Letters to the editor (7/17/12)

Police should pay for killings

I very much believe that there should be swift justice for law enforcement officers who kill citizens, using lethal force. If they have the option to use minimal force to disarm the imminent danger, they should. If the officers cannot resolve the situation, they should call in more skilled law enforcement professionals, such as SWAT. SWAT teams are designed to save casualties and neutralize and arrest the suspect.

Cops should think twice before they take a life. I also agree that cops should be provided stun guns and should pepper spray when faced with a dangerous situation. The government should raise more money to train cops to not use lethal force and to train them in using pepper spray/stun guns more effectively.

If cops are in the wrong for killing a citizen, then they should be fired and face murder charges.

-- Nate Bennett


Ernie Hall took the high road

This is my first time writing a letter to the editor; however, the action of Ernie Hall was so refreshing that I had to share my feelings. Rather than sweeping the discovery of potentially uncounted ballots under the rug and taking a less troublesome route, Mr. Hall took the high road and shared the findings publicly.

People all over the world could take a lesson from Ernie Hall and his sense of integrity.

-- Dale Magstadt


Deadly force is the last resort

I firmly believe that police shouldn't change any policies, due to the fact that their use of "lethal force" is exactly the same as the rest of the U.S. Recently, there have been more incidents of lethal force than Anchorage residents are used to. They also say, why not consider training officers to disarm suspects rather than mortally wound them. Aumavae said, while each police officer is trained to disarm someone, when an officer is faced with a situation where he or she feels threatened and has warned the perpetrator, he or she has the right to draw a weapon until making that final decision.

Also, people may say, why not shoot them in the leg or use Tasers? Officers who undergo training are taught to shoot in the chest and head, not limbs, so deadly force is always a last resort. They are also taught to only shoot when all else has been done and the threat is significant.

-- Angelica Hess


Marathon changes needed

In response to the article discussing missing Michael LeMaitre: I am shocked that someone could be lost on one of the most popular races of the summer. It is inexcusable that something like this could happen. I recognize this is the first time someone has gone missing but it should be zero times.

As Fred Moore said, there should be formal trail sweepers in the men's race. And if there are branching paths, then there should be multiple sweepers following different routes. It should be impossible for someone to get left behind on Mount Marathon.

As for Michael LeMaitre, rescuers should keep looking until he is found. There should be no reason to stop looking as long as he may still be alive. His life is as valuable as mine or yours.

-- Katie Bond


Alaskans must manage coasts

I do not understand why some groups prefer to have the federal government make decisions about development along our coasts rather than the Alaskans who live here. One of the arguments for forming the state of Alaska in 1959 was so people living here would have a say in what happens in our state.

For years (1978-2011), we had a coastal management program, which guaranteed that Alaskans would have significant voices about our coastal development. During that time, there was a coordinated effort to make it easier for development and that assured local input during the decision-making process.

Now we have an opportunity to reinstate a coastal management program. On Aug. 28, the primary election provides a ballot initiative that is backed by many Alaskans. I urge my fellow citizens to vote in favor of Ballot Measure 2 with me.

-- Donald Greenberg