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To End Violence, We Must Excise Generations of Institutional Racism

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When widespread protests erupt, especially when destruction of property is involved, there is inevitably a great deal of media attention on the "more interesting"--i.e., violent--aspects.

Peaceful protests rarely get attention.

But what happens when the law enforcement expected to return peace to tumultuous demonstrations inflame violence instead of helping to prevent it?

As attention shifts away from the suffering the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is causing this country and toward the violent protests exploding nationwide over the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, we can no longer deny the role police practices have in contributing to generational cycles of violence.

In New York, for example, NYPD vehicles drove into protesters, reminiscent of activist Heather Heyer's death during the Charlottesville, Va. protests of 2017 after white supremacist James Fields plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Another NYPD officer threw to the ground protester Dounya Zayer after he called her a "stupid f*$%#@! bitch" for asking why she was being ordered off the street.

In Brooklyn, an officer threw open his car door into a protester as the officer sped past.

In Louisville, Ky., police shot NBC reporter Kaitlin Rust with pepper balls.

In Minneapolis, police operated in tandem with the Minnesota National Guard to fire paint canisters at people standing on their porch.

CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested live on the air early Friday.

A horse-mounted Houston, Texas officer trampled a peaceful protester.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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