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When protesters gathered in Anderson Saturday night to join their voices with those across the nation expressing their outrage against police brutality, our reporters were on the scene with them, and we stand with them in support of their message.

Police violence against African Americans, which largely goes unpunished, must stop. The most recent case was that of George Floyd, an African American man who died after a police officer knelt with a knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The event was captured on a cellphone camera and the officer has since been arrested and will stand trial.

We tip our hats to the good men and women in law enforcement, but there is a pattern of violence against African Americans that cannot be dismissed. This pattern becomes even more disturbing when even the lightest of disciplinary actions against the offending officers are taken only after a public outcry.

We are proud of our community that this protest remained peaceful and did not escalate into violence as has happened in so many other places, although police did report that a car window was broken when a motorist attempted to pass through the protesters. Police also reported obscenities screamed at police and water bottles thrown at squad cars.

Overall, the restraint shown Saturday night is a credit to both the protesters and to the Anderson Police Department.

We’ve seen cases across the country in which an aggressive police presence fuels the fire and escalates a volatile situation. Anderson police kept their distance and allowed space for a peaceful demonstration.

Change is needed, and it is fortunate that this is also an election year. Let voices heard in the streets be heard at the voting booth. Keep pressure on elected leaders to effect real change and break this pattern.

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