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Police oversight and public safety
On "Support's Growing for Police Oversight": There is a balance in policing that no one likes, and it is tilting further from the correct position. City residents have to decide where priorities lie.
Two facts I find irrefutable: 1) Heavy handed police tactics do reduce crime, and 2) No one likes the freedoms lost with the same heavy-handed tactics.
We have seen examples of violent areas, made nearly uninhabitable by crime, taken back by policies such as stop and frisk. No one like it when it happens to them, but it works.
I don't like getting stopped. Sometimes I think the police are being jerks with me, and sometimes I want them to go after those they are not going after. No one likes it when they are the target of police. We think they should go after someone else.
To me, articles that favor additional police scrutiny ask the balance to shift further from what actually slows crime. City property values have declined and will continue to decline. Violence on city streets will increase, and more people will die.
It seems to me that if we are actually to save lives, we would understand the need to re-balance police control towards what may be inconvenient.
I think if people were sincere about wanting to save lives, they would use what works, even if that means arguing in court that you were targeted unfairly or someone didn't arrest you nicely. Truly saving lives involves voluntary surrender of freedoms to restore order.
In response to Richard Hendricks: The call for a new Police Accountability Board is not in response to the inconvenience of getting pulled over or not being arrested "nicely." The issue is that black and brown people are disproportionately targeted and brutalized by police for no reason and then suffer permanent physical injuries and psychological trauma.
Please read the report "The Case for an Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester, New York" (available online).
Lacker-Ware is co-author of "The Case for an Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester New York," a recently released report on Rochester's current civilian review process.
A recent episode of The Capitol Pressroom spoke with members of the Albany Citizens' Police Review Board, which has been functioning very well and has been used by other cities as a model. We could learn a lot from our neighbor down the Thruway.
Addressing 'black poverty'
On our "Perspectives" discussion with Action for a Better Community CEO James Norman: Mr. Norman is a good man. But unfortunately, for the past several years most so-called local black leaders (clergy, politicians, activists, and the like) haven't been willing to address the "black poverty issue" from a grassroots and cultural perspective.
Black history has taught many inquirers that black leadership is most effective when it speaks specifically to an issue and offers spiritual (not religious) and cultural solutions. For some, it appears that many nonprofit organizations and city and county government officials have decided to make poverty the current trending social issue of this era. And in many cases, they make it sound as though poverty is a new issue. It come across as a "We must maintain the status quo at all costs."
The most important change that local blacks living in poverty need is a change in their hearts and minds, and that demands ongoing introspection and a willingness to change from the inside out.
On Frank DeBlase's Festival Guide article, "Rust Never Sleeps," on the continuing local popularity of the band Rusted Root: While not a Rusted Root fan, this seems a little harsh. I just don't go then, but lots and lots of other people do go and have a great time. How can that be wrong? There is something for everyone out there. Let 'em enjoy it without judgment.
MAUREEN AND ERIC RICH
Favorite line and reason I can't stand this band: "singer Michael Glabicki intones with so much jiggly vibrato it sounds as if somebody dumped a bucket of ice down Tarzan's pants."
Loved your essay. Reminds me of how Chuck Cuminale (RIP) used to write: honestly and with a bit of vinegar. I too can overlook whether or not they come again. But I know I won't be there to look at all that night.
Rochester has a love-hate affair with a bunch of different bands.... It's only rock and roll!
About those tax cuts
On "Donald Trump's America: Just What Voters Wanted" (Urban Journal): The notion that cutting taxes will increase the circulation of money in our economy is based on the belief that money that is paid in taxes gets taken out of circulation. This ignores the fact that the government spends its tax revenues, on salaries, on health care, on weapons systems, etc.
So all that cutting taxes actually achieves is another redistribution of wealth.
A recent letter incorrectly stated that more than 10,000 women are shot and killed each year in the US in domestic violence situations. That's not at all accurate. The total number of women who die of gun violence (not necessarily domestic violence) each year is about 3000. We apologize for not catching that error before publication.