LETTERS: Metro gets it right with accident policy

To the editor:

The Metropolitan Police Department’s new policy on not responding to noninjury accidents is long overdue. These small fender-benders that tie up Metro and traffic needed to come to an end.

Last week, we sat and sat on Interstate 15 for what looked like a nothing incident. If there were injuries, from what I saw, they weren’t life-threatening. However, the police response with lights keeps normal functioning people from driving their cars and paying attention to the road, hence the accident just a quarter mile ahead — which was yet another fender-bender. If people would just pay attention to the roads and not the pretty flashing lights, we wouldn’t have to have this debate.

I was rear-ended recently at the Las Vegas Beltway and Sky Pointe Drive. If the police had shown up with lights flashing on the side of the road, it would have tied up the beltway forever. I jumped out and so did the other driver. She apologized, stating she thought the light had changed, and we surveyed the damages, finding nothing but scratches. She offered to contact the police, which I felt would just waste their time. I declined, and we went on our way.

This was the practical thing to do, just accept that someone made a mistake and move on. I don’t often agree with Metro, but the department is doing the right thing this time.



Accident policy

To the editor:

A few things bother me about the Metropolitan Police Department’s revised policy of not providing a police presence at noninjury accidents. Why was this policy made available to the public on such short notice? Also, I have seen more than one patrol car present at many minor accidents. Why is that, if resources are short?

And finally, this policy will cause automobile insurance rates — which are already quite high — to substantially increase. I wonder if this new policy would have been put in place if the More Cops tax increase would have been approved. That’s something to think about.



Red Rock shooting

To the editor:

Regarding the article about Tracy Meadows, the mother of Red Rock shooting death victim D’Andre Berghardt Jr., her picture was below the headline, “What did he do?” (Feb. 22 Review-Journal). That’s a simple question that I and likely the majority of the populace want answered.

After 31 years in law enforcement, I learned not to play judge and jury regarding any incident that I read about in the newspapers or viewed on TV, unless I was an eyewitness or had 100 percent of the facts. I’m doing my very best to maintain this attitude, but I’m having some difficulties with certain aspects of this incident.

According to the article, Mr. Berghardt was kicked, tazed, pepper-sprayed and struck with batons. His brother, Adrian Meadows, said Mr. Berghardt attempted to enter other vehicles before ending up in the patrol car. It’s Mr. Meadows’ contention that Mr. Berghardt was scared and attempting to escape the pain he was suffering. Getting inside a vehicle would certainly provide a few seconds to regain some semblance of composure.

Once he entered the patrol car, I can understand officers’ concerns. He was within inches of an AR-15 rifle and possibly the keys to the vehicle. The article further stated the rifle was “secured in a locked gun rack.” I’m curious to know if the ignition had to be on in order to activate the release mechanism. If so, did Mr. Berghardt have access to the keys? If not, what would he need to do to release the weapon, and did he have that knowledge?

Ms. Meadows said she didn’t understand why three officers couldn’t take her son into custody without killing him. I’m sure she and the rest of her family are also trying to justify why a second ranger found it necessary to join in, and why so many shots were fired.

The only advice I can give is to wait until Metro and the assisting agencies complete their investigation. Remember, we weren’t there. I send my deepest condolences to Ms. Meadows and the rest of the grieving family.