George Floyd, this Police Chaplain, your advice from all perspectives

My condolences and heartfelt solidarity with family and friends of George Floyd, with all of us who grieve.

I’ve been agonizing and trying to write something.

  • I become so angry that I have to let it go for a while.
  • I return to writing only to become even more angry and I have to jump up from the keyboard and walk away.

This has been going on for days. So, I’m punting for just a little while.

I’ve been asking people for their opinions, with those who have a special interest. Lots of discussions…

I’m asking you for your opinions…

  • I want to hear from police
  • I want to hear from victims of police brutality
  • I want to hear from those participating in assemblies and marches to let their voices be heard
  • I want to hear from “activist” groups of whatever kind

I need any reader whomsoever to share this post as I’m looking for advice about what to write. What I do write will be shared, I hope, with newspapers and with all my fellow police chaplains in their thousands. Chaplains can have enormous influence in their departments in conditions like this. Again, please share this with your email contacts, with any social media you may have, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

I’m so angry I can hardly continue to write this… I know that what I will eventually write, made all the better by the advice of others to come, will rock the police world and that of police chaplains. I won’t pull any punches about training, about political law enforcement… I’m beside myself. This is an appeal for advice…

Clearly, a disclaimer is in order:

  • I’m a police chaplain, but I speak for myself, not for the department, not for the town, but everyone will know that I’m writing from the perspective of a police chaplain. The idea is… if I were along for the call on George Floyd, what could I do? I know exactly what I would do, but I want to hear some advice before I publish. It’s only right. I will attempt to be balanced, but…
  • I belong to the International Conference of Police Chaplains, but I speak for myself, not for my fellow chaplains, but everyone will know that I’m writing from the perspective of this hallowed long-standing institution. I will try to be balanced, but…
  • I’m a Catholic priest appointed by Pope Francis to be a Missionary of Mercy, but I speak for myself, not for Pope Francis, not for my fellow Missionaries of Mercy, but everyone will know that I’m writing from the perspective of being a Catholic priest in good standing appointed by Pope Francis to be a Missionary of Mercy. I will try to be balanced, but…
  • I’m a pastor of a parish, but I speak for myself, not for my parish, but everyone will know that I am a pastor of a parish, including my parishioners and my diocese and my National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Nuncio – if anyone wants to complain to him – and the Holy See, the “Vatican”, which already follows this blog. I will try to be balanced, but…

… but I need advice. Help me out. Share this post. Give your advice in the comments.

Moderation is turned on and will stay on for quite a few days. I don’t want people sniping at each other. I don’t want people just repeating each other. I don’t want people becoming targets of each other. I don’t want to throw gas on the fire. Try not to use bad language. I know myself that that’s difficult given the circumstances. But please bother to give me advice. I might have a significant voice in all this at least on the law enforcement side of things.

You have to know, I have much to say about a thousand aspects of all this. But I’m so angry. I’ll stop. You start. Share and comment…

I’ll give people more fodder about me: the first thing I did in my own small town in getting appointed a pastor here was to put on a widely attended Officer Down Memorial Dinner. Sheriffs of seven counties attended, two police departments, FBI, SBI, DEA, Tribal Police, Forestry Police… We read the names of all the line of duty deaths. We had Amazing Grace on bagpipes. We had Taps.

I’m so angry…

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