A Letter from the Maine Criminal Justice Community

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The Maine criminal justice community, which includes the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, the Maine Sheriffs Association, the Maine Prosecutors Association, and the Maine Department of Public Safety, stand united with Maine people in mourning the senseless and unjust death of George Floyd. Together, we condemn the actions of those law enforcement officers responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. We cannot ignore the video or his pleas for help. We must all learn from this and other tragic events so that they are never repeated. The pain and outrage across our country has led to violence, looting, and property damage. We, too, are outraged. There is no place for racism and police brutality in Maine or in our country. Maine law enforcement officers can and must do better.

We cannot change what happened, but we can look inward and forward. We will all thoroughly review our policies and procedures, and we will continue to attract, hire, and retain only the best police candidates to serve our communities. We commit to remaining transparent and eliminating police cultures that condone any social injustices. We will continue to enhance our training to include important topics, such as implicit bias, to ensure that we support a system that guarantees equal justice under the law to every Maine resident.

As community leaders, we are all accountable for the actions of our police officers. We must continue to build trust and follow best practices. We recognize that change starts with us. We embrace and honor this responsibility.

We work every day to protect and serve every person in our great State. We strive to ensure that our police officers and prosecutors treat every person with respect, dignity, and fairness, without regard to race, religious beliefs, or socio-economic status. We can and will do this with your support, so that Maine never witnesses such a tragic and senseless death in any of our own communities.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chief Jack Peck, President, Maine Chiefs of Police Association
Sheriff Troy Morton, President, Maine Sheriffs Association
D.A.Andrew Robinson, President, Maine Prosecutors Association
Commissioner Michael Sauschuck, Maine Department of Public Safety

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  1. This is an outstanding statement from the Justice and Law Enforcement communities. Something that has disappointed me this week are social media postings from local law enforcement families stating “Blue Lives Matter”. I make this comment to offer an opportunity for learning and understanding. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” originated as a statement to draw attention to the unique plight of Black Americans. It was never intended to indicate that the lives of African Americans was more important than the lives of any other group. However African Americans, as a demographic group, have suffered hatred, discrimination and violence throughout the centuries in this country more than any other group of people. If you truly want to understand their emotions, you can begin by not co-opting of their distinct motto.

    The context of the slogan was explained to me by a black friend as follows. A fire department is called to a street where there is a house on fire. The street contains a white house, a black house, a brown house, a yellow house, a red house, a purple house, and a blue house. Although there is only one house engulfed in raging flames, the fire department gives attention to all of the houses on the street in equal measure by hosing all of them with water. Of course, it is the black house that is engulfed in flames, but the attention drawn away from the burning house and directed towards all of the other houses results in minimizing the effort to relieve the true crisis.

    These local postings that “Blue Lives Matter”, are tone deaf and ill timed. Just because the nation is outraged at the horrible actions of some bad policeman does not mean you must take this moment to remind us there are good policeman. Focus your energies on the horrible systematic injustice happening in our country every day towards Black Americans. Don’t divert attention away from the raging inferno at the black house by trying to focus attention on the blue house.

  2. Arnold,
    Try explaining “your” narrative to a Native American.

    It is never appropriate to silence anyone by calling their voice “ill timed” as you say.
    How long do you propose they stand silently waiting for you or BLM to yield their time so that its OK to say Blue /Red/ All Lives Matter?

    It is NEVER inappropriate or ill timed to tell the truth and say the vast majority of cops are good.
    It is never ill timed to recognize human suffering.

    This is not some competition (or shouldn’t be..).

    Your narrative is narrow and shallow.
    Your narrative “creates” additional misplaced anger and fear.

    All Lives Matter All The Time.

    Keep your chins up Cops.
    We appreciate all you do for us.
    Prayers to you and yours.

    Everything is Beautiful.

  3. Here we go again with the minimization of the plight of Black Americans. The inability to recognize the injustice that they face each and every day. A black man was just murdered in front of the world and tens of thousands are still mourning, but you think its time for them to yield. You want BLM to yield? They would be thrilled to do so, as soon as they are no longer murdered, taunted, and economically left behind. You talk about anger and fear? White America has no idea about the depths of true anger and fear.

