Escondido, CA
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Editor, Times-Advocate:

Every few days there is a shooting of a black man by the police. Rabble rousing groups rush to the area and the whole issue becomes confrontational. Violence and smashing things follows. The mob demands something immediately. No matter what is released, it isn’t going to satisfy the mob. I don’t think anything will satisfy the mob because it is obvious the police have acted defensively and probably over reacted.

Why aren’t we looking at that? Clearly the police need more training on how to defuse tense situations. Clearly they are terrified by the day to day interactions they must make. But it is also clear that most of the over reaction is triggered by moves that seem threatening or confrontational instead of complying, from the person being stopped or questioned.

I think the rabble rousing groups owe their neighborhoods some training also. We almost saw a beginning to that when the group put their arms in the air while marching. Let’s agree on a universal hand signal that means “OK, I’m going to comply and not escalate this meeting.” Hands out the window, in the air, something that allows the police officer to calm his fear factor. The attitude of the people being stopped has to change. Confrontational posturing may elicit suicide by police, or escalation to a disastrous ending before the officer even knows what is going on.

The thing that is universal to all these killings is that they happen really fast. We have to find a way to slow down the interaction. Police training is confrontational. They expect immediate response to demands. But some of these black people have been treated their whole lives like they are guilty of something before the question has been asked if they know anything about it. Not everyone is a “perp,” and police training has to change.

So black people need to stop reacting just like perps do. They need to turn around, face the officer, put their hands up or out the window. They need to calmly ask what the problem is. The police officer needs to calmly treat the person like a witness rather than a perp, until they know differently. We have to slow down the interaction and make it more investigational.

The truth is that fear on both sides is out of control. Let’s talk about how to take the fear out of the exchange for both sides.

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Editor, Times-Advocate

I would like to respond to an article I read in the Escondido Times-Advocate on September 29, 2016: “Escondido Reflections” by Ron Kenney.

I read with interest Mr. Kenney’s overview of our Constitution, as well as a critique of the lack of interest in our founding documents.

I happen to be one of our citizens that has read the Constitution (part of the 28% as defined by Mr. Kenney) and actively keep a copy of the document and its background with me. The purpose of my correspondence is to identify some inaccuracies, in some cases by information omission, in the article. The interesting conversation about our Bill of Rights left out the fact that both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists agreed on the tenets of our Bill of Rights — The difference was whether those items even needed to be written down due to the fact they both acknowledged the Federal Government did not have the right to restrict those fundamental liberties.

As to whether those Bill of Right’s Ten Amendments are “negotiable” would be untrue. On March 4, 1789, a resolution was passed that stated the Ten Amendments “to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution”. These Bill of Rights were to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers”. This inclusion allowed the Constitution to be ratified. As to any confusion on the “militia” term in the 2nd Amendment, that debate occurred prior to (as an example: Federalist papers #46 George Mason — “Militia” is the whole people) the adoption of the Ten Amendments, and was redefined in the Supreme Court Heller Case as the right for an individual to bear arms.

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*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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