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Protect and respect for all

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It takes courage to make a stand, speak out, and do the right thing.  As a longtime citizen of Norwalk, I’m taking the time to write this of my own volition because I believe this is the most significant part of your recent stories about Bob Duff and the incident that occurred at the police department.  We want and need public servants who can get things done and are willing to speak out and speak up to help make corrective, positive change.

It’s not easy to make a stand, get legislation passed, and publicly speak to others who may want to “kill the messenger.”  Senator Bob Duff did all three of those things.  He accepted an invitation to speak with the Norwalk Police Department after helping to pass legislation banning chokeholds and collectively holding officers responsible for “bad behavior” that could potentially lead to incidents like the one that happened to George Floyd.  In the case of the George Floyd killing, Officer Chauvin had been cited for numerous reported incidents that made him a threat and a danger to others, but he was protected by the union and remained on the force. Would the outcome have been the same if this legislation was in place?

Regarding the incident with the officers, it’s never been easy to confront bullying behavior, but this is what we need to do, collectively, if change is going to occur.  On a larger scale, we need a societal shift, starting from the top, down.  We have slowly become a society that increasinglyminimizes, justifies, tolerates, or dismisses bullying tactics and disrespect.  In this case, it was intimidating a public figure and making a spitting gesture.  Some of you may be thinking it’s “no big deal,” but then where do we draw the line?  We need to learn how to “respectfully disagree” and collectively rise to a higher standard of behavior for all if we are to advance as a society.

I hope we can all come together to help preserve and protect the values that help define us all.  Aretha Franklin sang it well.  R – E – S – P – E – C – T!

Nancy Follis

16 comments

John ONeill September 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm

I invite anyone reading this to a party at my house Saturday afternoon to view the Duff Affair tape. If after viewing the video you can honestly look me in the eye and tell me Duff is not lying about the experience I will give you a coupon for an optometrist of your choice. Outside viewing due to Covid.

JustaTaxpayer September 22, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Couldn’t agree more. I feel compelled to note that RBG was confirmed 96-4 back in 1993. Within the next 45 days, I wonder what our new Supreme Court Justice will have sat through.

Ron Morris September 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm

I would like to thank Bob Duff for his good wok and much needed legislation. This legislation is supported by the majority of the state senate, the governor, good cops and educated citizens all over CT.

Nora King September 22, 2020 at 9:25 pm

You don’t think that sitting down with his local police department before passing legislation would have been a good idea? The same police force that has endorsed him and supported him the past 12 or 15 years of his career in Hartford. People have been acting so irrationally. People are knocking down statues, protesting the American Flag, flying Socialist flags, complaining about so many things that are part of our history. You can’t change history. You can only be reminded to keep doing better and learn from mistakes made by so many people long before our time. We have people breaking the law to live in our country but then many of them want to change or make fun or not understand American history. If Columbus hadn’t discovered America perhaps the Russians would have and then none of us would be here. People need to take it down a notch. I think Duff overreacted to all of the protests. He should have paused and talked with the force that has kept many of us safe in Norwalk for years. The BLM movement has led to looting, violence. What was once a great cause now many of us are like…what is going on. I know these are crazy times especially with Covid but it is so upsetting to see people turning on the police department. What is really needed is union reform. It is the unions that hang on to the bad police officers. If Bob wanted to really make a difference he would be having those tough discussions that go against the Democratic party that thinks that unions are working the way they are now. Those police officers that committed those horrible acts of violence had all been protected from their unions for years. Bob needs to go to Hartford and get union reform started.

Bryan Meek September 22, 2020 at 11:17 pm

Bob Duff presides over a body politic that thinks it’s ok for Norwalk to send it $500 million a year while returning 1/10th of that. Our newest school building is 51 years old and we have the worst traffic in the country while we lag 47 other states for economic growth. How’s that working for you?

RIDICULOUS!!! September 23, 2020 at 8:21 am

Nora, I agree with you. I stand with good cops, but the bad cops are making it unbearable. The police department needs to stop with the gang mentality of protecting their bad sisters/brothers. Call them out when they are wrong. How can you have God in your heart and stand there and see someone do something immoral and not speak up?

Norwalker September 23, 2020 at 8:29 am

When does the demand for respect and tolerance fall on Bob Duff’s lap? As a LONGTIME public servant, shouldn’t he be a little more tolerant and thick skinned to criticism and protest as he demands from our police officers? The video CLEARLY shows that Duff lied, or at least exaggerated his claims. And then he put it all over social media and let the lies and mistruths grow without correcting them. Shouldn’t he be held accountable? Isn’t his silence the same as saying it himself? Isn’t this contradictory to the entire social justice movement, silence is violence, or at least acceptance? It’s time for Bob Duff to apologize and step down.

