On one night, for example, individuals screwed the doors of our North Precinct station shut, barricaded other entrances and lit the station on fire with people inside. Nearby businesses, owned by people of color, were damaged and looted. On other nights, there were multiple attempts to breach the Justice Center. Other law enforcement facilities were targeted, including the union building, which was broken into and had fires set within.
During these events, our agency has responded to assaults, stabbing, shootings, people with guns and the stockpiling of explosives. Shooting off commercial-grade fireworks and mortars is not peaceful protest. We are fortunate that no one has been killed.
The voices of victims are not heard as well. Because of the protests, officers have not been able to respond to 911 calls or have been delayed for hours. Investigators’ cases lie on their desks as they work nights to process arrests. We have seen an alarming increase in shootings and homicides. We need to redirect our focus to preventing and solving these crimes that are taking a hugely disproportionate number of minority lives.
Former Vice President Joe Biden accused federal officers of “brutally attacking peaceful protesters.” Former President Barack Obama used his eulogy at the funeral of John Lewis last week to accuse the Trump administration of “sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”