There are few times in my life I have felt such joy as when the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder. One was when Obama was elected. Two were when we at last had Dave and Ruthann.
There are so many cases of demeaning, cruel, unfair treatment of Black citizens by police that are not murders, that I happen to know about. Think of the thousands of those I do not know about. No wonder there is such joy among Black people over this verdict.
National law can bring about some change. I hope they can summon the courage and honor to do it. We here locally are the ones called on the most. We have watch-dog groups in both Bloomington and Normal. They need more effective powers. Our police, through their union, have too much power. “Defund” is a good idea if it means a stronger use of psychological and psychiatric professionals. I cannot think just now of a more difficult, dangerous kind of work than policing. There really are many very fine police members. When we started our committee, we found no written policy in one city; because of us they did actually at that time write one. This they did not have to do. The other city already had a written policy; they accepted 35 suggestions for change we made (using information from the ACLU). They, too, did not have to do this. So there is hope.
And I hope national lawmakers, instead of resisting good change, will come together to reform what they can, being as fair as possible to both police and minority victims. I hope our local governments and police will do the same.
People are also reading…
The rest of us can at least write letters.
Barbara Stuart, Normal
Barbara Findley Stuart, 92, is a longtime resident of Normal, founder of the McLean County Community Compact and a former county board officer.