Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins recently spoke about the arrests of 53 people during the protests/rioting that took place in Boston on Monday night. Although Rollins condemned the destruction of property and violence against police officers, she voiced support and understanding for the motivation behind the protests.
“People are disgusted and outraged, and they should be,” she said. “And it is completely ironic to have to say to you, ‘Please don’t be violent. Please keep your voice down. Please be silent and comply with all of the police’s requirements,’ when in fact it’s those very people that murder us with impunity.”
I don’t think Rollins understands what the word “impunity” means. The four officers whose actions led to the death of George Floyd were promptly fired from their jobs. One of them was charged with second-degree murder and the other three with aiding and abetting murder. Isn’t that the very opposite of impunity?
Before the Boston protest took place, Rollins made the following tweet, which some people are now accusing of helping to motivate the violence and destruction:
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association pushed back against Rollins’ comments, accusing her of inciting violence against cops and calling it “disgraceful” that she doubled down on those sentiments in her public remarks. “While you quickly and cavalierly label all police officers murderers,” they wrote, “the fact is that BPD officers responded to violent attacks against them with courage and restraint. Instead of slandering our officers as murderers, you should be highlighting their professionalism and dedication to our City.” The full letter can be read below or here:
Rollins then responded with this tweet:
I strongly disagree with the line about “white fragility.” How is it “fragile” for the police union to defend its members? Rollins doesn’t have to agree with the opinions expressed in the letter, but she shouldn’t impugn the character of the people who wrote it. Not to mention the fact that “white fragility” is a racist term – how is it acceptable to make a negative generalization about an entire race? Police officers can be any race; in their letter the police union was speaking not only for its white members but for all of them. With these comments, Rollins is not only personally attacking those who have a different opinion than she does; she is also condemning an entire race as lacking in character. Not very appropriate for a District Attorney.