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Condolences due to Oberheims

My heart goes out to the Oberheim family in the devastating loss of their husband and father. I truly hope the Peacemaker Project 703 will be creative in increasing positive regard and respect for law enforcement across the country.

For instance, it would be wonderful if their foundation would encourage and help facilitate dialogue between police departments and communities where residents are fearful and suspicious of the police — some with good reason, as the deaths of Brianna Taylor, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice and other unarmed Black and Brown citizens who were not committing any crime has tragically revealed.

Officer Christopher Oberheim and his partner, Officer Jeffrey Creel, seem to be good role models for what policing should be, and we all grieve at the terrible loss of life in this situation.

But I hope we will not make the mistake of pitting respect and support for the police on one hand and police reform on the other as antithetical. Actually, they are two sides of the same coin.

My prayers and good wishes go with the Oberheim family as they move forward and try to bring something good and positive out of their personal tragedy.

NETA JACKSON

Champaign

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