The unfortunate shooting of Suffolk Police Officer Mark Collins at least provides the citizens of Long Island a valuable lesson on how our politicians and police react when the roles are reversed [" 'Lucky and relived'," News, March 16]. In this case, an officer was shot by a civilian instead of a civilian shot by an officer.

Watch the herculean efforts to be made by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, urged on by the police officers union, to give the gunman his deserved punishment. Then compare it to Spota's disgraceful refusal to lift a finger -- condoned by the silence of the police officers union -- to give off-duty Nassau Police Officer Anthony DiLeonardo, who had been drinking, his deserved punishment for shooting cabdriver Thomas Moroughan multiple times in Huntington Station and breaking his nose with his pistol.

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On Long Island, to paraphrase George Orwell's "Animal Farm," all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

Christopher J. Maloney, Wyandanch