Overaggressive policing

puts protesters at risk

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Our elected and appointed leaders must do something about de-escalating law enforcement activity against protesters in Richmond.

My child and likely yours are out every night doing what we’ve taught them in a democracy: raising their voices loudly in nonviolent and lawful protest. In return, they have been tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, shot at, detained and arrested — often simply for filming police activity.

Right now they meet nightly to brainstorm on protective devices and pepper-spray field first aid. But it only is a matter of time before they decide that since law enforcement isn’t following the rules, why should anyone? I dread waking up one morning to learn that one of our children has been killed in a needless escalation.

Our leadership must do better. We taught our children that a democracy is a safe place to raise your voice. We schooled them on the power of peaceful assembly. We told them that law enforcement would keep them safe. None of this is true right now in Richmond.

Phaedra Hise.

Richmond.

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