All over the country there is a movement to defund the police. This certainly came out of nowhere for the majority of Americans but evidently it appears it was a planned strategy behind the scenes for BLM.

Yesterday in Jacksonville, Northside Coalition president Ben Frazier and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee hosted a Drive In Protest to demand defunding the police, put an end to JSO Police Crimes and abolish LEOBOR – Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.

The event was across from the Sheriff’s Office downtown and was a quiet protest with speakers. Good for them. The protest did not end in violence and the people expressed their concerns just like we did during the tea party movement. That is what the 1st Amendment protects and we are happy they were safe and had the opportunity to be heard.

There are, however, some people who are not happy with BLM’s mission to defund the police. Watch this video from New York City where a black woman screamed her support for the police and against BLM. She was arrested, released immediately and went back out to destroy the mural again. That’s the law in NY.

It appears from the “narratives of our lives,” major conversations need to be had between all parties, all voices and all skin colors. Protests are good and should end in public conversations showing respect and concern for everyone involved. Agreements need to be made and freedoms for all people protected.

Defunding the police is a radical idea. It should be discussed in respectful ways and decisions should not be made emotionally. We need level heads leading this discussion and people willing to listen to everyone – not just a select few.

There is too much at risk including the safety of all lives in our city. Crime doesn’t know color – except red – the color of the blood shed on the streets at the hands of bad people.

It’s time to seek peace in our streets and in the hearts of our people.

Peace is what everyone wants, isn’t it?

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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