Opinion: Let’s Talk About #Accountability

Charisma L. Troiano is the legal editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Photo by Rob Abruzzese via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Charisma L. Troiano is the legal editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Photo by Rob Abruzzese via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

In the wake of the killing of two NYPD officers in their patrol car on Dec. 20, the newly-formed hashtag #Blue Lives Matter appeared, and teachers in Queens and Staten Island donned NYPD shirts supporting the police – a seeming counterpoint to #Black Lives Matter and the wearing of T-shirts printed with the words “I can’t breathe” in protest against the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other Black men at the hands of the police.

For Charisma L. Troiano, legal editor of Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “social media and the rash commercialization of expressed support has the inherent danger of fanning flames, intensifying emotions and causing supporters to sheepishly pick a side.”

She writes further:

Do black lives matter at the expense of the cops? And do blue lives matter at the expense of all others? Of course not, and anyone with a hint of human decency would agree.

[Ismaaiyl] Brinsley’s bloodied and deadly acts show that picking a side and hashtagging your support of #lives takes away from the goal of this movement for change and reform.

The goal is to have a system that holds all persons — regardless of their career or racial background — who commit a criminal act accountable for their wrongdoing, and an accountability on a system that works for the justice and fairness of all who encounter it.

But now, writes Troiano, “that goal is clouded.” Instead of discussing systematic flaws, conversation revolves around maintaining calm. She concludes with a suggestion:

I propose a new hashtag: #Accountability. Because the issue is not about which color lives matter.

#AllLivesMatter in a system that is held #Accountable.

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