MORE THAN A MISTAKE
How many more times must a Black person
be shot and killed by a police officer in
America before this country fully realizes
that something has gone terribly wrong?
Daunte Wright, 20, joined the list of casualties
Sunday night when a police officer shot and
killed him in a “routine” traffic stop in suburban
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer who pulled
the trigger on him claimed it was a tragic mistake;
she allegedly thought she had pulled out her
Taser, not her gun.
A Glock handgun, similar to that which the
officer had, weighs 34 ounces of heavy metal;
by comparison, a Taser, made largely of plastic,
weighs just 8 ounces. The weight difference alone
makes the officer’s claim almost implausible.
Even if this incident was merely a tragic mistake,
as the officer claims, it proves her incompetence
as a police officer — and she should no
longer be on the force. But the first instinct to
draw her gun, rather than her Taser, seemed to
subconsciously say it all.
Police unions and their supporters in government
have bristled at any new governance of police.
In New York, they’ve seethed at attempts to
restrict the use of chokeholds and ending qualified
immunity, which effectively protects cops
from being sued for civil rights violations.
But this case — along with other high-profile
police deaths such as George Floyd and Breonna
Taylor — further underscores the urgent need for
police reform in America, and in New York.
There must be a culture change within law enforcement
that ensures “equal justice under law”
for every American. In this moment of time, we
shouldn’t have to live in a society where families
of color have to give “the talk” to their children
as to how to behave in interacting with police,
lest they risk being shot.
No person in this country should get behind
the wheel thinking that if they get pulled over for
an infraction, they may not live to drive away.
It is this scenario that causes further anxiety
among Black and Brown Americans, and further
distrust in officers sworn to protect and serve
The answer is not to tell them not to be anxious
The answer is to eliminate the anxiety and
mistrust by reforming police departments to protect
citizens and officers alike — and to get rid
of any officer incapable or unwilling to equally
protect and serve.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.14 COM | APRIL 16-APRIL 22, 2021
Wiser words could not
have been written in last
week’s editorial, “Another
yoke on our neck.”
How fortunate we are to live
in one of the few remaining free
societies, with a wealth of information
sources available. Many
cities, suburbs and small towns
are down to one local daily or
Newspapers and magazines
have enough to deal with, such as
increasing costs for newsprint,
delivery, distribution, reduced
advertising revenues due to
COVID-19 and declining readership
due to competition from the
Internet and other news information
sources. This proposed legislation
may be the final nail in the
coffin for survival.
Daily newspapers concentrate
on international news, stories
from Washington, Albany and
City Hall, as well as business and
sports stories. They have few reporters
assigned to cover local
neighborhood news. These reporters
have to compete against colleagues
for limited available print
space. Daily newspapers miss significant
news and political stories
from local Queens neighborhoods.
Weekly newspapers such the
Bayside Times and its sister publications
fill the void for coverage of
local community news.
Elected officials claim to be
friends of the environment, but
send out numerous bulk rate mailings,
subsidized by taxpayers.
These clog our mailboxes year
round. They end up taking space
at landfill sites. Every campaign
season, these same candidates litter
neighborhoods with thousands
of their own posters illegally attached
to light posts all around
town. Have you ever seen any
candidate, losing or winning taking
down this visual garbage after
This law should apply to campaign
literature, mailings and
posters, as well.
Public officials should not be
making life more difficult for our
weekly community newspapers to
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A person lights a candle during a vigil following the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/REUTERS