Carter stands as a proud police officer, councilman, and father to his kids.
State trooper Rashaad Carter gives his perspective on the BLM movement
Between a pandemic striking the country and nationwide protests against police brutality, the United States has been going through a transformative time. People all over the country have been rallying for change in the law enforcement system. Few people are as familiar with both sides of these issues as state trooper, Rashaad Carter. Not only is Officer Carter an African American police officer, but also an Licensed Clinical Social Worker and 3rd year Groton City councilman. With his finger on the pulse of disparities experienced by African Americans, Officer Carter has experienced both sides of the current state of affairs.
“I’m proud to be a Trooper. But I’m proud to be a black man first,” Carter said. “Just as it’s not right to judge someone by their skin color, it’s also not right to judge a cop because they wear a uniform and a badge or by the actions of a few. When you do that, you’re perpetuating the same bias and prejudiced behavior you are fighting against. Though this may be something many have heard at one point in time, few people are able to recognize this tendency within themselves and make a change to their behavior.”
Carter theorizes that if everyone was able to take responsibility for their socially inappropriate actions, there might be fewer news reports of people being unjustly treated.
“What I’ve found is that most Black people who weren’t born with a silver spoon, but who got into the middle or upper class, live life with the notion that there are no excuses,” Carter said. “I know and was raised to know that things aren’t fair, but that is not going to be an excuse to not have success in life.”
On the topic of accountability, it’s important to look at the changes the local political system brings to the community. While serving the second term of his third year with the Groton City Counsel, Officer Carter attests that “if we need change within certain agencies, we need to be consistent. Attend meetings, ask questions. When everything’s on record, the political realm is held accountable.”
While it may sound counter cultural to the Black community, Carter said, “I understand holding the police accountable, but us Black people also need to hold ourselves accountable.”
Even in this unjust society, Carter believes Black people born into it still have an opportunity to rise above their circumstances. Some might find this unrelated to the topic of police brutality, but Carter believes the topic of accountability is as relevant as ever, not just for law enforcement but for all people. He believes persistence is key, and while it may feel productive to participate in activism that is trending on social media, true activism requires a lifetime of dedication and genuine love for the cause.
With a Google search, people can access information to Black Lives Matter organizations with a plethora of information on how to help. On top of that though, real life experiences between different types of people are necessary.
“There’s no training in the world that will change somebody’s heart,” Carter said. “Being involved with people will change someone’s heart.”