Wed, July 17

Letters: There is good reason for blacks to mistrust police


As this is my last post on this matter I wanted to clear up a few facts that Jim Barber deemed I missed. Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, had previously worked for six months a small suburban police department in Ohio.

Loehmann resigned after a report deemed him unfit for duty, in part because he couldn't properly handle a firearm. He shot Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene. Yes, Rice had previously removed the orange rubber tip from the business end of the gun, but the 911 caller mentioned to the dispatcher that the gun could be a fake.

Barber said the chokehold didn't kill Eric Gardner, his size, asthma, and heart condition did him in. It occurs to me the chokehold may have aggravated the situation.

But the real fact Barber still misses is that there is a distrust of police in the Black community. The question should not be black on black crime, or how many participants march in all the protests, but instead should be how to restore confidence between communities and the police? Education, familiarity, engagement and involvement should go a long way.

We all know that the vast majority of the men and women in law enforcement do the best job they can, and deserve our thanks and respect. But the fact remains, much still needs to be done in certain communities to balance the scales of justice. Throwing out the grand jury approach is a start.

We all should be asking what needs to be done to bring police and some communities to a better understanding, not grasp at these straws to justify the status quo.

Bob Burke

Beaver Creek