It is hard to find words regarding the heartbreak in Dallas and the other deaths earlier in the week.
We join the nation in grief for the death of the officers in Dallas. Our hearts go out to the families, friends and fellow officers in Dallas who lost loved ones who were guarding those who were exercising their right to peaceful protest. I know that law enforcement everywhere feels the loss acutely, and we reach out to our own Hastings Police Department with the deepest appreciation for what you do every day on our behalf, for the risks you take and the professionalism you show, and with great sadness for the pain you must feel knowing that your brethren were murdered only for the uniforms they wore. Flags fly at half-mast for these brave officers; our hearts break for our collective horror and bewilderment at these acts of mass murder that are all too common.
There is a deep and horrible irony that the Dallas officers were murdered while protecting good citizens who were exercising their First Amendment right to express, in turn, their grief and anger over the senseless deaths of more black citizens. The protestors’ cry for justice and fair treatment should in no way be diluted by the act of the madman in Dallas, and his act should not distract from the insistence by African-Americans for full equality in treatment before the law and by law enforcement. We recognize the impact those murders have on people of color everywhere in this country, including right here in our communities. Our hearts break again for the ongoing injustice and pain caused by the persistent racism that continues to stain this great nation’s soul.
It is a day, a week, a year of repeated heartbreak. We should not and cannot tolerate it. We are, collectively, a nation better than this. Martin Luther King said it best when he spoke “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”.
Sincerely and in peace,