Letters: Police patrol, make arrests, where protection is needed

Editor:

Bob Burke is (Perspective, 12/17/14) entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. Stats show that black men are no more likely to be shot by the police than white men.

And decent black parents probably do teach their children, as do decent white parents, to be cooperative with police in any situation.

To indicate that police see them as a threat for simply being in a white community is to further the agenda of the Al Sharptons of the world.

It is in the black communities, plagued with drugs and crime, where black parents cower behind locked doors, not from police but from gangs that prey on them.

There the police patrol in larger numbers, not because they are black, but because that is where their protection is needed.

That they arrest more blacks in those neighborhoods should be obvious even to the Burkes of the world.

Burke says Eric Gardner died because he was placed in an illegal choke hold and for "peddling loose cigarettes."

In fact, Gardner died because he resisted arrest. Due to his obesity, asthma and heart problems the struggle led to his death - not the "illegal" choke hold.

Experts have stated that, had the choke hold been applied, Gardner could not have been able to say "I can't breathe."

The exertion and his physical condition, which police couldn't know, killed him. It is unrealistic to ask police, when a subject resists arrest, to simply say "Oh well, he doesn't want to go" and walk away.

In the case of Tamir Rice, Burke conveniently ignores that the boy wielded a toy replica of a pistol with the identifying red stripe indicating it was a toy removed. One doesn't have to look to far in the past to find that kids do kill and the police do have the right to defend themselves.

Burke asks if Darren Wilson was doing his duty, admits there is no evidence to suggest he wasn't, then says "...we will never know" because he wasn't cross examined. What we do know is that Wilson had just responded to a Ferguson citizen in need.

He encountered Brown as he left that call. The prosecutor didn't present "evidence only he deemed relevant" as Burke suggests.

He admitted that he laid out every scrap of evidence and eye witness testimony that had been gathered and let the grand jury come to its own conclusion.

The grand jury had not been selected specifically for this case, were, in fact, near the end of their term.

It is a testament to their good citizenship that they ignored the tempest brewing outside the courtroom to come to their decision.

Burke is right. I didn't know Michael Brown - nor did he. Was he a thug? I can only rely on the video of him committing a strong-arm robbery, towering over the small store owner, threatening to beat him for trying to stop him from stealing his goods.

Meanwhile the press was printing pictures of Brown in his high school graduation cap and gown, lamenting that he would never be able to contribute to society, and quoting descriptions of him being a "gentle giant."

This is the same press that only showed pictures of Travon Martin when he was 13, and that Charles Barkley says he won't talk to about race issues because "they love that stuff" and distort it.

Do the rioters and looters prove police over react when blacks are concerned? Do police need "retraining"? Are they over armed? Does the use of body armor or armored vehicles cause the rioting and looting to escalate?  

No one wants to take away American's right to demonstrate to protest a wrong. Rudy Giuliani, as Mayor of New York City, faced many demonstrations that never got out of hand.

His orders to his police were to arrest the first person to break the law but to not otherwise interfere with legitimate protest.

The head of the New York Police union has stated that police analysts find the same people in the crowds at every demonstration, regardless of the cause being highlighted.

There is no doubt that we all don't receive the same results in our judicial system. The wealthy can afford better lawyers than the rest of us. That is a result of a free society, not racism.

Burke, like most liberals, uses slurs against those he disagrees with when the facts don't match his beliefs.

There is much that can be done to alleviate the suffering of black communities. But that is not the agenda of the Sharptons, the Reverend Whites and the Jessie Jacksons who make their living preaching victimhood.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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