Monday, July 18, 2016

Robert Brannum: Letter to Chief Cathy Lanier & Members of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

From: Robert Vinson Brannum [mailto:rbrannum@robertbrannum.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:18 PM
To: cathy.lanier@dc.gov
Cc: rashad.young@dc.gov; kevin.donahue@dc.gov; kmcduffie@dccouncil.us; pmendelson@dccouncil.us
Subject: Letter to Chief Cathy Lanier & Members of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

Dear Chief Cathy Lanier & Members of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department:

I believe in justice and equality and I take a backseat to no one in supporting law enforcement officers.  Today, as an American, as an African-American, as a man, as a father, and as a human being I am grieving. 

Once again law enforcement families are experiencing immeasurable pain because a loved one is not coming home.

Once again families, a community, and this nation are enduring a senseless act of violence, specifically within the law enforcement family.  However, this kind of tragedy has been put upon ordinary families as well. 

In too many instances, in the aftermath of gun violence parents have lost children; young sons and daughters are destined to grow up without the guidance and love of their mothers and fathers; and communities will not have the noble public service of dedicated men and women.

This gun violence must stop.  This hate must end.  The idea of showing strength by carrying a weapon and shooting innocent people to settle differences must not become the new normal.

To all law enforcement officers, as a resident of the District of Columbia, as an American, as an African-American, as a man, as a father, and as a human being; please know, I and many others who share similar “positive distinctions” are not your enemy.  As I have written before, attacks and shootings of law enforcement officers are reprehensible and must be condemned.  So, too must all violence which is happening in our neighborhoods.

Law enforcement officers and citizens must and need to trust one another to keep us all safe, so we all can go home to our families.

When we, as citizens call you, it is often to ask for your assistance to respond to an immediate difficult situation between people.  When you do your job, you are supported by the law and strengthened by a badge and a gun. 

As a citizen and as a community activist for justice and equality, my defenses are in the Constitution and the belief all people need to be protected by the laws of man and God.  I do not believe they are in natural conflict. 

Chief Lanier, please let all our good law enforcement officers know, I and I believe many other citizens of the District of Columbia recognize your sacrifice, honor your duty and commitment to protect us.  May God continue to bless each of you, and your families.

Respectfully and thank you for your service,

Robert Vinson Brannum

President Emeritus, D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, Inc.
Chairman Emeritus, 5th District Citizens’ Advisory Council, Inc.
Member at large, MPD Chief’s Citizens’ Advisory Council

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