Police reforms needed from federal level
I am urging Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun to support law enforcement reforms that will help address the ongoing mistreatment of African Americans, such as the murder of George Floyd. On June 3, Rep. Jim Banks endorsed as “common sense” six proposals made by African American pastors in Fort Wayne. I urge the senators to initiate or support legislation that will:
• Ban no-knock warrants and chokehold and other airway restrictive holds.
• Hold police accountable. Modify the federal intent standard necessary to prove a case. Reform the qualified immunity doctrine.
• Improve transparency in policing. Collect more accurate data of police misconduct and use-of-force incidents. Require that information on police misconduct and disciplinary measures be made public.
• Ban religious and racial profiling. Provide funding for effective racial bias training.
• Require officers to follow at least six steps in trying to defuse a conflict before using force.
• Allow for the denial of police recertification credentials if the use of deadly force is determined to have been unwarranted.
• Establish citizen review boards.
I encourage the senators to think of these measures as constituting the emergency surgery needed first in the long healing process of ridding our country of its original sin of racism. That sin has metastasized into every nook and cranny of our culture. The next steps would be to remove the injustices and disparities that pervade our education, health care, housing, workforce, criminal justice, banking/financial and other systems.
Grateful for grocers' shows of consideration
Thank you to those grocers who have set aside hours for seniors and vulnerable people. Masks are not required, but strongly recommended. We noticed shoppers without masks. We assume they do not consider themselves vulnerable or care whether those who are are exposed. Please patronize the store at other times and consider being considerate and wear a mask. Thank you also to Kroger for free pickup.
Railroads critical to resupply efforts
As Indiana undertakes economic reopening and recovery, the supply chain partners who have sustained us throughout this pandemic will continue their vital work connecting our economy.
This goods movement effort is powered by a multimodal network of trains, trucks, planes and ships that works together to deliver for Americans. Freight rail is one of those backbone industries, hauling 331 million tons of goods throughout Indiana every year. Trains deliver everything we rely on.
Freight railroads are deemed critical infrastructure by the federal government, along with the suppliers and contractors that help build and service the nationwide rail network. Thousands of railroad employees, suppliers and contractors are working 24/7 to keep the supply chain running in support of our communities.
Significantly, railroads pay their own way, churning an average of $25 billion a year of their own money, not taxpayer dollars, back into the rail network to keep it running.
Please join me in recognizing the railroad men and women, along with all transportation employees, who work on the supply chain front lines to keep society and the economy moving during this critical time.
Michael B. Gaynor
Indiana state director, GoRail