Police Association Should Not Attack Public Servants

Negeene Mosaed
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 06:17:00 PM

When I view the ad with a picture of a homeless encampment in an unknown location associated with Kate Harrison, I was stunned. This ad attacks not only a sitting office holder by implying she is responsible for the homeless epidemic in Berkeley; it also demonizes the poor. The Police Association has come out full bore against Kate Harrison because she is a leader in examining racial inequities in policing and a transparent Police Review Commission. 

If the Berkeley Police Association intends to reach out to the community and bridge the gap between the police and marginalized communities, they must do better than slander and implied judgments regarding the impacts of displacement in the Bay Area. What Kate and other city council members have proposed is common-sense regulations to reduce homelessness and its impacts through permanent and transitional housing, increased mental health and sanitation services and exploring designated, controlled, and supported encampments that are supervised by the city. Short of a reasonable and executable plan to provide housing to those displaced in our streets due to the multi-factorial housing crisis, the short term solution is not to jail or remove homeless people by any means necessary. 

It is as a result of tremendous pain and many years of hard work that Berkeley is known across America as a diverse and tolerant city. We cannot allow our Police Association to attack and humiliate our public servants. I call on the Police Association to quickly and openly apologize to both our city council member Kate Harrison, and our citizens for instigating such an offensive and disturbing campaign. And I call on our community to come together and treat the issue of homelessness not as a case of us against them, but with empathy and understanding, to address the underlying causes of this vast income inequality . This is undoubtedly the only way to find a solution to this continued issue that has been in our city long before Kate Harrison was elected to council last year.