In the People's Interest

Bozeman’s police officers trained well, know better and thanks to public health officials for keeping us safe


All of us are keenly aware of the tragic death of George Floyd. As a retired deputy chief of police, I felt it was important that how this is viewed by other officers also be shared.
Contrary to some of the opinions heard by others, the assumption that officers back each other up no matter what is not true. Wrong is wrong.
Throughout the nation, and especially here in Bozeman, we have properly trained, caring and professional officers.
At no point in training are officers taught to lean on a neck to control a subject. At no point in training are officers taught to ignore medical concerns presented to us. At no point in training are officers taught to treat anyone, regardless of gender, age or race in the manner Derek Chauvin exhibited.
And, at no point in training are we taught to ignore or not speak up to other officers if their actions are immoral, excessive or illegal. I can only speak for myself, but 8 minutes and 46 seconds of kneeling on George Floyd’s neck is not only wrong, it’s clearly outside of law enforcement code of ethics.
Part of that code says, “I will refrain from applying unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel, degrading, or inhumane treatment of any person.” The judicial process will ultimately determine his guilt or innocence, but it’s clear former officer Chauvin failed to follow these ethical mandates.
Rich McLane

Thanks, public health officials, for keeping us safe
I’m writing in response to the Friday, May 29 Chronicle front page that showed photos of community members with signs reading “freedom not fear” and “America come out.” The article appearing with these photos shared that there were protesters and angry public comment to Gallatin County health officials from people protesting restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus.
I’m writing to express appreciation to our public health officials who acted quickly with restrictions to keep our community healthier and our health care workers safer. The issue of restrictions is broader than the choice between “freedom” and “fear.” It took me less than one minute to make a face mask out of a bandana and two rubber bands. It takes me two seconds to put it on before I go into a grocery store or other public place.
If these actions lead to elders or those who have compromised immune systems or other community members not contracting the virus, it seems a very small taking away of my rights.
Suzanne Held

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letters to the Editor 6/4/20

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