‘Assertive’ can be term for ‘brutality’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2006

To the Editor:

I take sincere and honest umbrage with Publisher Mr. Jesse Lindsey’s article, “Police need to be more assertive, not more sensitive” dated Sept. 17.

He has lived in this community long enough to understand that the word “assertive” can be, and often is, used as a synonym for police brutality.

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There are more than enough articles in your newspaper to justify that understanding. Somehow, some way, our law enforcement has got to understand that in America, punishment of citizens is meted out in the sunshine of a law court by a judge accountable to the citizenry, and not by law enforcement in the dark alleys of crack houses. If anyone in law enforcement cannot understand and perform to that standard, they should find themselves another line of work. An American citizen has Constitutional liberty and is free until that liberty and freedom is taken away in a court of law.

One of the most respected and competent law enforcement organizations in the world is that of the British “Bobby.” They go out on those mean streets of London day and night with nothing but a police baton. They fully understand their power comes from personality and not from their armament. Their power derives from their knowledge of the law and knowing how to enforce the law; they know the rights of the citizens and respect those rights, and for that, the citizens respect the “Bobby.”

Even a cursory review of the history of insurgency will show that overbearing law enforcement is a major component of the fuel that creates the fires of insurgency. That type of law enforcement has never proved to be of any long term benefit to a community.

If the United States Air Force has taught anyone anything to the contrary, that person is in need of a refresher course in high school civics. Publisher Mr. Lindsey, you are going down the wrong road; a road that could lead to some very bad consequences for our community.

Malcolm E. Jordan