As the President of the Plainfield’s Benevolent Association, Local #19, and on behalf of our members we are speaking out against the actions that took place in Minneapolis which resulted in the death of George Floyd. We strongly condemn those actions, and there is no place in Law Enforcement for these types of unlawful criminal acts, and inhumane treatment of any person. As members of this Law Enforcement Union we are outraged and sick over what we saw take place in Minneapolis.
We work tirelessly to protect and serve the Citizens of Plainfield regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. We are committed to hold ourselves to the highest standard to protect all our citizens equally. I ask everyone during this difficult time to remember that as a community we are stronger when we work together and treat each other with mutual respect. The Plainfield Police Department mirrors the racial makeup of our city, we are proud of our diversity in every aspect. The abuse of power aimed at minorities can come from officers of any race, and will never be tolerated here in Plainfield. The officers who abuse their power are fewer than 1%. We don’t want the hateful actions of a few members of law enforcement to affect the trust this community has with any of us.
This week Mayor Adrian O Mapp sent out his Welcome to Plainfield E-Newsletter. In the letter he referenced the fear of “white police officers.” Choosing the words “White Officers” in his letter is unfair to those brothers and sisters who also protect the Citizens of Plainfield. Abuse of power can come from an officer of any race, not just a “white officer”.
Given the diversity of our police department, we were disappointed in his choice of words. People of color have unfairly been the main target of this abuse, but we can’t put any of our members in danger by profiling white officers. Two wrongs do not make a right.
As a community we never want to again experience what occurred during the 1960’s riots where we lost members. We will continue to work with this great city to keep us all safe and encourage all officers and civilians to speak out on any injustice you witness. The time has come for everyone to rise up and speak out. No one is above the law; we are all accountable.
Unity in our community is the only way to move forward. God bless us all.
Carlos Gonzalez, Plainfield President, PBA Local #19