Protestors should not be appeased

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

To The Editor:

I have observed from the news reports of violence resulting from the recent protests that the looting, burning, and destruction of statues and monuments have occurred in places where the law enforcement has been restrained from enforcing the law.

In Richmond and Portsmouth, where Virginia has witnessed destruction and defacement of monuments, the police allowed it to happen.

Email newsletter signup

The only conclusion you can make is that the elected officials have placed restraints on the police and have sacrificed the rule of law to their fear of a greater level of violence. It is an appeasement strategy. I certainly hope such would not be the case in Farmville if we are faced with violence.

I found the actions of the Farmville Town Council members in removing the Confederate Soldiers’ statue disturbing because of the implications it gives.

Either the town council lacks confidence that our police force would be able to arrest lawbreakers who would deface or destroy the monument or they are already planning to restrain our officers from enforcing the law, as the governing officials in Richmond and Portsmouth have done. Both of these scenarios are unacceptable.

In their public statements the council focused more on “safety” than on enforcing the law. It has been clear to me from news accounts of the violence and anarchy occurring in other cities that giving in to the rioters and minimizing the law enforcement presence is exactly the wrong approach as they just take advantage of any opportunity to do more violence.

I would like to think that if violence comes to Farmville that it will be met with very strong enforcement of the laws, not appeasement. I would like to see our elected officials have more confidence in our police department and prepare to prevent violence, not just minimize its impact.

If protests are planned that could become violent, the police should call on the sheriff’s department so there will be a strong law enforcement presence.

Cindy Koether