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Posted: August 8, 2020

The truth, not your perception, matters

Letter to the Editor

Re: Letter to the Editor – Beware the widening of the self-interest divide in e-KNOW by Sue Cairns on August 1, 2020.

Cairns writes, “We’re watching the national guard descend on Portland, Oregon in a show of intimidation that violates rights and is counter to the constitution.  It’s white nationalism and self-interest at its worst. And it will deepen the injustice. The president is reacting to protests against police brutality with armed soldier brutality. The situation will escalate and further divide.”

Ms. Cairns provides no evidence for these statements and says that the U.S. administration is using “soldier brutality.” Actually the Department of Homeland Security is using federal agents, not soldiers (which implies the military).  According to the National Review on July 23, The officers are operating under clear legal authority.  40 U.S. Code § 1315 says that the DHS secretary “shall protect the buildings, grounds, and property that are owned, occupied, or secured by the Federal Government (including any agency, instrumentality, or wholly owned or mixed-ownership corporation thereof) and the persons on the property.”

There would be no need for the DHS and US Marshals in Portland if the protests were peaceful.

On July 26, Mike Balsamo of the Associated Press wrote on his Twitter page, “I spent a weekend inside the Portland federal courthouse w/ US Marshals.  Mortars were being fired off repeatedly, fireworks and flares shot into the lobby, frozen bottles, concrete, cans and bouncy balls regularly whizzed over the fence at high speeds. and confirmed that agents were attacked with “fireworks, flares, frozen bottles, concrete and cans.”

The DHS agents are a reaction to and not the cause of the violent rioting in Portland. This violence has been going for over two months and when rioters targeted federal property the federal administration was and is justified in using 40 U.S. Code § 1315 to protect that property.

Cairns also mentions police brutality. I suggest she read The War on Cops by Heather MacDonald.  Also, according to the Washington Post data base, between nine and 15 unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites were killed by police in 2019. What was the behaviour of these suspects that required the police to use deadly force?  What did Cairns say when Tony Timpa, an unarmed, white man was killed by police in August 2016?  What does she say when more blacks are shot and/or murdered by other blacks on any given weekend in Chicago than unarmed blacks are killed by police in a year?

And now Black Lives Matter wants to defund/abolish the police.  What an overreaction to a terrible police officer in Derek Chauvin.  Do we demonize all police because of the actions of a few over the years?  Some honest research  will show there is no systemic racism in law enforcement in the U.S.  From the June 2 Wall Street Journal.

Here are the key passages from the article; from the National Academy of Sciences in August 2019: “There is no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by the police,” and “A 2015 Justice Department analysis found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G Fryer Jr.” (who is black), “found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings.”

Ms. Cairns, in such a volatile time in the United States, good policy cannot be made by Congress without the truth. And the truth, not your perception, matters.

Grant Giles,

Green Valley, Arizona, USA

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