OPINION: No one is suggesting defunding Stonington police

October 05, 2023 4:45 pm
• Last Updated: October 05, 2023 7:33 pm

I find it incredibly hypocritical of Stonington Republicans to manufacture a suggestion that Democratic Board of Finance candidate Farrah Garland wants to somehow defund or attack the town police department.

I had a long leisurely chat Wednesday with Garland, a 34-year-old doctoral candidate who is making her first run for public office.

Garland, who is disabled and an unapologetic progressive Democrat, made it very clear to me that, while she posted some strident messages about police brutality in 2020, after the public killing of George Floyd by police officers, she certainly has no animosity toward Stonington police.

She also doesn’t regret calling out the kind of systemic police racism and brutality that the Floyd killing became such a prominent example of.

She assured me she has law enforcement officers in her family and has no anti-police agenda, in particular in regards to the Stonington department’s budget.

How can Stonington Republicans, attacking Garland for expressing very reasonable worries about a nationwide policing system that has failed so many Black Americans, ignore the fact that the national leadership of their own party is attacking our entire criminal justice system, the bedrock of our democracy?

It’s Republicans who want to defund the FBI because it investigated Donald Trump and who reject the legitimacy of so many juries of citizens who have indicted the former president and found him to have committed sexual assault.

It’s the Republicans who are rejecting the rule of law as it is applied equally to all citizens, even a rich former president.

And it is Republicans who are shamelessly calling out our fine military as too coddled and woke and who are trying to cut aid to Ukraine, as it tries to beat back a ruthless, war criminal/dictator, holding the line for the rest of us on democracy, at unimaginable costs.

I am especially chagrined by the attack on candidate Garland by police officer and Republican State Rep. Greg Howard, who dug out and presented to the newspaper her anguished posts in the Black Lives Matter summer of protests, after the horrific Floyd public police execution of Floyd.

If the posts he uncovered bothered him so much, maybe he should have started with a call to the candidate herself — for a conversation — and not the newspaper.

In general, I believe politics to be a rough sport, and I do believe that the public record, including social media posts, should be fair game.

Still, I find it totally inappropriate for a town police officer to launch what I’d call a nasty attack on a candidate for office in the town that employs him. It’s an excellent example of why government employees, especially police officers, ought not to have political roles in government.

Howard’s political attack also reflects poorly on all the fine, professional men and women of the Stonington police department, who wouldn’t dream of attacking citizens for their constitutionally protected views, no matter how divergent from their own.

I know the representative is popular in town and well respected for his work with kids.

Unfortunately, I only see the extremist political side, sometimes nasty, like the time not long ago when the town’s police-badged state representative mocked transgender students on local radio, saying liberals also want kitty litter in classrooms, to accommodate those who identify as cats.

I’ll be voting for Garland on Nov. 7, for a lot of reasons, including what struck me as a sincere love of community and desire to serve and help. She’s already a volunteer member of the State Independent Living Council, hoping to improve life for the state’s disabled.

I am also convinced she would strive to be as reasonable, balanced and fair as she looks at the town’s police budget as she would in looking at all other town expenditures.

And I don’t see her launching any nasty attacks on anyone, least of all the police.

This is the opinion of David Collins.


Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

This post was originally published on this site