I was saddened at the news a young Williamsport man, Kevan Connelly, was shot earlier this week in Flanigan Park. It is troubling to me that so many young people are caught up in violence,. However, the immediate reaction to this incident also has me troubled. What is needed after a tragedy such as this is understanding and a call to bring the community together, not public finger-pointing at the black community for their unwillingness to talk to the police or calls for greater security measures at the park.
These gut reactions only serve to further exacerbate an issue and increase the divide between the community and the police. Instead of placing blame, steps should be taken to understand why some community members do not feel as though they can trust the police. While increased security measures can provide an immediate feeling of safety, it is not a long-term solution. It only serves to increase the level of surveillance on some segments of the community and ignores the root cause of why this violence is occurring. While it should not be lost on us that a young man's life was cut short, the aftermath of this tragedy illustrates that the issues surrounding this incident may be deeper than simply a dispute between two men.
Kerry M. Richmond
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom