Bowling Green law enforcement, community leaders come together to provide statement of unity

Published: May. 30, 2020 at 1:04 PM CDT
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Bowling Green law enforcement officials and community leaders gathered Saturday morning to provide statements of unity amongst the actions that are happening in Kentucky and nationwide.

"We felt it was very important to have a unified response with our local law enforcement in reference to the recent events that have happened in Minnesota," said Brett Hightower, Warren County Sheriff "We know that there is a heightened interest across our nation about the actions of police officers there in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the arrest that resulted in the heinous and unnecessary death of a man in their custody. This unified response is a statement that comes from all of our law enforcement who are partners here in Bowling Green/Warren County."

"We would like to stand alongside countless other law enforcement leaders that have shown their solidarity against what happened in Minnesota," said Lt. Col. Michael Delaney, BGPD. "We believe this officer betrayed his oath of office sworn to serve and protect the people of his city and to uphold the constitution of the American nation. He instead needlessly and without due process of law deprived George Floyd of his equal protection."

"In light of the recent tragedies that have struck communities around the country the men and women of the WKU Police Department want you to know that we are committed to providing service to our WKU campus and the community beyond with integrity, responsibility, and commitment.," said Chief Mitch Walker, WKU PD. "The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd put a necessary reminder in our hearts that peace, equality, and justice for all must be a conscious effort made by each of us. United we stand and divided we fall, let us not allow civil arrest and threats of violence to pull us apart. Communities must heal so they can grow let us grieve together, let us heal together, and let us be better together."

"It has been a trying time for our community here locally as well as nationwide as we witness with our own eyes the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor," said Ryan Dearbone, Warren County, Bowling Green NAACP President. "This type of disgusting actions should not happen to anyone at any time for any reason. That is why I stand here today as the President of the Bowling Green-Warren County NAACP along with local law enforcement and community leaders to show solidarity in condemning in the strongest possible way the reprehensible actions that have taken place over the past few weeks.

We believe that this is not indicative of the way that the majority of law enforcement officers carry themselves during their jobs. There are so many good officers who give back to the community in numerous ways and they take their sworn oath to protect and serve seriously.

The NAACP is working on a national, state, and local level with civic and community leaders in addition to law enforcement to not only seek justice for raciest incidents that have already occurred but also to prevent further situations from ever happening. Our local NAACP will work with local law enforcement and government officials to be proactive and try to ensure safety, fairness, and justice for all citizens within our wonderful community.

We ask that if people plan to take part in demonstrations that it be done peacefully. We also ask those that may venture upon these demonstrations to please be respectful of those who are exercising their freedom of speech. As we share our thoughts and prayers with the other cities right now this is not the time for our community to splinter apart but rather to come together. It takes more than a few people to stamp out this type of violence, we all must work together starting right now to make a real and lasting change."

"As a man of God, it becomes my moral responsibility to put on my prothetic hat this morning," said John C. Lee Jr., Mt. Zion Baptist Church."I am reminded of the words of the prophet Micheal chapter 6 verse 8 when he says that 'We must love mercy, do justice, but walk humbly with our God' and yet we are reminded with the words of the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 29 verse 7 when he encourages us to seek the shalom of the peace of the city. Sometimes the tension between the two becomes so tense because how do we maintain peace when there is no justice.

So today we stand, I stand with law enforcement, I stand with other members of this community proud to say that I am proud to be a member of Bowling Green, and I am proud of our local police department and the work they do daily because I want to remind us that there are more good officers than those that are like the Minneapolis situation.

But when there is no justice there can be no peace and I am proud that these law enforcement officials have stood today to speak out against the moral injustice. So I want to remind us that as we fight for justice let us also work towards shalom, peace, the wellbeing of the common good of the moral populous."

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