DuBOIS — At the most recent DuBois City Council work session, Manager John “Herm” Suplizio discussed a letter he received from a DuBois resident concerning the Black Lives Matter movement.
On July 22, Suplizio received a letter from Lindsey Hewitt, who stated she was writing to him “with concern for the safety and dignity of the residents of Clearfield County in light of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless other black women and men before them through the use of unnecessary police force.”
Hewitt continued in her letter to Suplizio, “Your silence on the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor has prompted me to ask that you publicly support Campaign Zero’s ‘8 Can’t Wait’ campaign. These eight crucial steps demand specific alterations to police activity that will decrease police violence by 72 percent if initiated across the country.”
She also urged Suplizio to “stand with Black Lives Matter.”
“Black people in this country have been historically and systemically oppressed, therefore, when Black Lives Matter, all lives will matter,” Hewitt said. “To put it simply, if your neighbor’s house catches fire, will you go to the firefighters and demand that they pay attention and take care of your untouched home? No. You will work on saving the house on fire. Similarly, black lives are under fire whereas white lives are not.”
In response, Suplizio said he and the council discussed the letter and agreed this is not something that the City of DuBois takes lightly.
“We want to assure her, but we want to assure all the residents that all lives matter,” said Suplizio. “I think sometimes we get hung up on a person’s race, but we want to assure everyone it doesn’t matter whether you’re red, white, black, or blue. It does not matter to us. Our theory in the way we approach things is that all lives matter. And we approach all incidences like that.”
Suplizio stressed that the city police department “is a very good police department, as are others in our area.”
“They’re in a tough job, but I know the police departments in this area take things very seriously. And I know for a fact that they are trained on how to handle things like this. So I just want to assure, not only Ms. Hewitt, but I want to assure all the residents in our area that all lives matter,” said Suplizio.