Balloons at Lincoln Square …
By Ron O’Clair
I was honored to have attended and participated in the “First Responders’ Lives Matter Rally” held at the World War I monument at Lincoln Square, Saturday, June 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
I stayed nearly an hour holding signs and supporting our men and women here in Worcester and the surrounding communities who go out of their way to help people – often at the risk of their own safety and well being.
I believe it is important to support our local police, fire and emergency medical services personnel.
I believe strongly that Worcester is more fortunate than many other communities throughout our country where there have been many cases of misconduct. Sure, we have a certain degree of problems with official misconduct being ignored and actually having been covered up by a corrupt system that long held sway here, in the second largest City in New England. Worcester was once a hotbed of political cronyism, outrageous nepotism and flagrant disregard for the rights of the accused to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. But I believe Worcester has been making progress …
The recent events, such as the arrest and conviction of one former Worcester police officer for rape and indecent assault, and the arrest of another Worcester police officer for mistreating a prisoner and using racial epithets can only serve to make our Worcester Police Department more aware of the consequences of using the authority vested in each officer improperly and that this can lead to consequences.
I have personally been mistreated by the police in the past myself, but I cling to the belief that as imperfect as it can be, our system is the only thing preventing us from becoming another battleground like Ferguson or Baltimore.
It is important that we support the police, the fire, and the emergency medical services people, and if we have grievances, we need to address them through the proper channels.
To this end, I believe that there should be more effective means for aggrieved citizens to have their concerns addressed fairly and impartially.
The current process leaves a lot to be desired, such as the case in which I reported a police officer for an unprovoked physical attack upon my person to the Bureau of Professional Standards of the Worcester Police, only to have the complaint dismissed as “unfounded” or “not sustained” – even though in that case another police officer witnessed the offending officer assaulting me.
The “Blue Wall” of silence needs to be reviewed.
I would have been sufficiently content with a simple apology on behalf of the officer who transgressed upon me as I understand the stress they operate under.
When and if you find yourself in the position of having your rights violated, or taken for granted, the best course of action would be to endure the mistreatment and make a complaint later.
It is not wise to antagonize, or argue with an officer, which will just lead to more, and worse mistreatment.
On the whole, I am optimistic that Worcester has come a long way to address these issues, and to ensure that the trend continues so that all citizens are treated equally under the law, providing that they are law-abiding citizens and not criminals engaged in criminal activity who resist arrest when apprehended.
In those cases, if you get hurt by failure to obey the lawful commands of an officer of the law, what results is your own damned fault, and I have no sympathy for you.