I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the distorted representation of my testimony last month before the PSC by Sunny Schubert. I stand behind my demands, for our city, and for our country. I ask each of you, if you had relatives or friends visiting your home, and a neighbor was concerned and called the police, would you tolerate an illegal search and seizure of your home? With guns drawn on your family and friends? If you are not outraged, perhaps you are not paying attention to the facts of this case. Police policies and procedures matter. As I stated at the PSC, no one should be able to enter a residence “without just cause.” The paranoid complaint of a neighbor did not in any way convey that someone was being assaulted or was in eminent danger. The neighbor suspected foul play, but the officers, upon arrival, found no evidence of foul play. Thus, in my view, no entry into this home should be justified. Perhaps the police could have investigated by talking to other neighbors prior to entering this home with guns drawn and pointed? Sunny engages in bait-and-switch journalism all the time. She seeks to distract and confuse, divide and conquer. But I am not confused or distracted. I have zero tolerance for sexual assault or harassment. Shame on Sunny for suggesting that police harassment and intimidation is necessary if we are to combat sexual violence. The citizens of our great city and country deserve so much better. Her offense is particularly egregious this time, since 19th century racists would famously accuse black men falsely of assaulting white women, and many a lynching would then result. Any student of history knows that police departments arose from the slave patrols set up to capture runaway slaves. Once slaves were “free,” policing shifted into intimidation tactics. Incarceration has become the new slavery. We need to confront these facts honestly, make amends and enact meaningful changes to eliminate militaristic tactics in our community. As I stated at the PSC, I do not believe that our police officers or their leadership are racists, but, I will judge them based on their actions, not proclamations. And the proposed reforms do not go far enough. If the actions taken are consistent with policy, the policy must change. And then there is the “anonymous informant” that Sunny bases her screed on. Really? I understand why people who are assaulted live in fear and are often afraid to speak out. But anonymity is not used by the right-wing media to protect the victim. Like Klansmen who hide behind hoods, the right wing isn’t willing to state clearly what they want, since it is shameful. Sunny uses anonymous sources as an excuse to distort. A good reporter seeks corroboration. I know, as a white man, that I am privileged. And I renounce this privilege. When I do speak, I will demand justice for all, not simply privilege for some while disparaging others. I will testify against the abuse of power, to advocate for a community and a country where no one has to live in fear, from actual criminals, or from a corrupt and criminal government. I raise my voice knowing that the current POTUS, and right-wing militants, want to silence such speech. But free speech is like democracy itself, if people do not stand up and demand it, it goes away. And silence is complicity.

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