By Ernie Wren

The video recording of a black man’s death at the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, MN has impacted the United States in many ways that previously peaceful protests have not. Police office Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, even though Mr. Floyd was unresponsive and had no pulse for the last 2 minutes and 53 seconds.  Earlier, Mr. Floyd had pleaded that he could not breathe, and his final words were, “Momma! I’m through”.  There have been riots in several cities, and the video with its’ horrific images has impacted Ashland residents as well.  

Acting Police Chief Terry Toalson stated that, “We stand with other local law enforcement agencies in that we find the actions of the four police officers in Minneapolis to be awful and unjustified.  The force used was excessive to say the least.  We want the public to know that we won’t tolerate this type of conduct by our officers.  But the rioting, burning and looting taking place now is not the answer.  We too wish for justice for George Floyd and those who are grieving his unfortunate death.”.  This sentiment is sincere, and it leads to the question that many ask, “If rioting and looting is not the answer to real change, then what is?”.  


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