Hoping for signs of healing

I want to see more of what we witnessed Monday night in Fort Worth, and in Santa Cruz, Calif., and in Portland, Ore.

I want to see police “taking a knee” as a show of anguish over the death of George Floyd a week ago in Minneapolis, Minn. I also want to see peaceful protesters recognize that demonstration in the moment and thank the officers for the good faith they are demonstrating.

It’s not at all clear to me whether there is any healing or reconciliation in store immediately in the aftermath of Floyd’s hideous death while being arrested by cops. The officers, four of whom were fired by the department, held Floyd down; one of the officers shoved his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck, choking the life out of him. That officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter; the three other officers stood by and watched — and to my eye they are complicit in Floyd’s ghastly death.

We are starting to hear from police officers around the country stand up for the rights of those who feel persecuted by law enforcement. They are telling us that what they witnessed in Minneapolis — just as what we all saw — was wrong.

They are speaking out and and they also are standing with the peaceful protesters.

Fort Worth police found themselves buried in the embrace of those who gathered to demonstrate against violence. Portland police were getting high-fives and hugs from those in that city who gathered to protest peacefully. The same thing happened in Santa Cruz. It’s happening in communities all across the land.

Is this the end of the story? It’s just the beginning of it. May it continue, though, with reason, rational discussion and restraint.

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