Letters to the Editor

Poor excuse for officers’ excess | Letters

Shades of Barney Fife, again. It was disheartening to read the story in the latest Journal about the Grinch who stole Christmas (at least for a bunch of caroling kids during a Hay Ride), “Lines drawn over ‘X-Mas’ Eve traffic stop”, Jan. 8, pg. 1.

This is the second time that I know of that following the “Letter of the Law” got out of hand.

The other occasion I’m referring to was when Chief Ranger Barry Lewis (National Park Service) got into a tiff over a dog off the leash, at South Beach. In that case, as I recall, the gentleman with the dogs (two of which were on leash)ended up in handcuffs and taken into custody.

In both cases statements like, “I didn’t make the laws, but it is my duty to enforce them” were used to rationalize unnecessarily rough action by the officers.

My gosh, sheriff, “to avert a tragedy.” Are you serious?

It was Christmas Eve, the wagon was brightly lighted and they were moving at a very slow speed… they were caroling. The violation was on Christmas Eve, the wagon was full of happy, singing young people.

I think it was a traffic violation that should have been ignored, or certainly handled in a more professional manner.

And, if in fact he actually put his hand on his weapon in a confrontation with an unarmed citizen, he should not be allowed to carry a firearm… at least not a loaded one.

As I recall, Ranger Lewis also used his firearm in the argument with an unarmed citizen. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s really necessary for our law enforcement officers to be armed as a general rule.

Don Antonio / San Juan Island


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