There are two articles on the front of your Clarksdale Press Register today that we urge you to read carefully.
One deals with requiring city employees to wear mask and asking the rest of us to do the same and the other deals with policy changes for city employees and specifically police.
And while we laud our Mayor and Board of Commissioner for thinking about these grand ideas, we do have cause for concern about the climate in which they came about.
Ward 2 Commissioner Ken Murphy is quoted as saying the city might be overstepping its bounds with new policy for the police department. Ward 1 Commissioner Bo Plunk pondered how the city would enforce and penalize citizens for not wearing masks. Ward 4 Commissioner Ed Seals wanted strong policy for reporting police brutality. And Mayor Chuck Espy said wearing masks was not a political issue but a health issue.
Again, this newspaper does not question the viewpoints of our mayor or any commissioner in this space today.
We do urge them to remember that reacting with emotion to circumstances rarely leads to good legislation or direction for a community.
Your Clarksdale Press Register urges city fathers to seek guidance from medical professionals at the local, state and federal level about COVID-19 issues. You are not doctors. You need solid data on this issue.
We also urge city leaders to look around and see what has been done out from under the glare of current circumstances by other communities relating to use of deadly force and police brutality. You are not lawyers. You need to seek level and unbiased counsel on issues that affect the lives and safety of officers who are our neighbors and friends.
Last but not least, we urge our mayor and commissioners to discuss all issues - especially controversial ones - in the public arena and take time to explore all sides, ponder the ramifications and then take the right step.
We never expect our leaders to know it all. It is evident they don’t. We do expect them use wisdom and knowledge to make the right decision for Clarksdale.