Our Voice: Look for peace between ‘justice’ and ‘justified’

From the tip of the tongue to the tips of the fingers, it seems everyone is chatting about the police shooting in Pasco.

Who in the Mid-Columbia has not had friends or family from other parts of the country and world contact them, asking what is going on in the Tri-Cities?

The glare from the national and international spotlights makes it even harder to see what is going on during a time of confusion and uncertainty for our community.

In the past weeks, we have heard infinitely wise and incredibly ill-informed statements.

Real-time videos show the shooting from different angles, allowing all us of to become witnesses, with many ready to also be judge and jury.

Amid the discussion, disbelief and arguments, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind.

1) Even if you’ve seen the video, and perhaps especially if you’ve seen the video, it is unlikely you understand completely all of the information that is there — or the information that either wasn’t captured or hasn’t been released to the public. This is an unfolding story. More information will be coming. There will be a coroner’s inquest. There will be an investigation. There may even be a second autopsy.

2) Now is not the time to rush to judgment. It is a time to listen to one another, and to try to really hear what someone who thinks differently than you is saying. In spite of our community’s differences, this can be something that brings us together to remedy any shortcomings that may have led to this tragedy.

We also are joining with others to call for peace in our community.

We are especially impressed with the organizers of the Feb. 14 rally. Even though emotions were high, the organizers emphasized over and over again that this was to be a peaceful protest. They urged participants to “respond” and not to “react.” They invited clergy to address the group. They prayed together in English and Spanish. There were several moments of silence. Family members spoke and begged the crowd to be peaceful and reminded those gathered that this is not about race. Some of the online commenters would be wise to remember that.

Despite all the questions, a few things are clear. Answers will not come quickly or simply. The community is in this for the duration. We are grateful that, unlike some situations elsewhere in the country, things have not turned violent. We earnestly hope that continues.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”