Chris Britt Cartoon Prompts Protest

A Chris Britt cartoon has angered a Blue Lives Matter group.

A resident of Tacoma, Washington, Chris Britt is a firebrand editorial cartoonist who regularly lampoons President Donald Trump and others he doesn’t agree with.

He’s merciless.

He was only a little more tame when I hired him in the late 1980s to draw editorial cartoons about the Indian River County scene.

Since then, the incredibly talented Britt has worked for the Seattle Times, Houston Post, Springfield (Illinois) State Journal-Register, our former Florida Fairways magazine and others. An author of children’s books, Britt’s cartoons are distributed worldwide by Creators Syndicate.

On Aug. 31 The Daily Gazette published one of Britt’s cartoons. It showed what looked like a police officer shooting a Black person in the back, saying “You have the right to remain silent.”

It was pointed commentary about a controversial, contemporary issue.

But you can imagine the uproar from some readers.

As the Treasure Coast Palm reports:

So much that Blue Lives Matter of Upstate New York — an organization that supports law enforcement — objected to the cartoon and held a 10-person rally outside the newspaper office. The newspaper’s top leaders met with Blue Lives Matter leaders.

Schenectady TV News10 reports that The Daily Gazette backs the cartoonist:

The Daily Gazette stands by its publication on Aug. 31 of an editorial cartoon closely based on the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We’re sorry that some readers were upset by the cartoon, but we feel it was a valid commentary.

Communities across the nation are having a moment of reckoning about racial injustice and numerous related issues. The recent shootings in Wisconsin — and, more importantly, the aftermath — are part of that reckoning.

It is not our goal to upset people or to disparage good police officers or those who support them, but to reflect what some in our community are feeling.

First and foremost, the Opinion Page is just what its name suggests — a page of opinions. We feel strongly about our commitment to publishing a wide array of viewpoints on all kinds of matters, locally, nationally, and internationally. This includes the editorials, the op-ed columns, the letters to the editor, and the political cartoons.

We’ve been criticized before for publishing cartoons with a point of view more favorable to police.

We understand that the views expressed or the manner in which they are expressed may be off-putting to some readers. But we do our best to allow everyone an opportunity to have their say.