Protesters seeking justice should not have been charged

I am deeply disturbed that Louisville police charged Justice-for-Breona-Taylor protesters at the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron with a Class D felony for interfering with a law officer.

If law enforcement and justice officials want to be part of the solution — not the problem — they need to demonstrate sound judgment. We have seen too much I’ll-show-you-whose-in-charge retribution of late.

Yes, protesters’ chants can be alarming and protesters can spill off the public sidewalk onto private property. Elected officials and public servants, however, must learn to bear criticism. After all, they are allowed to use weapons such as battering rams and live ammunition on private property against private citizens.

The public has a right to demand that law and justice officers demonstrate the same restraint they demand of protesters.

Barbara Bennett

Owensboro

Leaders should listen to concerns about Confederate statue

A message for Judge-Executive Al Mattingly and Commissioners Charlie Castlen, Mike Koger and George Wathen:

Please allow me to introduce myself: Last year, I graduated summa cum laude from Brescia University with a B.A. in political science. Currently, I am a second-year student at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, and this summer, I am investigating claims of discrimination as a legal intern with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

I am writing to voice my support for the removal of the embarrassing and offensive Confederate statue currently standing in front of the Daviess County Courthouse.

I would share my personal opposition to the antiquated statue’s presence on government property, but as a person with privileged white skin, it is not my voice that matters. It is the voice of Daviess County’s Black community that matters, and I simply wish to amplify their concerns.

The Owensboro Chapter of the NAACP — a recognized voice seeking, as its name suggests, the advancement of colored people — has called for the removal of the statue. “This is important to Owensboro because it would be a symbolic move that we are going forward,” said the Rev. Rhondalyn Randolph, president of the Owensboro NAACP Branch 32017.

I suggest that you all, as four white men, follow my lead by simply deferring to the Black community on this sensitive matter and remove the incendiary statue.

Rylan Smith

Owensboro

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