I am a former EMS worker, Police Dispatcher, former spouse of a Law Enforcement Officer, and a nonprofit CEO.
I am also angry.
During the course of my career I have worked with many upstanding law enforcement officers both as a Dispatcher and an EMT. The numerous abuses of power and racial profiling accounts, these are not things that the police officers that I knew did.
I have watched the events of this week unfold and I am outraged by the actions of the police officers in Minnesota and the murder of George Floyd. Including the actions of some of the police officers during the peaceful protests across our country. The mowing down of a group of protesters in NYC was outrageous and deeply disturbing. I am equally outraged at how some of the protesters have reacted towards EMS and Fire Department crews, throwing bottles and other debris at their vehicles, blocking access to scenes and damaging apparatus, thereby risking the lives of those crews and the lives of the people they have been sent to save. EMS has always been treated as a neutral party so that they can assist the injured. It has not been the case in several cities.
My heart breaks for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others who have been affected by police brutality and systemic racism. As a white woman, I can’t possibly ever understand what any of my black brothers and sisters are going through. However, what I can do is listen with empathy, I can stand by them and support them and be a voice for them.Stephanie Owens, CEO Betties Bombers
This is our statement
- We will not tolerate racism in any form.
- We do not condone police brutality or the use of excessive force, those who commit it must be held accountable.
- We will support our black brothers and sisters and all persons of color, including those who are in law enforcement.
- We will continue to do our best, as peer supporters, to educate and provide relevant mental health resources for everyone in our community. On that note, our partners at PsychHub have put together this list of Race, Racism, & Mental Health Resources http://ow.ly/BoYK50zY18I that you should take a look at.
We can make changes starting by going out and voting. Your elections for Mayor, Town Council, Police Chief, County Sheriff, Governor, State legislature, etc.. Those small local elections are the ones that affect where you live, your community. Don’t ignore them! Get involved in your community, volunteer. Be the one to make the change!
We know we need to do more. None of us, neither any one individual nor any single organization, can do it alone. We hope you join us and take the time to listen, learn and amplify.