From Karen Rarey – Brentwood City Council Facebook page, June 6, 2020
REVISED 6/10/20 – To honor the request of my daughter-in-law, a small portion of my statement has been edited to keep private matters private.
MY SINCEREST MESSAGE TO OUR COMMUNITY:
As a White woman, I can tell you that I will never fully understand the pain, fear, anger and sadness that a Black person may encounter in their lifetime. Emotions as a human being, equal to all others, that NO PERSON should EVER have to go through.
What I can share with you is that along with the love I have for my son and his wife, a beautiful Black woman, and my two beautiful granddaughters, I also experience fear and worry for them. Why? Because there are people in the world who can’t look past the color of someone’s skin.
I’ve feared and worried for them when they’ve talk about moving to a new town, as not all towns are accepting of African Americans or of an interracial couple. They have been fortunate to find one that is, but that is not true for everyone.
I want the world, or at least I’d like to start with Brentwood and help to make it more inclusive, not just for my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren, but for every person, no matter the color of their skin.
On Friday, at my League of California Cities Public Safety Policy Committee, we all agreed it was vital for us, as the Public Safety Policy Committee, to make a statement relative to combating violence, condemning the murder of George Floyd and actionable measures for cities moving forward.
We spent several hours crafting a statement, which is being forwarded to the League Board for consideration at its next meeting.
Whether the League Board publicly issues this statement, or some form of it, as the person who seconded the motion on the original statement, I feel it is important to share the six main principles of our message:
- We condemn the murder of George Floyd as horrific, tragic and unacceptable, not only in Minneapolis, but in any community in this country.
- We denounce violence in all its forms; including against people and property, but recognize the urgency and significance of this moment, and call for special attention to be given to violence against black lives, and call on all cities and communities in California to create spaces dedicated to listening to and taking the action steps necessary to address the concerns raised by citizen-based movements, such as Black Lives Matter.
- Cities must lead by working toward structural reforms that build public trust for law enforcement by focusing on the action steps that will ensure black, brown, indigenous, and other communities of color are safe and equal members of society.
- Call on all cities to advance policies that promote the hiring of officers who reflect the communities they serve.
- Provide greater access, transparency, and community oversight to issues of police misconduct as a means of building trust and restoring justice to impacted communities.
- Ask all cities to adopt the pillars of 21st Century Policing and to support review of existing policies and practices to ensure the equitable protection of the freedoms and rights of all citizens.
Back between 2002-2012, Brentwood had a Diversity Committee, formed to foster racial harmony within our community. The co-chair of the committee has already reached out to our Police Chief to let him know that he has been reactivating members to help spur discussions as to what needs to change.
I spoke with our City Manager this week and told him that I too wanted to be part of that group.
I think it’s important to say that I believe the members of the Brentwood Police Department are professionals and they do a phenomenal job, something I’ve experienced firsthand during ride-a-longs, in the police station and out in public.
Does that mean that there aren’t changes that need to take place? The answer is no, there is ALWAYS room to improve the way we do things.
After the incident in Minneapolis, our PD’s Defensive Tactics Instructor Cadre viewed the incident as an opportunity to revisit relevant aspects of the department’s Use of Force policy and to review appropriate tactics for controlling a prone, handcuffed suspect.
Your voice is important to me – If you feel there is change that needs to take place here in Brentwood, I want to hear from you. I can be reached at email@example.com.
For now, I will pray for healing and acceptance in our nation, but especially for healing and acceptance in our community.
City of Brentwood