Police accountability is needed

Something terrible happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 17, 2018. A man, sleeping on his couch in his own home, was awakened and shot — by the police — through his closed front door. A no-contest plea was entered and accepted but, fourteen months later, there has been no real public acknowledgement of responsibility, no real public conversation regarding future actions and behaviors.

It is hard to understand how this could happen. There was nothing going on in the house for the police to have done what they did. There was no reason for what happened to have happened because nothing was out of the ordinary on that early Saturday morning. Nothing other than a family asleep in their home and a front door that was ajar.

The family whose life was forever changed that morning could have been any of us. Indeed, what this case has done is made us all into potential victims in our homes. Behavior as mundane as falling asleep on the couch or having your front door not fully locked is, apparently, grounds for being shot. The question now is how do we move forward. How, without any real or substantive acknowledgment of what occurred, do we, as a community, work to make certain that this won’t happen again? How can we ensure the safety of both the police and those they protect? How and where does this all-important conversation start?

MARA AMSTER and DEIRDRA FLAVIN

Lynchburg

Turn back the darkness

The Longest Day is held on the day with the most the light — the summer solstice — to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease.

It seems almost everyone has been affected or knows some with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 140,000 here in Virginia.

Across Virginia, sisters of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international organization for women in education, will participate in various activities to raise money for The Longest Day. Some activities include walking, creating fidget blankets, grabbing coffee with a friend and visiting memory care facilities.

Sisters have been using the digital app or online resources to spread the word about their efforts for the Alzheimer’s Association. Our goal for this year is to raise $5,000. For more information or to join the fight visit alz.org/thelongestday.

EMILY CASTILLO

Appomattox

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