In the wake of the killings of unarmed African American men by law enforcement, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has made a powerful statement pushing back against GOP claims that suggest law enforcement is showing bias against people of color.
The recent police shootings in Atlanta, Minnesota, and other cities have sparked massive protests and civil unrest across the nation, and allegations are mounting that law enforcement is displaying bias against members of the African American community. While statements from the GOP have largely suggested that the issue of police bias needs to be reevaluated, Fitzgerald condemned these statements saying, “The GOP’s claims that law enforcement is exhibiting bias are false, inflammatory, and reek of political grandstanding.”
Fitzgerald is the Executive Officer of the second-most populous county in Pennsylvania, and he further explained that law enforcement in his county have had to grapple with serious issues involving race relations and bias. However, Fitzgerald clarified that these issues should be addressed with “thoughtful and considerate conversations” and not by making generalized claims that fail to recognize the underlying issues.
Fitzgerald went on to disagree with efforts by some in the GOP to paint law enforcement as biased, saying, “Further vilifying the police is not productive and is not going to lead to meaningful progress on this issue.” He concluded by making it clear that true progress in this area of need to begin with conversations that involve “a better understanding of the reality of what’s happening around us and how we address those issues.”
The statement from Fitzgerald serves as a powerful reminder that addressing the issue of police bias needs to be done through dialogue and understanding, and not through inflammatory rhetoric. We need to work together to find solutions to these challenges, and not merely make empty political statements.