Devan Must Resign: Waterbury BOE Commissioner Has Been Asked to Resign, Will She?

Naugatuck Police Officer Amanda Devan must resign her position as a Waterbury board of education commissioner immediately. The Waterbury community has agreed with us and signed our petition demanding she resign. If the people’s voice isn’t enough we have more reasons below. She must resign for these reasons:

  • Her academic work shows a clear and dangerous bias towards policing. Her dissertation only provides excuses and cover for police violence. This disqualifies her as an advocate for Black and Brown students who have been terrorized by police in our schools for far too long. Our own Dr. Arlene Garcia provides some context for the public to consider:

“Research that attempts to explore any correlation between compassion fatigue and use of force without considering the dynamics of race  is harmful and excuses police accountability.  There are several reasons to support this claim. 

First, this type of scholarly inquiry asserts that there is a hierarchy of suffering that places police first, whose ultimate duty is to enforce laws that are often oppressive and deadly for persons of color. 

Second, the essence of empathy involves being able to share the feelings of another. It’s vital that any research on compassion fatigue and use of force include a measurement of empathy with those individuals, communities, and populations that police serve. Specifically, this should include police levels of empathy with people of color who live in urban settings. 

Finally, police training and education occurs in a system that was developed, and continues to operate, within a culture of White supremacy. This culture has resulted (for countless decades) in the unjustified violence, incarceration, and death of people of color. The system itself does not teach nor encourage empathy, which is at the core of compassion fatigue.

  • Officer Devan’s advocacy against police accountability legislation makes us skeptical of her willingness to engage in fact-filled debate. However her use of a Nazi sympathizer to guide her public testimony on policy disqualifies her from being a public servant.
  • Officer Devan’s social media shows her true colors. It includes: far right conspiracy theories, sexually demeaning memes about Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, and racially divisive posts about the Black Lives Matter movement. We do not believe someone who opposes the BLM movement should be making decisions for a student body that is 86% Black and Brown.

The campaign to have Devan resign isn’t over. We have asked for a meeting with her so that we can explain our position to her directly.

The community can continue to add comments to share with Commissioner Devan Here: Comments

Categories: Current Issues

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