Sunday’s news items [yesterday’s protest; council meeting on Tuesday; he’s back & more] – 7/12/2020

An outside perspective … from abroad | “Do Americans Understand How Badly They’re Doing?”The Atlantic

local interest obituaries | James Edwin Moore, Jr.Kim A. Horst

Council meeting, Tuesday | The 07-14-2020 Regular Meeting Packet is posted at the Borough Website.

protest police cars

Peaceful demonstration | Between 80 and 100 peaceful demonstrators and protesters met at Makle Park yesterday afternoon for recollection, reflection and prayer as they remembered acts of violence against black Americans. The demonstration continued with a walk through several of the streets of downtown; and included an eight minute and eight minute and forty-six seconds bended knee solemn testament to remember black persons as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many more who were murdered by unchecked police killers.

Unchecked, because the murderous actions may have been violations of the police officer’s department’s “use of force” or “continuum of force” policies. These policies are important for citizens of communities to know about and know. “Police should have the skills and cultural competence to protect and serve our communities without killing people – just as police do in England, Germany, Japan and other developed countries.”

Columbia’s Police Department’s use of force policy, at this time, has not been shared with its citizens. Columbia news, views & reviews has been suggesting making the police department’s “use of force” or “continuum of force” policy public for many years — just as it suggested making the restaurant inspections available to the public for years. It is difficult for citizens to understand the unwillingness to share “public health” information with the people the borough is charged with protecting and serving … it’s citizens, visitors, business owners and other shareholders in society.

“Having citizens know the “continuum of force” is not a bad thing nor does it compromise the effectiveness of the department or the officer. Knowing, though, instills a sense of awareness and understanding within the community.” “Revised police use of force policies should protect human life and rights. Policies should include guidance on reporting, investigation, discipline, and accountability and increase transparency by making the policies available online.”

Visible along the march route were police vehicles and personnel from Columbia Police Department and other jurisdictions. The police presence, ostensibly, was to protect the demonstrators. Although visible at Makle Park, a high-flying drone was stationed over the assembly. We are uncertain who was operation the drone, but it appeared the drone was at the higher level (or higher) of the Federal Aviation Administration’s permissible altitude.


He’s back! | Gary Larson fans are rejoicing because the creator of The Far Side has returned. He writes, “So fast-forward to today, and hey, look! I’m writing another letter! This time, though, I’m writing to say something I never thought I would: Welcome to The Far Side website! Guess I’ve got some ’splainin’ to do.”


No local restaurant inspections this week | A check of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s database (Click here to view inspection reports) shows no Columbia inspections this week.

death of local news

“slow moving disaster” | This Atlantic magazine book review is about the dying of America’s newspapers: the author notes most Americans are “unaware of the gravity of the emergency—and unaware of the existential threat to the country’s informational ecosystem.” “The threat Americans face, (the book’s author, Margaret Sullivan, is not just the news that lies. It is also the news that will never exist in the first place.” Read about the death of the Middletown Press & Journal here.

black ribbon

A glimmer of hope | but police have arrested a suspect and have charged him with kidnapping.East Lampeter Township Police Department CrimeWatch

 

2 comments

  1. The powers-that-be never seem to have a problem spending money, but apparently they “wish” the buck could stop with the people’s constitutional rights, specifically their right to peaceably assemble. Several online comments show resident outrage at having to pay for police presence during the peaceful protest yesterday. Perhaps they should pay closer attention to the routine wasteful spending.

  2. It’s always easier for some to spend other people’s money than it is reckoning with moral issues.

    Columbia Borough’s reticence to recognize this pretty much separates the borough from other municipalities, organizations and school districts who have made pronounced statements in support of human rights issues, including Black Lives Matter, police transparency and First Amendment protection..

    Today’s LNP – Always Lancaster’s Municipal Briefs includes this about Elizabethtown’s borough council meeting:

    “Council approved a resolution expressing solidarity with national and local protests demanding an end to police brutality and institutionalized racial injustice. The resolution commits council to regularly examine initiatives that aim to increase diversity and inclusion as well as a continued commitment by police to training that addresses racial disparities in policing.

    “After lengthy debate and the addition of additional wording declaring a commitment to protecting the rights of peaceful protesters, the resolution passed 5-1 with council member Thomas Shaud voting against. He expressed concerns about wording that mentioned specific victims of police brutality and a phrase about the documented history of racially unjust systems like health care, criminal justice and business. He thought it unfair.

    “’I don’t think it exists,’ he said.

    “After a peaceful protest June 6 in Elizabethtown demanding police accountability and an end to institutional racism, council proposed a draft resolution affirming a commitment to social and racial justice in all police and borough operations. The resolution was introduced June 18. Members were given the intervening two weeks to offer amendments or changes.”

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