To the editor:

In his letter, John Kolackovsky (“The state of our country,” June 25) tries to make the case that unjustified killings of Blacks by police are the actions of “bad apples.” If that is the case, then police departments must be disproportionately made up of “bad apples.” Blacks are three times as likely as whites to killed by police, while less likely than whites to be armed. So, clearly, being Black puts you at more risk, period. This has nothing to do with the quality of any particular police officer, unless you conclude that it is only the “bad apples” that force the confrontation in the first place.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd, racked up 15 conduct complaints in 19 years of service. The other three officers on the scene either participated or stood by while the life was squeezed out of George Floyd. Just a coincidence there were four “bad apples” on the scene that day?

Mr. Kolackovsky also claims that all the “good officers” condemn Chauvin’s behavior, but I have not seen any universal condemnation from the rank and file, and I suspect the police union is whispering in Chauvin’s ear they have his back.

Finally, Mr. Kolackovsky tips his hand by blaming “sleazy” politicians (read Democrat) and the news media for unfairly blaming the police. Most reports of incidents of police brutality are from on the scene video recordings, not from some biased politicians or media sources. It is time to realize we have a big problem.

Bruce Slifer

Gloucester

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