Retired officer Grant Boyer on the police and the community

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Retired officer Grant Boyer on the police and the community

Grant Boyer leans in on his audience of young journalists. Boyer is now a professor of the administration of justice at LBCC.

Grant Boyer leans in on his audience of young journalists. Boyer is now a professor of the administration of justice at LBCC.

Tommy Lee

Grant Boyer leans in on his audience of young journalists. Boyer is now a professor of the administration of justice at LBCC.

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee

Grant Boyer leans in on his audience of young journalists. Boyer is now a professor of the administration of justice at LBCC.

By Tommy Lee

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Retired police officer Grant Boyer spoke to aspiring journalists on the critical role journalists play in the relationship between the police and the community. Boyer, now a professor at Long Beach City College, also addressed the negative public image police officers have across the country in light of recent police shootings.

“The role of journalists in the relationship between citizens and police is paramount,”Boyer announced to the room. “Let’s face it folks, your perspective is your reality.”

In a time of fast-paced media and virtual communication, the sidewalk conversations the police force used to have with its citizens have ceased to exist. Instead, conversation is made in the comments section of online articles, videos, and photo essays.

No longer are the relationships “between the street officer and the one on the street,” but rather, they are determined by and filtered through the text of journalists from the most popular news sites.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for journalists and their work,” Boyer remarked.

Boyer further commented on the growing backlash against the police force as the number of police shootings have grown in cases like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile just this year.

He affirmed, “No remarks made or actions taken by a citizen justifies an officer’s abuse of power […] Anyone who has the ability to take away your rights and your freedoms has to be held accountable. The bottom line is accountability.”

Continuing, he wanted to make it clear that American citizens should never feel in danger when confronted by a police officer because of the color of their skin, their religious affiliations, or their sexuality.

Although recognizing the fact that such prejudice exists in people, even police officers, Boyer said, “The majority of the force are incredibly respectful, fair, and just people. You need to know that these are good people who have trained countless hours to protect you.”

When asked about the “Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter” movements, Boyer simply replied, “I believe all races, ethnicities, colors matter, but I don’t have the answers to bringing those two [movements] together.”

 

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