Norwalker September 23, 2020 at 8:38 am

Ron Morris, are you even familiar with the the police accountability bill or do you just know what Duff and the other Dems tell you? Do you realize that the items in the bill were taken from a national boiler plate list of demands by Black Lives Matter without any thought? Are you aware that the bill was written and passed without any debate or input from police, other law-enforcement, or legal experts? The evidencethat this bill was rushed through without any debate or thought is proven by the fact that half of the items in the bill were already in place in Connecticut and were not necessary to be in legislation? That the good cops who do their job properly are not protected by this bad legislation, that it puts police officers just doing their job in a liability position greater than any other person or profession. How is this fair and just? This bill protects the criminals more than the good citizens stopped by the police or the good cops doing their job. And it is going to pad the pockets of many litigious happy lawyers, at the taxpayer’s expense.

stuart J garrelick September 23, 2020 at 10:52 am

Hi Neighbors,
So I watched the video and found no surprises or revelations.
Let’s see if we can get away from he said/she said and see if we can agree on what we agree on, what WE say.
Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but I think:
1- We ALL want to be able to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a safe, protected environment.
2-We ALL recognize the absolute importance of having a dedicated and effective police force to achieve that protection.
3-(here it gets a little sticky but stay with me) We all recognize that just as we need a police force to protect us against the bad guys we also need protection from police who may abuse their power in the performance of their duties and jeopardize the rights they are meant to protect.
ALL THESE RIGHTS ARE AND SHOULD BE SPELLED OUT IN OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR LAWS FOR OUR MUTUAL PROTECTION.
Accountability is scary. But aren’t we all accountable for what we say, what we do, etc. I practiced dentistry for over 50 years always against a background of accountability called malpractice. Sure it would have been more comfortable without that but would anyone want to remove that accountability from their medical caregivers? And the risk was covered by insurance, which I feel certain the Police Union will obtain in some way.
In agreeing to disagree can we also recognize what we do agree on?

Nora King September 23, 2020 at 9:35 pm

Ken,

The socialist flag is red and gold and you haven’t seen the videos of the BLM protestors flying in various marches? It is really getting crazy. Like the toppling of statues and the trying to erase history. Trump is on one end of the spectrum and then you have the other end of spectrum. In my opinion they are all extremists and not good for America. The land of the Red, White and Blue – -the country that I love and my family loves. Anyone who is toppling down a Columbus statue is just as evil as Trump is in my eyes. Anyone shooting police and trying to not support our police is an issue. You want to help police and the American public then reform the unions. Duff certainly loved the police union when he needed their endorsement. At one time laws mattered in America. Now we have politicians breaking laws, or even worse grandstanding, we have people trying to take away our history, we have protestors looting and turning BLM and an important issue like racism into a questionable organization, we have people thinking they are entitled to something when they enter our country illegal, our kids are paying the price in schools, we have good old white boys wanting to take away choice for woman. Duff is now part of the problem by what transpired here but he is one of many on both the Republican and Democrat side who have lost sight of what is important. Unions that protect the bad police or teachers, having our kids back in school should be his number one priority, fair pay for all, holding people accountable for breaking the law and that does mean that if you come here illegal you are not rewarded, illegal zoning…etc. How about his focus should be on getting testing for all of CT. Kids and teachers should be tested every day before school. Why isn’t he doing something about that? Why is he wasting his time on this when there are bigger issues? Why did we have to fight for the probate court to open? Why did it take until Sept 8th to get town hall open? Why are the illegal apartments not being dealt with? Why was a building built on top of MLK? Have you looked around this city and realized that people are now resting on their Laurels instead of bringing fresh ideas and innovation to this city.

Respectable Citizen September 25, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Great write up! Honestly this incident is so exhausting. Duff’s original write up about the event talked about how he felt. He felt like he was being mistreated that day. Not to mention people yelling obscenities as they passed by his home probably added to that sentiment. And yes, we all may have a different opinion on what we saw in the video BUT we didn’t experience it. And it is important for our officers to understand that it is just as important HOW they communicate as the WHAT they communicate is.

At the end of the day, Norwalk police felt they don’t need reform. Fine – you’re doing a good job no one said you weren’t. HOWEVER – clearly there are officers in this country who have NOT done a good job and have NOT been held accountable. THEREFORE, putting policies in place to have accountability, makes sure that IF an incident were to occur here, that the policy already exists to address it. So it’s not an attack on the police as much as making sure that guidelines are already in place. For those of us who have ever worked ANYWHERE – usually there’s some rule that exists that sounds silly and you wonder why in the world it’s there. It’s because someone did something stupid at some point and now companies have to document that employees are not allowed to do the stupid thing. What do we do? We agree to not do the stupid thing that we weren’t planning on doing any way and then we move on. I would hope the NPD could do the same. I just wish someone could tell me SPECIFICALLY what about this bill jeopardizes them being able to do their job? Maybe I’m missing something which is fine – I don’t claim to know it all. But I just don’t understand. I feel like the argument just becomes – if you support this bill, you’re anti-police. Which is ridiculous.

John ONeill September 25, 2020 at 10:14 pm

@Respectable Citizen: Your analysis is both intelligent and centered. However, I hope you agree that Bob Duff’s actions here are over the top whether you believe he lied or not (I truly believe he lied) Thank you for your thoughts. If people like Duff don’t give NPD the benefit of the doubt why should we give him the benefit of the doubt? Agreed this is exhausting, but to the silent majority his actions are a disgrace. They just aren’t taking the time to comment.

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