As a nation watches the disturbing video of a police officer using violence against a citizen that leads to the man’s death, I am reminded of why we are so fortunate to live where we live.

In Minnesota, a now former police officer, Derek Chauvin was arrested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Friday and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

Chauvin, who is white, is seen on video using his knee to pin down George Floyd, a black man who later died.

Floyd can be heard on video pleading “I can’t breathe.” His death has set off days of protests and looting in Minneapolis, as well as other protests across the country.

As a nation looks on, it gives a black eye to police officers, period. That is sad in itself. There is nothing right about “white police officer” kills “black man,” This is 2020, not 1960.

Not all law enforcement is like what you see on video. It’s small group that gives the whole group a bad look.

We are lucky here, to have good law enforcement throughout Jackson County, men and women who work hard to serve and protect. We also have leaders like Sheriff Chuck Phillips and police chiefs throughout who make sure their employees do the right thing.

This week, one of the best ones, called it a career. Scottsboro Police Chief Ralph Dawe retired after serving more than 30 years in the city. He served the last 14 as police chief. Dawe, a solid man with honor and integrity, just showed up to do his job each day.

Ron Latimer, who served under Dawe as his major the last 14 years, will serve as interim police chief beginning Monday until a new one is appointed later this year. It goes without saying, it should just be a matter of time before the interim tag is removed, giving Latimer the job.

You see a story on television regarding the police, it’s usually not in a good light. But not all stories are such. Recently, a Tarrant police officer arrested a woman after she was caught shoplifting food at a local store.

The officer asked the woman what she stole, and she said, “five eggs to feed my hungry children.” The officer took the woman back in the store and bought her some groceries for her family.

The woman told the police officer he had done too much for her.

He replied, “sometimes we shouldn’t apply the law but must apply the humanity.”

God bless those who serve and protect us each day.

DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to dewayne.patterson@jcsentinel.com. 

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