The National Association of Social Workers Iowa Chapter (NASW Iowa) condemns the killing of two local police officers in apparent ambush-style shootings and will continue its work with police and community organizations to improve the relationship between law enforcement officers and the public they serve.
NASW Iowa sends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Beminio.
“Regardless of motive, the NASW Iowa Chapter strongly condemns the senseless acts of gun violence that took the lives of two central Iowa police officers,” said Jamie Orozco Nagel, president of the NASW Iowa Chapter. “This incident is yet another tragic result of the gun violence that is plaguing our country. Rampant gun violence impacts all segments of our society, even here in the generally peaceful state of Iowa. We are especially saddened that these law enforcement officials appear to have been targeted simply for doing their job.”
It appears that racial bigotry may have had some influence in the suspect’s frame of mind, even though he and both officers were white. The suspect, Scott Michael Greene, who surrendered without incident yesterday morning, has had multiple interactions with Urbandale police over the years. The Urbandale Chief of Police Ross McCarty confirmed that in the past few weeks the suspect was escorted off Urbandale Public School District property by Urbandale police officers for waving a Confederate flag in the faces of spectators of color at a high school football game.
“The NASW Iowa Diversity Committee is committed to continuing its work with allies such as Pastor Jonathan Whitfield of Corinthian Baptist Church and the University of Iowa School of Social Work (UISSW) Des Moines program to facilitate conversations and provide community members and law enforcement agencies opportunities to interact in positive and relationship building ways,” said Sandra McGee, PhD, LMSW, co-chair of the NASW Diversity Committee, member of Corinthian Baptist Church and Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work at the UISSW.