who live, work and attend schools in Berkeley. My former students of color have lived with this fear every day for years.
The now publicized, commonplace violent acts perpetrated by some in law enforcement, and captured by police videos and/or bystander cameras, makes a mockery of the once respected mission of the police “to serve and protect.”
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