Letters to the Editor

Atatiana Jefferson is dead at a police officer’s hand. These readers have had it

Don’t ‘listen,’ mayor. You must act

Mayor Betsy Price said she attended the vigil for Atatiana Jefferson “to listen.” (Oct. 14, 1A, “Vigil honors victim; Hundreds join family to remember slain Fort Worth woman”)

I suggest that Price do more than that. She has been present at City Council meetings where the community’s pain, struggles and palpable anger have been evident.

The time for Price to listen has ended. The community, and the nation, will be watching how she and the council finally address the police shooting issue.

- James Langford, North Richland Hills

The police have lost my confidence

I was brought up to believe that policemen are our friends. If that was ever true, it is no longer the case today, and hasn’t been for decades.

Policemen are no more to be trusted than the criminals they apprehend. Instead of assuring citizens’ safety, policemen are another reason to fear for our lives.

Why do these officers continually shoot first and ask questions later? Why are black people automatically deemed instant threats? Who hires these officers? What are they taught in training?

We all know most cops are good cops, just a few bad apples, right? Tell that to Atatiana Jefferson. Oh, wait, she can’t hear you.

- Jane Leatherman Van Praag, Bartlett

This is all it takes to be safe

A few common-sense guidelines might have prevented the death of Atatiana Jefferson. Law-abiding citizens should know how to keep themselves safe:

As soon as the sun sets, lock yourself inside your home, cover your windows, turn out all but the security lights, get into bed and pull the covers over your head. Try to remain motionless, and refrain from excessively heavy breathing, and, with a little luck, you might be safe from being shot to death by a police officer.

- Joy Kaiser, Fort Worth

Look at the police supply chain

It appears Fort Worth has both a significant criminal element and a festering systemic problem with the hiring, training, deployment and continuing education of police officers. But it starts at the top, with the city’s elected officials, then moves down through the budgeting and hiring practices of the department.

Every officer is the result of this process, good or bad. It’s not that complicated: With a Volkswagen mentality, it’s more than difficult to get a Rolls-Royce result.

- Richard M. Holbrook, Weatherford

No benefit of the doubt owed

I just shook my head when I read a Tuesday letter to the editor from a writer who apparently believes there is just one bad cop who is ruining it for all other policemen. Really?

Face it, our police department has more than its share of bad cops.

Just two weeks ago, I got pulled over for an out-of-date registration sticker. As I was attempting to find my insurance card, the officer jerked me out of the car and roughly patted me down for weapons.

I wonder what the odds were that I just happened to get that one bad cop.

- Fred Matthews, Fort Worth

My Texas pride has been dimmed

Three years ago, my family and I moved from Arlington to a suburb of Portland, Oregon. We are often asked, “Where are you guys from?” And we were always proud to say, “Arlington, Texas.” Then we explained Arlington’s proximity to Fort Worth.

With recent events like the Atatiana Jefferson shooting, I can longer declare where I am from with pride and confidence. I am hesitant and ashamed.

- Lorna Gill, Tigard, Oregon

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