From The Chair: George Floyd and Civil Unrest

Friends of Liberty,

This has been a trying year for our state and the world. A seemingly endless string of tragedies has pushed people to the brink. After facing the physical, mental, and financial tolls of the COVID-19 crisis, we witnessed yet another tragedy last week. George Floyd—a father, son, brother, musician, athlete, and man of faith—was killed by a Minneapolis police officer while three other officers looked on, and millions across the country have watched the horrific scene as it was recorded by a bystander.

I have been a police officer and more recently a detective for the past 13 years. I also serve as the State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, and have run for office several times promoting criminal justice reform. I have lived my life, my career, and my involvement in the liberty movement by the phrase “Do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

Mr. Floyd was murdered. The cops who witnessed his death are just as culpable for their failure to act as the officer that killed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd, his family, Minneapolis, and the nation deserve to see justice done. I have seen the frustration that minorities and marginalized communities are feeling, because I have worked in these communities. They have continually faced tragedy and indignation at the hands of the state and from those who are supposed to protect them. Their cries against injustice are right and just. These protests are a direct result of not just Mr. Floyd’s death but the countless other deaths and injuries sustained under similar circumstances. Our government and the justice system in this country are broken. We have failed those who are most vulnerable. There are bad cops who never see justice. There are also good cops, and there are libertarian cops. There are law enforcement organizations, such as L.E.A.P, that promote and lobby for reform. There are cops who stand against their fellow officers instead of allowing them to abuse their power. As a profession, law enforcement needs to continually strive to do better and work to build trust with the communities we serve.

I am a Libertarian because the Libertarian Party is the only political party that actually promotes justice, peace, and reform. The old parties fail all of us each and every time they have an opportunity to do the right thing. I am a Libertarian because our current governmental leaders pay lip service to reform, and then institute unjust laws which, whether through intent or not, target our most vulnerable communities. The Libertarian Party has consistently stood for nonviolence and criminal justice reform since its foundation. In this spirit, I will always continue to promote Liberty as Law Enforcement officer, State Chair, and in my personal endeavors.

“Give us the future, we’ve had enough of your past. Give Back our Country to live in, to grow in, to love”

Michael Collins (Irish Revolutionary)

(treating with the English for Irish Independence)

I know that when we together throw off the yoke of fear, hate, and violence, we are all capable of such great things. None of you are alone in this fight. The Libertarian Party will continue to strive for freedom for everyone in our lifetime.

In Liberty,

Matthew Bughman

State Chair

Libertarian Party of Wisconsin

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