To the editor:

Across the country, the police are proving to be an utter embarrassment. Viral videos show officers engaging in wanton violence against peaceful protesters and press, dispensing rubber bullets and tear gas like candy. And they have been caught using violent and authoritarian rhetoric.

Law enforcement’s abysmal behavior only gives more credibility to the Black Lives Matter protests expressing rightful anger about the murder of George Floyd and the countless other African Americans subjected to police brutality. Overhauling our criminal justice system is plainly long overdue.

Yet, as I drive through Andover, I continue to see insignia claiming “Blue Lives Matter“ — a slogan meant to gaslight the plight of African Americans and justify police brutality.

In a town that is over 80% white, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that there are those who care more about “law and order” than the heath and safety of communities of color. But, I truly hope that even those with strong affinity for the police can take this moment to reflect upon the racism and brutality of the status quo.

I urge those who fly Blue Lives Matters flags to take them down immediately. Those who cannot join the protests should donate to civil rights organizations on the front lines of this modern day civil rights movement.

Those offended by this should think deeply about how history now remembers those who sided with law enforcement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Is that how you want to be remembered, too?

Maddi Hertz

Andover

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