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Letters, Dec. 27

O’Meara needs training

In last week’s Tidings Ashland Police Chief O’Mears stated that the APD had a right to detain an African American man. O’Meara said, “They had a right to stop him and detain him”.

Based on what? Based on the fact that he was wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt? That is typical African American attire.

Would O’Meara suggest that the APD has a right to detain a Caucasian simply because he or she was wearing some kind of stereotypical attire, such as a suit and tie? (See “Clothing Triggers Racial Stereotypes,” which found that high-status attire is associated with Caucasians and low-status attire with African Americans).

O’Meara discussed how more training is needed for his officers. I would suggest that O’Meara desperately needs more training. To suggest that the APD has “a right” to detain and jail a person of color due to his/her attire is racial profiling and discrimination. I would hope that Chief O’Meara would get the training that he and his officers need — otherwise I would suggest that he resign and that the city hire a chief who will not perpetuate discrimination towards people of color or anyone else.

Tom Dimitre

Ashland

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