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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Change the narrative surrounding police

They are not the enemy

I was pleased to read that police officials invited black community leaders and activists to discuss police engagement with the community [“Community, SPD talk about preventing a Ferguson here,” page one, Aug. 27].

I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood where cops walked the beat and kids went to the policeman on the corner if there was trouble. I had a comfortable feeling about police. When my father bought a deli, policemen were daily visitors. They sat at the counter and waited for their coffee like everyone else.


 

I had a crush on one of them. He came in to use the telephone and he paid me for his milkshake with a wink. I was in love. The sixties, television and knowledge about other communities changed my familial feelings toward the police.

I want those feelings back again — through community-building with people of all hues. Perhaps the meeting with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and other police officials at Mount Zion Baptist Church this week was a start. I hope so because we don’t want Ferguson, or any more Westlake incidents in Seattle.

Esther Altshul Helfgott, Seattle

A police tactical team prepares to disperse a group of protesters in Ferguson. The protests were sparked after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Photo: Jeff Roberson)

A police tactical team prepares to disperse a group of protesters in Ferguson. The protests were sparked after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Photo: Jeff Roberson)

Even if innocent, do not resist

In response to your front-page article here is a great idea: When a police officer asks you to do something, do it.

Don’t resist in any way, no matter how innocent you think you are. You will have your chance to tell your side of the story to a magistrate or to a court. Resisting the police in any situation is a terrible idea. Such instances are invariably charged with emotion and stress on both sides leading to a bad outcome every time.

We still have no idea what really went down in Ferguson that sad day. My guess is the outcome could have been avoided if the victim had only complied with the police officer’s demands.

Bruce Kennedy, Redmond

Comments | More in police, Race | Topics: law enforcement, police, race

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