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Letters: Two sides of the Eric Garner case

Rep. Peter King's repeated tone-deaf comments on the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner signal only one certainty: King's aspirations to run as the Republican candidate for president in 2016 and his recognition of the primary voting bloc to which he needs to appeal ["NY grand jury finds no crime," News, Dec. 4].

It's past time for King (R-Seaford) to better serve the needs of his constituents and not his far-fetched ambition.

Clifford D. Glass, Rego Park

The issue in the Eric Garner case that seems to escape scrutiny is whether the police had the authority to simply issue him a summons for the sale of loose cigarettes, rather than place him under arrest.

Driving through a red light or speeding poses a greater threat to society than the sale of loose cigarettes, yet nobody would suggest that these drivers be handcuffed and arrested.

If the police instead chose to grab Garner around the neck and gang-tackle him to the ground, where they ignored his pleas that he was unable to breathe, they should be held accountable for their actions.

Gary Zucker, East Meadow

Resisting arrest shows disrespect

I must disagree with your editorial of Nov. 26 ["America's tragic challenge"]. We live in a wonderful country composed of laws to protect us. Police and firefighters are also there to protect us, and for that reason we are taught to respect them. They put their lives in danger for our benefit.

No matter your skin color, when the police tell you to stop, you had better listen! There was attitude and lack of respect for law and order in some of the cases Newsday's editorial mentioned. Were the so-called victims law-abiding citizens when told to stop what they were doing? I don't think so. Otherwise many tragedies would not have occurred.

Pat King, Merrick

All too often, people are killed by police after a confrontation. In most instances, if not all, altercations start with a person not obeying a request by an officer.

To hear comments by some people, or the slant presented by some media, one might think that the police are on a rampage of death, singling out certain minorities for execution.

It is so easy for critics and media to second-guess officers, pondering and pontificating about what officers did wrong or could have done differently. Let's not forget that, training aside, an officer is a person like any other, one who may have second thoughts and experience fear.

As for Ferguson, I think anything short of an indictment would have led to protests, looting and violence. Once again, a minute portion of our population made a spectacle of our nation on the world stage.

Michael Genzale, Shoreham

Cartoon attempted to continue unrest

I see the Matt Davies cartoon of the Ferguson police as an insult to all the dedicated police officers of our country, and an attempt to continue the unrest of the instigators of violence ["Ferguson P.D.-issued weaponry," Opinion, Nov. 26]. It implied that the prosecutor's office was one of the police officer's weapons.

I don't remember seeing any looting or violence or degrading cartoons when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder in the deaths of Nicole Brown and her friend.

John Boufis, Islip

Police officer almost hit me

A recent letter writer was correct that police cars are involved in many traffic accidents ["Patrol cars seem like accident magnets," Nov. 28].

A few days ago, I was driving on Jerusalem Avenue in Wantagh when a patrol car made a sudden U-turn without signaling. The officer almost crashed into my vehicle because he wasn't being careful, so I blew my horn to let him know I was in his path.

Accident avoided. But he chased me down, pulled me over and wrote me a summons for honking my horn at a cop.

John Bohannon, Wantagh