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LETTER: Who will take a knee next?

On Aug. 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem at a football game to protest police killings of unarmed black men. Almost the whole country condemned him, and the president referred to him as an S.O.B.

On May 28, 2020, the protests took a different form.

When I joined the police force March 15, 1971, I was given a citation book. “To protect and to serve” was written on that book. Those are not just words. They are an oath you take.

A police officer has the responsibility to protect citizens from harm whether committed by criminals or other police officers.

On May 25, 2020, three police officers stood by, watched and did nothing to help an unarmed and handcuffed black man being choked to death by a fellow officer.

When the three officers were sworn in, they accepted the obligation to protect everybody.

George Floyd, the subject who was being arrested, said he could not breathe while the officer had his knee on his neck. One of the other officers told the officer that held Floyd down that he had no pulse. The officer held him down for more than two minutes longer.

Those officers had an obligation to protect that man. They failed to do so, and the result of all four officers’ actions or inactions resulted in the death of the suspect.

The fact that the officers did not choke Floyd does not mean they did nothing wrong. Their presence on the scene prevented other bystanders from saving his life while he begged the officer and called for his mother.

Until this form of policing is condemned from the top down, these incidents will continue.

The top to which I’m referring is the president.

During one of his speeches, the president stated that police are too nice to prisoners. He stated that the officer should not place their hand over the prisoner’s head to protect them while placing a person in the back seat of their car.

During another speech, the president told someone to punch another person, and he would pay their fine.

The three officers who did not do their job and stop a suspect from being killed should be charged along with the officer that did the killing.

President Donald Trump feels that he can do anything we wants, and does, without fear of punishment.

Trump has his knee on the neck of this country, and when the Senate had the opportunity to stop him, only one man had the nerve to put the welfare of this country before the party he represents.

The next general election is Nov. 3, 2020. Will you take a knee for the good of this country?

Reed Hampton

Winchester