Photo: Members of the Belmont Human Rights Commission
To the editor:
The Belmont Human Rights Commission condemns the acts of hate directed at Belmont Police officers over the past months.
The recent report by Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac to the Select Board, as reported in The Belmontonian on Sept. 14, that Belmont Police officers are facing an increasing amount of verbal abuse from some members of the public was both shocking and disturbing (http://belmontonian.com/featured/belmont-police-officers-increasingly-targeted-with-verbal-abuse-from-the-public/). MacIsaac reported that officers were experiencing derogatory slurs yelled at them on a weekly basis.
While BHRC decries the Black lives that have been taken at the hands of some police officers across the country, directing anger and vitriol at members of the Belmont Police Dept., who are not those police officers, is an act of hate that BHRC strongly condemns. MacIsaac and the Belmont Police Department have supported police reforms within their own ranks, student action on Black Lives Matter, and been consistently open to dialogue with community members on issues of race and conflict. We commend them for their initiatives and their responsiveness to our community.
We all need to let our police officers know that we support their work in our community and communicate with them directly when we have a problem or complaint. Lashing out in an abusive manner is never acceptable by anyone and only contributes to the current rancor that has led to violence and discord across our country. We all need to unite together to address this kind of unacceptable abuse and make sure that Belmont is a safe place for everyone, including the officers who make up the Belmont Police Department, who are an integral part of the Belmont community.
Belmont Human Rights Commission