I'LL begin by saying that the taking of any life is wrong. But the question we need to address is why these young men today are so ready to die, and why is there such lack of respect for the police?
I'm a 59-year-old African-American who's lived in Philadelphia all my life. I'm also an Army veteran who volunteered to serve my country in the Vietnam era. The answer to these questions is that the black community has lost faith in the police.
Some would say there are many black officers, and the commissioner is black, so what's the problem? The problem is not black or white because you have some black officers more nasty than whites.
The problem is that people get scared, upset and turned off when they pick up a newspaper and see how police drag men out of their car and start kicking and beating them, or you read about when you read about how a police officer shoots multiple times inside a house and wounds someone, not thinking there are innocent people in there, including children. The biggest problem is the whitewash, the long investigation and nothing ever happens.
We need to bring faith in our system back to the community. To let the public know that, no matter who you are, when you violate the law, you'll be held accountable.
Bob Johnson, Philadelphia
I don't condone how those officers handled those three men and am glad Commissioner Ramsey and Mayor Nutter took action against them. But I also don't feel sorry for the three criminals involved. In fact, it bothered me more that all are under 25, unemployed and combined have rap sheets longer than the length of Broad Street. We also have Al Sharpton, Ms. Dyches and others calling the police "thugs in uniform" and being critical of how law enforcement failed them. Newsflash: Nobody failed these young men but their parents. All parties involved got caught with their pants down. All deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law.
Tina Johnson, Philadelphia
The protesters predictably show up right on time after the claims of "police brutality." No court hearing necessary. Hang 'em on sight. Frontier justice!
There is an easy remedy: Every protester should automatically volunteer to respond in the future to reports of "robbery in progress," "man with a gun," "rape" or any of a hundred standard calls the police receive, to make the entire community safer.
Let us know when you receive the first 1,000 offers. It would be surprising if any volunteers showed up. The photos of the current protesters were published, so start with them.
How many are there? Maybe 100? That should go far in making the city safer. You can publish the names, on the front page, to be sure they all get credit.
We don't want to miss anyone. Maybe start with the Mumia crowd?
Jerry Boris, Philadelphia
Let me start off by saying that I don't condone police brutality, no matter what race it is directed toward.
But let me follow up by saying that I have absolutely no sympathy toward the black community when it comes to being singled out.
Close to three-quarters of all violent crimes in Philly are committed by a minority, and the last three cops killed in Philadelphia were all by black men.
It's quite obvious from the statistics why blacks recieve more attention than whites from cops. The only people my heart goes out to are the families of the officers.