Rioting is Not the Answer to Law Enforcement Misconduct
By Ken K. Gourdin
I wrote this almost 30 years ago, after another instance of misconduct by law enforcement spawned widespread rioting. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It is equally applicable, I think, to the widespread rioting that has broken out over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.
I wrote (ellipses and brackets added):
Those who have resorted to violence to vent their anger over this incident are losers . . . There is no doubt that crime and poverty have taken their toll on residents of the inncer city, but aside from unloading frustration until it boils over again, how are violence, vandalism, arson, and looting supposed to help?
These problems are going to drive whatever businesses haven’t already left out of the area, driving up unemployment and crime rates and driving even more people into poverty. All of these problems will feed on themselves and the rapid and vicious downward spiral will continue even [once] the violence has ended. Violence is not the answer.
The families and friends of those who have been killed in the rioting aren’t winners, either. They share no blame for the actions of the officers, yet they have caught the most serious fallout.
. . . I do know, however, that . . . racism–and counter-racism–are not the answers; and crime–looting, burning, and vandalizing innocent businesses, killing and hurting innocent people–these are not the answers.