Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-04-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 4-10, 2020 THE VALLEY 13 on our computer keyboard," he said. "You highlight a particular phrase like 'black man killed by white police,' you hit the copy function, and then hit shift and the phrase is duplicated. In the United States, you would have to hit shift over and over and over and over and over again until you're back to slave history to show the number of murders." Noting the day was set aside to cel- ebrate Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit was thought to descend on the disciples of Jesus, Thomas said he prays that the Holy Spirit will inhabit those charged to serve and protect. "I pray that more of the people of the population of the United States would be united in demanding that living while black would no longer be a crime," he said. As a black man, 21-year-old Scituate resident Terrell Parker said he felt compelled to support the Black Lives Matter movement and attended Saturday's protests at the Rhode Island Statehouse. "Riots grow out of the voices of the unheard," Parker said. "I can't completely denounce the actions of those rioting," he said, adding that he also does not con- done destroying property. Material things can be replaced, he said, but people are dying, and people can't be replaced. The University of Rhode Island graduate, who will begin master's degree studies in international rela- tions and global peace studies at URI in the fall said the whole situation, including the death of Floyd and sub- sequent riots, is tragic. Parker said he believes all four officers involved in Floyd's death should be charged with murder. "I think folks have the right to be angry," he said. The black community is not being heard, he said, adding that harsh criti- cism of police brutality is justified. "We can't stay silent in the face of injustice," he said. Parker said he wants to see policy changes and new training to combat systemic racism. "The greatest thing I've seen come out of this is the police officers com- ing out in solidarity for us," he said. Parker said he has not experienced racism from Scituate police officers, but remains fearful for his younger siblings, who have darker skin than he does. "There's so much tension in the world right now. I think I would be crazy to think something like that would not happen to me or my broth- ers," he said. The best way for those who aren't people of color is to become allies, he said. He said white people have more of a platform to speak out than people of color. He added that many people believe the protests and riots are an attempt to start a race war, but that is not the case. "We want equity and equality," he said. Alicia Ann Kelley, president of the Scituate Democrats, said this is an important issue for all communities, including Scituate where such a small percentage of residents are minorities. "This should be white people ampli- fying the voices of black people right now," she said. Kelley said she supports peaceful protest, noting the example of Martin Luther King Jr., saying she opposes the "weaponizing" of King's quotes. On the state level, she said, her big- gest frustration has been the lack of comment or official statement from the R.I. Democratic Party. "Their silence is significant," she said. Lisa Ranglin, president of the Rhode Island Black Business Association, said in a letter this week that the death of another black man in Floyd "sickens me as this inhumane behavior continues to plague my community." "Many of us watched in horror, disgust, and anger. People are sick and tired of witnessing the slayings of innocent black men, and it must stop," she said. "This treatment of black Americans cannot continue." She added, "We are all seeing the devastating consequences throughout American cites, from riots to looting, and the destruction of buildings and businesses. This is wrong. We cannot tolerate this behavior. We are angry about the lives of black men being cut down in our streets. It is up to all of us to use our voices and influence to bring about change." PROTESTS From Page 4 PARKER Don't Be An Accidental Drug Dealer Count It! Count your pills once every two weeks. This will prevent theft and ensure that Medications are taken property. Lock It! Lock up your medications and store them in place that others would not think to look. Drop It! Drop off unused/expired medications for proper disposal at your participating law enforcement departments. visit www.CountItLockItDropIt.org to find location near you. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram or visit our website for additional information, Blackstonevalleypreventioncoalition.com Count It! Lock It! Drop It! ®

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