What is the Common Denominator?

To the editor:

Why are three cops needed to stop a 20-year-old man for having an air freshener hang from his rear-view mirror? The cops had the car’s license plate number and could have found him at his house and given him a word to the wise for the not uncommon practice. Certainly, cops had little trouble finding the people who smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, threatened death to legislators and then-Vice President Mike Pence, destroyed and stole property, and killed a cop. The cops didn’t shoot anyone that day. A cop had an “accidental discharge” of her gun this week, according to the chief of police in Brooklyn Center, Minn. An air freshener? An accidental discharge? The man is dead!

Why did two cops in Windsor, Va., pull over a new vehicle for not having plates when the temporary plate was plainly visible in the rear window? The cops pepper sprayed the man, a military officer who was in his fatigues, put him on the ground and handcuffed him. They released him with no charges, but allegedly threatened him if he reported their behavior. That was in December 2020. His lawsuit against the cops and the town was made public this month.

Why did Barre cops not do more, or at least let the public know they were actively investigating the unexplained disappearance of a man, a year ago this month? The man is missing. The public might offer tips to his whereabouts or about what happened to him.

Why did George Floyd die after a Minneapolis cop put his knee on his neck last May and pinned him to the ground for about nine minutes, while two other cops watched and Floyd was face down with his wrists in handcuffs? Floyd was alive when he was put down and had stopped breathing when the cop stood up.

Being Black is the common denominator of the four men. Two are dead, one is missing and maybe dead, and the fourth is lucky he isn’t.

Some people say All Lives Matter. That’s true, but all lives won’t matter until all lives matter. All lives will matter when more than white lives matter.

Black Lives Matter.

Ross Connelly