“I was stopping for coffee at First Night. I was … very happy to visit with them to talk about … how we all perceive one another. Their message is not ‘anti-‘ anybody. It is simply a call for awareness. I hear from my own officers concerns about race problems, so (I) know there is work yet to be done. The photo was a great, spontaneous moment in time. Please join the dialogue for community healing,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay. – Michael Hasch, staff writer, Trib Total Media.
In his email to the bureau’s officers, Chief McLay wrote: “The sign indicated my willingness to challenge racial problems in the workplace. I am so committed. If there are problems in the PBP related to racial injustice, I will take action to fix them.
“To me, the term ‘white silence’ simply means that we must be willing to speak up to address issues of racial injustice, poverty, etc. In my heart, I believe we all must come together as community to address real world problems; and I am willing to be a voice to bring the community together.
“I saw no indictment of police or anyone else in this sign, but I do apologize to any of you who felt I was not supporting you; that was not my intent.”
He noted that “the reality of U.S. policing is that our enforcement efforts have a disparate impact on communities of color. This is a statistical fact. You know, as well as I, the social factors driving this reality. The gross disparity in wealth and opportunity is evident in our city. Frustration and disorder are certain to follow.
“The predominant patterns of our city’s increased violence involves black victims as well as actors. If we are to address this violence, we must work together with our communities of color.”
He said the bureau needs to acknowledge that reality and “we will be engaging in training to refine our policing efforts in the near future. In the mean time, simply approach your job mindfully, with a continued motivation to protect and serve.
“Please beware also, race impacts how we view one another, and unconscious bias applies to how we deal with the public. It can also impact how we judge one another; I intend we will confront both through training.
“I support your efforts to keep our communities safe, and will back your best efforts to do so. I trust and have faith in you. I also support efforts to improve and restore the communities’ perceptions of justice. The next time you see me engaging in discussions supporting social justice, please remember, we are all guardians of the Constitution. This is the mission we all took an oath to uphold.” – Reporting by Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This image is attached to the post A Sign of Things to Come?