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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Respect the badge and those protected

Editor,

I have protested on Albuquerque streets hundreds of times on many occasions since the 1970s.

All of us are capable of stupid, ugly violence, but I aim to live non-violently toward all people—including police!

I want no street showdowns with police. I do not want to trigger trouble from police.

I do no spray graffiti. I do not spit on cops. I do no vandalize police substations. I do not block I-25 or emergency entrances. I do not support such actions by anyone.

Often in U.S. history the government has planted hell-raisers in street protests to make movements look bad and to turn off those marching who are waking up to reality.

I want protest organizers to know in advance that, if some marchers start making trouble, I may speak to them and, if they do not stop, I shall leave the march for that day.

To you who have not so far shown your face or raised your voice in any way against the police violence, I ask: If you had a mentally ill brother raging out of control would you call 911, knowing police might murder them? Who close to you would have to be beaten or murdered by police before you stop making excuses from the sidelines and take a strong public stand now?

After World War II, a Jewish rabbi in Germany said what shocked him more than the terror of the Nazis was the silence of the good people in Germany.

APD’s tortures and murders breed fear, hatred and revenge toward police. So if we want all police to be safe and respected, we must demand that all police brutality stop now!

I urge special public honor to those police who have never fired their gun or beat up anyone for 25 years, and special honor to those police who resolve very dangerous situations without beating or shooting anyone.

Which U.S. cities as large as, or larger than Albuquerque have far fewer police beatings and shootings? What non-violent methods do they use?

Does the person who called 911 to report James Boyd camping in the foothills now terribly regret that call?

Soldiers are soul-poisoned and trained to kill people abroad with no guilt and no shame, in evil U.S. wars. Why are they later hired, and equipped with military weapons, to the police here? Any wonder that some of them justify beating and killing people with no guilt and no remorse?

How many police suffer from childhood trauma—seeing their family beat each other, and now in a crisis, that lifelong rage explodes with a badge and a gun?

I urge police who have beaten and murdered people to repent publicly for their violence as the young man Dale repented publicly for milling my grandparents many years ago.

If it is wrong for an individual to stalk someone, how is it OK and legal for APD to stalk and try to intimidate victims’ families who protest police brutality?

I ask all police: Do you want us to fear you? Or do you want us to respect you? I want to be respected—not feared!

Don Schrader

Daily Lobo reader