Jahana Hayes should speak up — or step aside

Silence is acquiescence, empathy is not a strategy

“Police departments in the U.S. should not be defunded,” said David X. Sullivan, a former career Federal prosecutor and now Republican candidate for Congress. “Calls for defunding our police departments are a dangerous over-reaction to the tragic death of George Floyd.”

“We should not ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ we should effect targeted reforms to specific police procedures and behaviors and assure accountability.” he continued. “Changes should be discussed by both our aggrieved community members and senior police authorities at the local and state level.”

“Connecticut is not Minnesota, and Waterbury is not Minneapolis. We have our share of unacceptable behaviors in all professions. We can always improve. But there are far too many good police officers, here in Connecticut and across the nation, to believe that they must all go now because of an incident that all agree was abhorrent and that should never have occurred.”

“Jahana Hayes should know this, yet she won’t speak up. Her silence is her decision. Her silence can only be interpreted as acquiescence to, and support for, the dangerous idea of disbanding, dismantling or defunding our police protection services across the nation.”

“I understand that people are angry and frustrated and want a fast resolution. But empathy on the part of our leaders is not a strategy. Empathy is not leadership. We need leaders who are willing to face a difficult situation, bring together the people who need to be involved, and achieve solutions that are meaningful and lasting.”

“As a career prosecutor who has dealt directly with police chiefs and rank and file police officers for decades, I believe that I can bring real-world experience to the job of making law enforcement both fairer and better. Reforming law enforcement is not a classroom exercise.”

“If Jahana Hayes does not want to lead in difficult situations like these, she should step aside. The people of the 5th District of Connecticut deserve a representative in Congress who serves their interests. They deserve protection from criminals. They deserve to be safe in their homes and within their communities. They deserve more than empty platitudes and symbolic hand holding.”

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