One way to improve police-public interaction is for the public to have a clear idea how to act when an officer approaches [“Another day, another killing,” Editorial, July 7].
Listen carefully to what the officer says, keep your hands still and in clear view, and ask permission respectfully to make whatever movement is needed to comply with the officer’s request. These actions should be followed even more carefully if the citizen has a weapon.
If an officer abuses his or her position, the citizen should respectfully comply and not escalate the situation. Afterward, the public must have easy access to register a complaint. There must be a commitment to ensure no retribution for a complaint.
These suggestions should be clearly communicated publicly. The police deserve the public’s support and respect, and the public deserves effective and accountable law enforcement.
Our elected officials need to lead on this issue!
Brad Evans, Dix Hills
What has happened to our nation? We are supposed to be the beacon of civilization for the world, but we have become the most violent civilized nation in the world — and that is an oxymoron.
We have more incarceration than any other Western nation, and our anger and destruction grow more visible and outrageous every day. I don’t want to watch TV and don’t want to read the news.
Holly Gordon, Bay Shore
As a retired Nassau County police officer of 27 years — now a yoga teacher and kindergarten aide — I write to say that I hope that as the NCPD rolls out new use-of-force guidelines, its administrators and union president take a page from yoga [“Nassau cops’ new guidelines,” News, July 5].
Another police officer yogini, Colleen Quinn, said in a recent Wall Street Journal story that she noticed a difference in her interactions with people after she started practicing yoga. She was able to handle people more calmly and get compliance in a way that hadn’t worked before.
Nassau County Police Benevolent Association president James Carver says his department’s new guidelines “put too much emphasis on de-escalation” and that “the idea of training officers to think and take a step back could jeopardize their safety.” He says there’s no time to take a breath in police work.
Yet, even U.S. Marines are taught that to retreat is to attack from another direction.
In my experience, no good cop, soldier, yogini or teacher stands his or her ground without flexibility. Each takes a stance for stability and inquiry and to allow for a quick change of direction.
Adele Burke, Hicksville
Once again, a sniper’s bullets have rained down on the streets of Dallas, and again the world may be changed [“Prayer & protest,” News, July 11].
These despicable killings could encourage even more senseless violence. Or maybe, this could be the catalyst that convinces the great majority of our population that enough is enough.
Sensible people know that our insanely polarized world is unsustainable. Most of us watch the news, sometimes in horror, but most often in a silent, passive acceptance. Instead, let us preach and practice that tolerance, acceptance and the embrace of differences — political, racial, ethnic, cultural and societal — are the only ways for us to reverse the hatred and partisanship that are destroying our way of life.
Lennard Axinn, Northport
In response to the horrendous slaughter of schoolchildren in Newtown’s Sandy Hook School, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association stated, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” [“NRA: More guns,” News, Dec. 22, 2012].
Well, in Dallas, an entire complement of very good guys with guns couldn’t stop a bad guy before five good guys were killed and seven were wounded. In Orlando, Florida, an armed off-duty police officer couldn’t stop a gunman with an assault weapon who killed 49 people at a nightclub.
Assault weapons belong in our military. They have no legitimate use in our society.
Bob Detor, Port Washington