Community Content: Rep. Jerry Knowles Should Apologize

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Representative Knowles,

I am writing in response to your comments on Penn State’s President, Eric Barron. President Barron recently took a photo on the University Park Campus with his students who he supported in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner decisions in which you asked for his apology or his resignation as President. As a leading figure in Pennsylvania I expect a Representative of your stature “we the people” elect to possess the voice of all; to encompass as many points of view as possible in order to serve the vast amount of diversity the Commonwealth possesses.

President Barron, scholars, professors, and citizens across the nation recognize the “dilemma” the nation is in regarding to the Justice system. The students of Penn State wanted to continue to draw attention by means of peaceful demonstrations, to something people of color have been facing for decades; unfair treatment in the Justice system regardless of the circumstances that surround the incidents mentioned in this letter. The students continue to do so even in the face the extremely negative and hurtful messages I have seen on social media that even President Barron pointed out.

I understand your concern for fellow officers and I share the same sentiment, as all of my uncles have served the City of Philadelphia for more than 20 years. Even so, to ask for an apology or resignation of an esteemed President of one of the leading research Universities who “support[s] and highly value[s] law enforcement and our judicial process”, but recognizes what is happening in the country which stunts our growth intellectually, who stands with his students to utilize their constitutional rights is flat out disrespectful to him, scholars, and the people you serve regardless of color, ethnicity, and point of view.

At this time I ask you, State Representative Knowles, to issue an apology to the students of the Pennsylvania State University, its President, and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which you serve, or your resignation.


Evan Riddick
Pennsylvania State University 2014

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