Seventy percent of you who responded to our most recent online poll say you have not bought alcohol in Barbourville. So apparently, many people voted to go wet either don’t actually drink, or haven’t bought it here yet. I think this shows we are an accepting community. We are willing to let others have something important to them, even if it is not something we would do ourselves.
Our acceptance and tolerance also showed during another event this week, the protest in town over the death of Jessie L. Mills.
Just like in numerous big cities, the death of a young man at the hands of law enforcement officers has grabbed the headlines here. Fortunately, in this incident, race was not an issue.
But, this death does literally bring to our door the difficult and dangerous job law enforcement professionals face here and across our nation as they try to “protect and serve.” They get put in tough spots. Their decisions literally mean life or death. Appropriately, they must also face the intense review and full investigation of their actions whenever deadly force is used.
On the other hand, I can only image the sense of grief and loss the family feels. I believe in this time of suffering they deserve our sympathy, support, and prayers.
Unfortunately, in situations like this, protest have recently gotten out of control in several major cities this past week. So, I was proud to see the way our little community handled the protest over the shooting here.
Our police were constantly monitoring the demonstrators, but also actively supporting their right to demonstrate peacefully through town. In fact, the police gave protesters an escort. The flashing lights of the officer’s cars both drew attention to their cause, and helped protect them from other traffic. And while I did not see the entire event, during the part I did see the protesters were passionate, but peaceful. The protesters hopefully understand that a thorough, unbiased investigation from the professional officers of the uninvolved Kentucky State Police is underway.
It’s sad that situations like this happen. But I think the police and the protestors each deserve credit. Both behaved Monday in a way that hopefully will promote healing and eliminate any future violence.
I think other cities could learn much from how folks here conducted themselves, the processes and procedures that were followed, and the acceptance of different perspectives our community demonstrates.
What do you think?