Facts can certainly obscure the truth

We don’t have to look further than our own backyard to find racially-biased policing.

George Terhaar quotes Maya Angelou in the very beginning of his letter (“Facts and statistics about police shootings,” published Oct. 20) as saying, “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” He then goes on to reference a whole bunch of facts, which I don’t refute in any way. It kinda seems to me like he is doing exactly what she is referring to by quoting a lot of facts to obscure the truth himself.

Then come the opinions, both his and Malcolm X’s, claiming that the mainstream media, liberals and protesters claim the violence of a few rioters doesn’t represent most of the peaceful groups. Yet, they argue the actions of one bad officer represents the entire law enforcement community. Opinion, no facts to back up this claim. He then goes on to quote Malcolm X, who once stated he strongly believed in total separation of the black and white people of this country and was killed by his own people. Again, one man’s opinion.

One of the reasons that people use terms like “Defund the Police”, in my opinion, is the seeming inability of most police forces to purge their ranks of the few officers responsible for most of the violence. If there was any evidence of this, in any way, we wouldn’t need independently-mandated commissions to address these ongoing problems.

The officer who was convicted of killing George Floyd, for example, had 18 complaints in his 19-year career, including several involving excessive force, yet he was still a senior officer able to commit the heinous act that he did, obviously fearing no repercussions whatsoever.

We need look no further than our own backyard where the Pierce County Sheriff lied to dispatchers about his situation with a black man delivering papers in his neighborhood, eliciting a response that could easily have been fatal for that man.

I’ve had relatives in law enforcement most of my life and I have the greatest respect for the job they do, but when all of the good cops make little or no effort to rid their ranks of the bad ones, someone has to do something. One of those things is shining a bright light on the bad ones. We can only surmise at how many terrible things happen where there is no one with a cell phone to record them, every law enforcement officer should be above reproach.

Larry Benson