Investigators probe scene where two NYPD officers exchanged gunfire with a...

Investigators probe scene where two NYPD officers exchanged gunfire with a 19-year-old man on June 3 in Elmhurst, Queens. Credit: James Carbone

Officers hit ankle but missed mark

I had to read a letter several times because I thought I missed something [“Young cops could teach a key lesson,” Letters, June 12]. I think the reader might have watched too many television shows.

I was trained, like every local and federal law enforcement officer, to discharge my weapon toward center mass when justified to use deadly physical force.

Thankfully, these two NYPD officers will be all right, and the perpetrator will be held accountable for trying to kill them. And if all fired rounds had hit center mass, it was a situation the shooter created.

The reader also states that the officers deployed their service weapons without seriously injuring or killing someone who shot them. With this rationale, the same can be said of the shooter. I have a better idea.

Maybe the reader thinks officers should be trained to aim and shoot the gun from the hand of an armed person who is trying to kill you. This way, the gun is destroyed and there will be no injuries to the person trying to kill uniformed officers or anyone else who gets in their way. But more likely the officer will miss and give the shooter another opportunity to kill or injure his victim.

— Charlie Bartels, Long Beach

The writer retired after 39 years with the Suffolk County Police Department.

Wounding this criminal in the ankle was luck, not the intention. Hitting something about two inches wide is hard and maybe impossible, especially in a gun battle. It’s fortunate that all concerned are alive. The two police officers got to go home to their loved ones, and the suspect is in jail.

— Charles Gyss, Dix Hills

Biden, Trump treat trials differently

The jury — and justice — have spoken in the Hunter Biden trial [“Justice system works again,” Editorial, June 12].

From the beginning, President Joe Biden has steered clear of the case and promised not to pardon his son. And now he adds that he won’t commute the sentence [“Biden says he won’t commute son’s sentence,” Nation, June 14].

Contrast that with former President Donald Trump’s constant harassing comments toward the trial judge and prosecutor during his hush money trial, calling the judge “corrupt” and “conflicted.”

The prosecutor in Hunter Biden’s case was a Republican U.S. attorney appointed by Trump, but Joe Biden let his son’s case play out without interference by his administration, including the Department of Justice. In contrast, Trump stated that as president, “I have the absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”

The independence of our judiciary has been a cornerstone of our democracy since our nation’s founding, the reason why federal judges are appointed for life. For the many Trump supporters who claim to be strict constitutionalists and originalists, I ask: Can you not see the difference between the two candidates?

— Jeff Fass, Sayville

Mascot ban perfectly within tribes’ rights

A reader blames tribal leaders’ hubris and elected officials’ guilt for New York’s school mascot ban [“Lose our mascots and our history, too,” Letters, June 11]. The reader laments the amount of money being spent to “placate” Native Americans and expresses concern that bans will make Native American names disappear.

Am I missing something? What Native American names are vanishing from Long Island? Is anyone calling for schools such as Sewanhaka, communities such as Massapequa and Wyandanch, or parks such as Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve to change their names?

What’s more, why is it an act of hubris for people to push back against stereotypes about their own culture? Should Native Americans be content with images they regard as inaccurate, superficial or condescending? I can’t think of any group that’s OK with being misrepresented.

Finally, when did it become an act of cowardice for elected officials to try to set the record straight about representations of a group’s heritage and history?

Place responsibility for the mascot ban where it belongs — with those who’ve failed to recognize the complexity of Native Americans’ culture and who see nothing problematic about reducing a diverse group of people to stock images.

— Richard Conway, Massapequa

Was closing park for cricket worth it?

Long Island fans see cricket in our future based on the combined attendance of fewer than 157,000 for all eight cricket matches at Eisenhower Park [“LI fans bullish on cricket,” News, June 13].

Since the stadium seated 34,000, the article could instead have also pointed out that taxpayers could use neither the park nor the aquatic center for nearly two weeks for an event that resulted in 115,000 empty seats, about 42% of maximum attendance.

— Stephen M. Picca, Massapequa

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