EDITOR: Many want the Andy Lopez incident to be put to rest. My conscience says otherwise.
It’s curious that Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch waited until after her re-election to render her decision, and Sheriff Steve Frietas bypassed consultations, rendered his decision, then promptly left on vacation. It is done. They would put it to rest. I, for one, am bothered.
No boy should be shot dead for carrying a BB gun, wearing a hoodie and walking on Moorland Avenue. Firearms expert Erick Gelhaus shot seven times, claiming he was afraid. Maybe it was an instinctual response of a former soldier in Iraq who was trained to respond against an enemy of another race.
The community that mourns Andy feels unheard and that these decisions target them. They protest with a greater distrust now for law enforcement. We must take this distrust more seriously beginning with some major soul searching.
This is a huge police power problem that the public will not forget. Thank God for Supervisor Shirlee Zane who courageously questioned the timing and lack of consultation on Freitas’ announcement. Whether her bravery effects a small change, at least one conscience is heard. Does your conscience ask you, What if Andy had been my son?
Nothing to fear but …
EDITOR: It’s become evident that the ultra-conservatives’ favorite tool is fear. Jill Osborne (“Vilifying police,” Letters, Monday) turns legitimate questions about one officer’s actions into “children raised to distrust our police.” Those kids “could easily be drawn not only into gangs but also … radical recruiters, such as ISIS.” Wow. The apocalypse starts because people are concerned about public safety.
Push the fear needle, twist it around, and see what she says next: “And if ISIS arrives in Sonoma County …” Well, ISIS wouldn’t be where it is today if President George W. Bush hadn’t destroyed Iraq, but that’s a discussion for another day.
To suggest that we can’t hold public servants accountable or the terrorists will get us is ridiculous. Sadly, it gets traction with an element of the population that seems happy to buy into whatever the right-wing media outlets are selling. Their best-selling product is fear itself.
The out of towners
EDITOR: I am appalled that Colleen Fernald, who doesn’t even live in Santa Rosa, wants to be a member of the Santa Rosa City Council. And the same goes for Keith Rhinehart (“Two SR candidates residency in question,” Sunday).
Are we supposed to believe that people who will stretch a truth to the extent of pretending to live at a homeless shelter or rent an occasional room at a gym have the integrity to act in an honest fashion in the interests of Santa Rosa?
Is there no expectation of integrity in our officials and representatives?
If it’s not up to the registrar of voters to authenticate where people actually live, then who will?
These individuals are probably both already guilty of perjury, yet they fear nothing. As you quote Fernald, “I’m carpet-bagging in full disclosure.” In other words, “I’m cheating, but because I admit it, you must accept me and let me represent you.”