IT WOULD take someone who's blind in one eye and can't see out the other not to recognize Mark Fiorino's intentions when he sashayed around doing his Wyatt Earp impersonation with his .40-caliber Glock strapped to his hip.
Fiorino accomplished just what he set out to do that day by luring a police sergeant into a heated confrontation while secretly recording his right to bear arms on the open plains. Was the sergeant supposed to just ignore him and head to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts in a city that amasses more than 300 homicides a year? Would the next officer be as accommodating - or shoot first and ask questions later?
It sure didn't take Fiorino long to debut on YouTube and get his face plastered on the front page. He even quoted the police directive when stopped, indicating he knew exactly what he was doing to invite a confrontation. Of course Fiorino will deny all this and sue the city as any other red-blooded opportunist would.
Well, Mr. Fiorino, all I can say is that I hope your 15 minutes of fame does not result in another police officer's death.
Capt. Joseph Di Lacqua
Philadelphia Police Department
I don't mean to bash the Police Department or the District Attorney's Office, but in properly utilizing police, D.A. and court resources, the police action mentioned in [Monday's] newspaper had more to do with police egos and less to do with committing a crime.
If the cops mentioned in the report were professional and well-educated with regard to state firearm laws, this incident would have never ended in a black eye for the city, regardless of it being recorded or not.
For several years, I worked as a part-time cop in New Jersey, and currently work as a part-time fire police officer, and at all times I remain professional and educated with regard to my employment. If someone wanted to film me in my daily duty actions in a negative fashion, they would be simply wasting their time.
Simply put - offering better training and professional behavior courses to the members of the Philadelphia Police Department would avoid future negative encounters with citizens who aren't criminals - and remove this type of bad press.
Greg Bucceroni, coordinator
Crime Victim Services/Youth Violence
& Crime Reduction Partnership
Mark Fiorino, you should walk in the shoes of a Philadelphia police officer before criticizing them.
Sgt. Dougherty was doing his job - a man walking down the street in Philadelphia with gun openly displayed is a nonverbal threat to every one in the city. Police officers are not mind-readers, and if you had any common sense you would realize this. The men and women who wear the uniform have enough to worry about.