Letters for the Week of June 22, 2016

Readers sound off on the mayor, police sex scandal, and Orlando.

“Badge of Dishonor” by Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston, Feature Story, June 15:


Yo, OPD: How’s that blue code of silence working for you now?

Jessea Greenman

On legalizing prostitution and the OPD sex-crime scandal

One point that may be drawn from this, aside from the need for a massive police overhaul and punishment of crooked officers, is that we need to legalize prostitution. This is going to emerge as a social issue of our time, as we continue wasting public money arresting sex workers who, just like the persecuted weed smokers before them, aren’t hurting anyone.

Prostitution is going to continue whether you like it or not. Legalizing and regulating prostitution will protect vulnerable sex workers, remove violent pimps from the equation, and eliminate the dangerous power dynamic that these crooked cops used to exploit and manipulate this girl (and likely many others).

I am confident that this position will end up being on the right side of history, and it’s only a matter of time.

Max Chanowitz

Name the ‘perverted bastard’?

Why is the reporter protecting a child abuser? Who cares if that old perverted bastard has a heart attack?!? Seems to me that the reporter cares for the old, sick bastard, who doesn’t have heart problems but instead a sick soul.

So, publish his name! Let the entire nation see it. Publish his face, too, while you are at it. Shame his old, sorry, wrinkly arse in front of the entire world. He abused a young girl because he well knew he had the power and she didn’t.

I am so damn sick of cops abusing their power wherever they go.

Daphne Alespeiti

Leave it to Libby

Leave it to Mayor Libby Schaaf to cover up such a sordid, illegal mess. While Schaaf preened herself for the cameras, she proved to be a poor mayor and a worse citizen, lying about the exploitation by the police. She should resign and be tried for colluding in this scandal. Then, if convicted, send her off to jail where she belongs.

The district attorney needs to investigate this much more fully, and not behind closed doors but in the light, and include Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office, which so far seems woefully slow in responding or investigating. It is doubtful she will make a decent senator and voters might want to keep her poor performance in mind when voting in the coming election.

Steve Redmond

“From Oakland to Orlando” by Julio Salgado, Essay, June 15:

‘That could be me?’

The Orlando gunman’s stated purpose was retaliation for the American bombing of Afghan noncombatants. He’d researched other venues for the shooting before settling on Pulse. And one venue was Disney World. So, like you, I keep thinking that it could have been me. This is not to discount the man’s homophobia, but the victims could have been anyone in America.

I wonder what it would be like to look at the last selfies of the Afghan civilians we killed. Absurd idea, of course. They were probably too low-tech for selfies. And too poor, like most of the American military’s post-World War II “collateral damage.” I wonder what it would feel like to look at the last selfies of the people we didn’t really have to bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when we may have initiated America’s slow suicide bombing of planet earth.

Will Americans ever look at a photograph of the Orlando killer and think, “That could be me?” We should, because we also have been that killers of innocent civilians. The only difference is that we have slaughtered so many more of them.

Chadidjah McFall, West Berkeley

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