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An Open Letter in Support of Officers Alex Stone and Zack Gibson

(Please see below to sign on to the letter)

We are writing to express our support for Clatskanie police officers Alex Stone and Zack Gibson. Stepping forward to report former police chief Marvin Hoover’s racist on-the-job conduct took a great deal of courage. This is the kind of exceptional behavior we hope police will exhibit when they witness hateful actions from fellow officers.

The comments and actions attributed to Hoover are not only inappropriate but extremely offensive. It is especially troubling that the Chief of Police, an officer who is supposed to function as a leader and role model for those on his force, would display such casual contempt towards members of the community he has sworn to serve and protect.

As people living or working in Columbia County, we seek a police force that is in touch with our community and treats everyone fairly and with dignity. Men and women in law enforcement take many risks to keep us safe. However, driven by the increased visibility of incidents of police violence throughout the U.S., there is a growing lack of trust between police and community members. We are saddened that headlines coming out of Columbia County may further contribute to this nationwide problem.

When police officers refuse to tolerate unacceptable behavior by their peers, they send a clear message that trust between community members and law enforcement is a top priority. The public wants to believe that the majority of police are well intentioned, but we question how some cops can behave in deplorable ways without being called out. We need more officers like Alex Stone and Zack Gibson, who follow their conscience and speak up.

People of all backgrounds should feel safe and welcome in Columbia County. It is disturbing to hear that these officers are experiencing harassment and threats for doing exactly what accountable police should do. We hope that Clatskanie and county leaders will commit to showing that retaliation will not be tolerated, that officers Stone and Gibson will be protected, and that Columbia County is a place that rejects racism.

To add your name to this letter please email: joezilla48@aol.com   OR, fill out this online form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ylveqU4w4gOFo_8d3hMeQrm465kddQm1hMES68meNA4/viewform?usp=send_form

Sincerely,

Columbia County Coalition for Human Dignity