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Joseph Salcedo

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

It would appear Gov. Mike Parson is taking a page out of Donald Trump's book, and he is running a commercial against his opponent not only denigrating her but characterizing anyone who supports her as part of a liberal mob.

I would like to remind Gov. Parson, as if he didn't know, being open to data, facts and science doesn't make you a liberal. It makes you literate, scientically liberate. It means you favor data, facts and evidence over conspiracy theories, manufactured misinformation and spin.

It would appear Gov. Parson, like Trump, is doubling down on name-calling and refusing to address many of the long-standing issues Missouri has dealt with for decades. For years, Missouri has collected data on a survey that shows if you are caught driving in Missouri and you are Black or Brown that seems to be probable cause for any member of the law enforcement to stop them and issue a ticket. When you look at the data, and use a little deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills, it is not difficult to reach the conclusion that there must be systemic racism among our law enforcement personnel in the State of Missouri.

In my opinion, Gov. Parson would be better served if he would recommend a couple of provisions in the criminal justice system here in Missouri by implementing a training program across the board in the state for law enforcement personnel to address the issue of racism.

It has been estimated a large percentage of the prisoners in our penal system suffer from mental illness. When Missouri closed up many of the mental health facilities in Missouri in the 1970s, mentally ill patients were turned out in the streets and many of them ended up incarcerated. One of the training programs Parson could put in his criminal justice reform is to follow the example of a number of progressive police departments in Missouri to have a number of police officers trained on how to de-escalate those situations in which the person is mentally ill.

I suggest Parson would be better served by sticking to legitimate campaign issues and stop the name-calling of his opponent and her supporters.

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