  4. Again, thank you to the law enforcement community.
    Any reasonable person knows full well that the overwhelming vast majority of our “cops” are up front responsible people protecting us from idiots.
    Thank You Sincerely

    I see Minneapolis is now flapping their gums about defunding the police department. Hmmm, Brilliant.
    What’s funny to see is how these thugs groups like Antifa are violently trying to overthrow authority. But when the mask wearing cowards get beat up by a citizen who has had enough of their hatrful garbage, they CRY for the police to protect them.
    Same with these protesters and rioters, protect us!!
    But hey,, that city and state has been under control of the Democrats for quite a while now, and they’re now to be trusted not to screw this all up even worse than they already have???
    Oh sure they will!!

    It would be amusing to watch if not for the fact that innocent law abiding folks will be victimized.
    But “they” don’t really care about them anymore.

    Get involved and stay involved!!

    Everything is Beautiful.

  5. The current unrest was not caused by a policeman being suffocated by an unarmed black man.
    Therefore, responding with “Blue Lives Matter” not only fails to see the problem, it fails to see the solution. Everything is a far cry from beautiful.
    Hats off to the Law Enforcement above who see policing in a better light.

  6. Recently in the news … Four policemen beat a handcuffed black man to death in Tacoma, Washington. Six policemen tase two black female college students in Atlanta, Georgia. Two policeman push a 75 year-old man to the ground and seriously injure him in Buffalo, NY. You can’t escape the fact that aggressive, militaristic police methods exist from coast to coast. Of course there are wonderful cops, including here in Farmington. But in many American cities, people fear the police above anyone else – a fact that a white citizen like Private Planet cannot begin to comprehend.

  7. Arnold I can’t speak for all the incidents you speak of but I did watch the video with the 75 yr old that was pushed back. Had he not advanced on the cops he would not have been pushed like he was. The cops are on high alert because the media has created chaos and they are now in a fight for their lives against these rioters. I don’t care how old you are if you come at me you will be lucky to only get pushed back like that guy did. He should have stayed out of the situation instead of inciting violence on a police officer.

  8. Arnie, News flash, not all cops are bad. They have a failure rate but it’s minuscule in percentages especially considering their job is deal with thugs and ghetto creatures joe average citizen would avoid. Be thankful that when you call for help, someone actually comes to help you out.

    As to your assumed fears, if your doing something wrong and you get busted for it, you aren’t a victim. Watch these clowns on the riot coverage. The cops are exercising amazing restraint. You can clearly see that the rioters aren’t protesters, their anarchists, arsonists and thieves. If these idiots are burning down your business or home town don’t you think lethal level force is called for? What’s the threshold for rules of engagement when your life is in danger?

  9. Aww, point well taken about the older gentleman. He wasn’t inciting, but he shouldn’t have advanced like that. Thanks.

  10. Arnold ,
    How do you know what color I am?
    You assume and imagine many many things.
    Unlike you, I don’t care what color you are.
    As for comprehension,, no comment needed.

    Turn off your TV.

    Everything is Beautiful.

  11. Private Planet, based on your many recent, repetitive comments – the sentence order and arrangement of which also suggest that you’re one of the most undervalued poets in the state – you are translucent by skin color. Take off the pink glasses, turn off the talk radio, and work for the country you want to live in instead of heckling those who are actively participating in working for the change they want.

  12. Sabine,
    Based on your comment you believe any opposing view is harassment to be shut down.

    Sorry,, not happening in this country.
    Look around.

  13. Sabine, I don’t have TV or social media, please enlighten me. What steps are being taken towards actual change? So far all I’ve been able to find is protests, looting, a list of things I’ve always done naturally without having to be told, and defund police departments.

    Protests alone aren’t enough, looting is WRONG, yelling and shaming is no more effective with adults than it is with toddlers, and defunding law enforcement is probably the worst idea I’ve heard yet.

    I’ll ask again…

    I agree that people shouldn’t be judged by race but why is it okay to judge them by occupation?

    I agree that police brutality is wrong, but if an elderly man doesn’t recognize his own frailty why should a police officer?

    How many demanding defunding of police departments also push for increasing school budgets to attract quality educators and admin?

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