Why the firing?

Re: "Four officers fired in police beating" (Inquirer, May 20). Why? The District Attorney's Office is still conducting an investigation into the alleged police brutality complaint and the FBI's Philadelphia office is monitoring the investigation. Yet Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey fires four officers and demotes a sergeant

before

the investigation is even close to being completed.

These officers are entitled to due process under the law and a presumption of innocence, which is guaranteed

every

American by the U.S. Constitution. Once again, the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department are being treated as less than first-class citizens.

Phil Bowdren

Retired city police officer

Philadelphia

On marriage

David Benkof's diatribe against California's Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriages is riddled with fallacious arguments ("For better or worse, a bad ruling," May 20).

First, people can still believe in the "old" definition of marriage if they wish; rights afforded to a minority do not remove rights from the majority. California's ruling does not nullify or diminish opposite-sex marriages.

Benkof blames "strident" gay activists for Boston's Catholic Charities' decision to shut down its adoption agency rather than to allow same-sex couples to adopt. The blame should be focused on Catholic Charities' adherence to prejudice and its defiance of Massachusetts' anti-discrimination law.

Benkof asserts that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual community has more important issues to pay attention to, but the community can focus on his cited "issues that actually matter" as well as the issue of marriage.

Benkof's "defense" of marriage as something to be withheld from the LGBT community is as illogical as it is insulting.

Scott Klipstein

Glenside

No more tolls

All this talk about a record turnpike sales price ("Top bid to lease turnpike is record," May 20) fails to look at the most important point: The public owns the toll roads, not the governor. So Rendell decides to sell the turnpike now for an immediate boost in his budget, while the taxpayer pays through the nose for the next 75 years. Why not get rid of the tolls altogether? Toll roads are notoriously inefficient, particularly the Pennsylvania ones, with their cronyism, featherbedding and all the washed-up politicians who work there. Will the new companies be able to trim the fat? Probably not. And, of course, the public will be happy to pay 25 percent higher tolls immediately, 60 percent more in 10 years. This is another example of Pennsylvania politics at its finest.

Bryan Richardson

Villanova

Money first

Isn't money the real bottom line when it comes to the issue of justice not being served to victims of sex abuse ("Child abuse: Truth comes with a price," May 20)? Is protecting the almighty dollar more important to State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone (D., Berks) than helping victims in his community and throughout the state?

Caltagirone needs to serve the people and not the institutions that covered up the truth for decades. He seems more concerned with the state insurance industry and the Catholic Church than the people whom he is paid to serve.

We need to see hearings and votes on this issue without delay. Otherwise, we must remove from office those who put money before the children of this state.

Kathy Goodwin

Philadelphia

Serve the victims

Has State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone (D., Berks) read the Philadelphia grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church? Does he know what the victims and their families have gone through all these years? Is he aware of the despicable cover-up that the Catholic Church hierarchy took part in? I think not. If he did, he would be more sympathetic to the victims and at least hold hearings on the bill to extend the statute of limitations and allow victims to sue their abusers. Let's remember this at election time.

Bridget McGlynn

Philadelphia