Message from the ATFA President
I hope everyone reading this message is safe and healthy.
My message in the last newsletter addressed the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for the members of our association to remember one another, reach out to one another, and help each other where we can. We are now faced with an additional upheaval in our society centered around the nationwide protests of the murder of George Floyd by police and inequities in the administration of justice for African Americans.
I was involved in many, many arrests during my time as an ATF Special Agent. I never witnessed anything like the police actions during the arrest of George Floyd, a brutal display of excessive force and protracted deprivation of oxygen that cannot be viewed as anything other than a murder.
Police authority doesn’t derive from “vicious dogs, ominous weapons,” or “dominating the battlespace.” It comes from the consent of the people to be policed. It is a covenant between the citizens of the United States and our government. The foundations of this covenant are fairness and justice.
When that covenant is broken, as it surely was in the George Floyd arrest and many other examples recently, it is essential that the citizens of the United States make their voices heard through peaceful protest. Our country can only move forward to solve the inequities that we can see with our own eyes when we shine a bright light on them and demand change.
I support good law enforcement and all of those who practice it. I support fairness and impartial justice. I am proud to say that I believe every ATF employee is dedicated to making our country a safer and better place for every American. I also agree that there are obvious inequities in our justice system as a whole that must be fixed. I therefore support the peaceful protesters and believe they are acting for the good of our country and in the best traditions of what makes America great.
The closing words of our Pledge of Allegiance are “…with liberty and justice for all.” We must make those words true, otherwise we will never move forward.
Christopher Trainor, ATFA President