For most of my life I have believed that police are a force for good in our community. I have recently appreciated their assistance when I had car trouble on I-105 and with a shooting incident that occurred near my home. In each circumstance, the officers acted with courtesy and respect.
Lately, I have engaged in several peaceful protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to promote racial equality for Black, Indigenous and people of color in our society. I had not witnessed any acts of violence or destruction during my participation until the July 29 march in Thurston, when Springfield police in riot gear surged beyond their barricade and assaulted and arrested several protesters.
Some were dragged behind the barricade during their arrest. One of the leaders of the protest was seen having his head smashed into the concrete by the closed fist of an officer after he had already been effectively subdued. I also found myself helping to care for a young woman whose face was covered in blood after having been punched by a Springfield Police Department officer. This kind of violent and assaultive behavior in response to a peaceful protest is extremely upsetting to me and calls into question whether SPD is truly a force for good in our community.
Andrew Jensen, RN