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Too often, local police escalate the situation

To the editor:

A flush of anger came over me after reading the reply to the Review-Journal’s “Deadly Force” series by Chris Collins, executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. Pathetically trying to trash the Review-Journal, he sidesteps what this is really all about and makes himself look all the more foolish.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is one of the few public vehicles delivering unbiased facts to the public. Mr. Collins spews the rhetoric that we’ve come to expect from someone representing Metro police. No one questions the danger police face when dealing with real crime. But what the public sees are police who often seem inclined to create situations requiring deadly force when none previously existed.

After my family moved here about 12 years ago, my wife and I were struck by the fairly common sight of handcuffed motorists at the side of the road. We’ve lived in and visited many cities, but this was the first time we observed this Las Vegas phenomenon. At first we thought these were suspects in some criminal activity, only to find out later that this was a common occurrence in routine Las Vegas traffic stops.

Where else in this country does this occur?

As for Mr. Collins’ remark that “officers perform a thankless task every day and night,” let me remind him that every officer on the force chose his own profession, and the only time that a thank you is in order is when we can say, “Job well done.”

Allan L. Menkin

Las Vegas

It’s not the gun

To the editor:

I just finished reading John L. Smith’s Sunday column headlined, “Perhaps police could use some weapons besides assault rifles.”

Mr. Smith, what are you talking about? The problem is not the weapon. It’s the person behind the weapon. The only part of the column I agreed with is the need for training — which I would bet is an ongoing process with police officers here in Las Vegas and other cities for any weapon they carry.

What if the weapon involved in Mr. Smith’s examples had been the officer’s handgun? Then what? Take those away?

A firearm is a mechanical tool, and whether it is a rifle or handgun, it still must be aimed and the trigger pulled for it to discharge at the intended target. How many of the recent police shootings have been with what you call assault rifles and how many with handguns?

Once again, the facts are tainted to cause public paranoia over assault rifles instead of addressing the real issues.

Randy Goodwill

Las Vegas

Crime statistics

To the editor:

I keep reading that shootings and incarceration rates for blacks are unfair because blacks account for only 10 percent of the population in Clark County, but 30 percent of those incarcerated or shot are black. I would wager that blacks commit much more than 10 percent of crimes.

I’m sure I will be chastised by the NAACP and ACLU as a racist, but I am not. If they would get their collective heads out of the sand and request incarceration and shooting statistics by race, it would probably show a similar percentage of incarceration and shootings to crimes committed by race.

That being said, I have been reading your “Deadly Force” series on shootings by Clark County police and can’t understand the deadly force used against suspects who pose no danger to officers or bystanders. I thought a police officer was trained to use deadly force only to protect himself or the public from harm.

An investigation by the U.S. Justice Department is definitely warranted. I also think that any officer involved in a shooting who refuses to talk to investigators should be suspended without pay until he cooperates with the investigation, no matter how long it takes.

Ken Griffin

Mohave Valley, Ariz.

Consent decree

To the editor:

The statistics don’t lie. Blacks are far more likely to be shot by police in Las Vegas than other ethnic groups. Unfortunately, Las Vegas has the same racial inequality as most other major cities. Violence within and to the black community is disproportionately high.

The NAACP and ACLU want the U.S. Department of Justice to issue a consent decree. This will place the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department under “outcome based” micromanagement. The police department will simply do what officers in other cities have done under the DOJ microscope: respond by delay and non-engagement.

Washington’s confusing dictates have always been a case of scorched-earth political correctness.

Matt Davis

Henderson

Doing it right

To the editor:

So the ACLU and NAACP — two of the most subversive, anti-American organizations around — want Las Vegas police investigated for doing its job. When you have these two clown organizations up in arms against you, then you know you’re doing something right.

harry kirchoff

Henderson

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