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Policing: The Good and the Ugly

Police officers did not kill just George Floyd; they killed something in all of us. They killed innocence, naiveté, and trust. Complacency and complicity were no longer acceptable. The cruel realities of being Black, displayed in living color all across the world, commanded our attention. 

The disgust at police officers grew as cell phones captured the truth. Passersby, emboldened by the power of a few seconds of video, recorded atrocity after atrocity. We had to believe the unjust and illegal treatment of African Americans by police officers was real. 

The dilemma was quite apparent as shootings and killings continued. Two camps emerged. Those who hated the police actions and those who thought their actions were justified. Certainly, the safety of police officers is not to be denied. They are often subjected to extremely difficult and dangerous situations. 

In this painting, I illustrate two approaches to policing.  Although exaggerated, I hope the dichotomies are apparent. Hopefully, someday all police departments will follow the lead of our Seaside Police Department.