Stereotypes on both sides need to be erased
I am writing in response to the article titled “New use-of-force data released by Winchester Police,” published in your newspaper on November 17, 2020. We’ve seen through social media that there’s been many negative connotations when discussing police officers, force, and the African American community. This led to many negative words being associated to both sides. Thankfully, the Winchester Police Department addressed this issue and only 1.3% of the arrests that they made required force. This is a positive thing for our area; however, there’s more that goes into understanding if force was necessary then just listing the “gender and race of suspects who had force used on them.”
It’s important that as a community we do our best to erase these deeply embedded stereotypes that we automatically assume and associate with both police officers and African Americans. It’s as if African Americans have to make themselves look like less of a threat, simply from stereotypes. No one should have to walk the streets scared they’re in danger because of their race, and that’s the sad truth. It’s also sad that officers get bashed because they are seen as dangerous, due to a different cop’s mistake. The low percentage of force used in Winchester is seen as “remarkable” and a “good reflection on the training of officers,” but how about those who live in fear each day thinking that they may be the next George Floyd? The real problems at hand haven’t been addressed, and that starts with removing the stereotypes.
Lindsey Gardiner Frederick County