It's Our Turn: A wrongful death, an unacceptable response

Since last weekend, my mind has been swirling with ideas of what to write for this column that didn’t have anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic or the tragic death of George Floyd and all the unfathomable events that ensued afterward.

But honestly, my heart hurts and my brain truly cannot comprehend this past weekend’s events – not only in Minneapolis and Fargo, but all over the world. I have shed tears over it.

What happened to Floyd should not have happened. Period. And to me it doesn’t matter what color his skin was. It just flat out should not have happened, whether white, brown, black, tan, cream, red, yellow, whatever. It was tragic. It was senseless. It was wrong.

And now because of his death, this tragic incident turned into a racial issue and people felt the need to rally together and protest.

Here’s the thing, I get protests. I understand protests. I accept and appreciate those who want their voices to be heard. I applaud people who want to stand up for what they believe in.


What I don’t get and what I don’t understand are the riots, the looting, the damage being done and all the blame that is being thrown around.

I do not accept and appreciate people who think that destroying businesses is the right way to go about this.

I do not applaud all the name calling, the anger, the utter and complete chaos that occurred over the last week.

And another thing I don’t understand is the labeling of all law enforcement as bad and horrible and how they are ALL uncaring, racist people when that is simply not true. In my community, I know some pretty amazing law enforcement officers – Alexandria police officers and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies. They are caring. They are compassionate. They are hard-working. They are not evil. They are not racists. And I can guarantee they are hurting right now over what happened.

I look at it this way, if I buy a carton of eggs and one of those eggs is bad, I don’t throw away the whole carton. I take out the bad one and leave the rest because they are good. It’s the same with pretty much any profession, really. There are good lawyers and not-so-good lawyers. There are good teachers and not-so-good teachers. There are good doctors and not-so-good doctors. It’s everywhere.

I do not understand the attacking and pointing of fingers at all cops. I just don’t.

I read a social media post from a Fargo police officer this past weekend that was posted on a friends page. I read it and wept. He wrote, “I saw more racism, violence, demeaning remarks and utter disrespect for our community by these ‘peaceful protesters’ than I have ever encountered in my life. I saw people attacking their own, I saw rocks, bricks, tables, chairs, cans and bottles thrown at law enforcement and other protesters.”

That right there is what I don’t understand. What good does this type of behavior do? How does it help? Who does it benefit?


Why couldn’t there just be peaceful protests? Or the bigger question at hand is why did there have to be protests at all, meaning why did what happened to Floyd happen? No matter what color his skin was, he didn’t deserve to die.

My brain will never be able to comprehend that event or any of the events that happened afterward. It is all tragic. It was all unnecessary.

My heart will never be the same. This world we live in will never be the same and frankly, that is the biggest tragedy of all.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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