VOICES: Nick Paro, Town of Salina 1st Ward Councilor Supports BLM

I have incredible respect for those protesters who have remained peaceful as well as for the law enforcement officers who have protected the protesters’ right to peacefully express their outrage. And thank you to law enforcement for the work you did in protecting your community against those who attempted to hijack the protesters’ voice with violence, rioting, and looting.

I have sat and watched the injustice George Floyd encountered and I encourage you all to reflect when you read and say his name. Sitting and watching turned to thinking and contemplating, and now I am prepared to express. As a young community leader and elected official, I must confront the injustices faced by many of my peers in the Black community at the hands of individual law enforcement officials across America.

Bearing this in mind, progress towards solutions is necessary. Peaceful protests, furiously posting on social media, and words of sympathy and empathy by many are no longer good enough.

For me, a conversation about solutions start at these four points:

1) Qualified Immunity

2) Law Enforcement’s Use of Military Equipment

3) Federal Police Brutality Laws establishing a standard of conduct for law enforcement across the nation

4) Education of our police officers.

Black lives do matter, and it’s time we make meaningful progress to protect them. These conversations across the law enforcement community, Black community, and our community at large are necessary. Let’s get to work.

Nick Paro
1st Ward
Liverpool NY