Figures don’t support racist police agenda

*Figures don't support racist police agenda *Ellis Hospital needs better patient service *Freddie Gr

Figures don’t support racist police agenda

I am writing this letter in response to Margaret M. Watrous’ May 12 diatribe against police.

Last December, two police officers, one Hispanic and the other Asian-American, were murdered in Queens by a black man. Saturday evening [May 2] a white police officer was murdered — once again in Queens — by a black man. Saturday night [May 9], two police officers, one white, one black, were murdered in Hattiesburg, Miss., by two men — both black.

Three members of the Ferguson grand jury that found white police officer Darren Wilson not guilty were black.

One member of the police squad that attempted to arrest Eric Gardner is a female black lieutenant.

Of the six police officers arrested and charged with murder by an overzealous black female prosecutor, three are black.

These facts should dispel any thinking person of the phony police racist agenda, perpetuated by a rage mongering Al Sharpton and embraced by Watrous.

So far, it has resulted in the deaths of these five police officers, with no end in sight.

Several days after the Michael Brown incident, on a Saturday night in Chicago, six black men were murdered by other blacks.

Ex-Attorney General Eric Holder was quick to condemn the Ferguson Police Department for racism due to the force being predominately white. Neither he nor Sharpton or Obama uttered a word. The Chicago Police Department is mostly black.

Loretta Lynch, our new U.S. attorney general, is launching an investigation of the Baltimore Police Department looking for racist police practices. Their police department is 51 percent black.

This contrived and dangerous war against police officers will lead to more deaths of these men and women who put their lives on the line every day protecting us from criminal predators. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is impossible to put him back.

In conclusion, I have a suggestion for Ms. Watrous: If you ever have a need for a police officer, contact Al Sharpton instead.

Vito Spinelli


Ellis Hospital needs better patient service

I viewed with interested the ribbon cutting at Ellis Hospital new state-of-the-art emergency room facility. My 90-year-old father was the recipient of services there last month.

As a health care professional, I was impressed by the new facility and its state-of-the-art equipment. But a visit to a health care facility is much more than the equipment; it’s about the health care delivered by its staff.

Our visit for this 90-year-old man began when he fell and began to have severe back pain. When we arrived at the ER, we were seen by a triage registered nurse to have blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level, and history taken. It was a four-hour wait in the waiting room in a wheelchair until we moved to the ER room.

He then was placed on a stretcher in a room without a pillow or blanket; it took three requests to get those. There was no monitoring of BP, pulse or oxygen level again for six hours until I noticed and notified the RN that my father’s feet and hands were getting purple and cold. He then was placed on a monitor, given oxygen and IV fluids. I had to repeatedly ask for pain medication for a patient who was there for back pain. I could go on, but I won’t. I think you get the point.

Health care is only as good as the sufficient number of qualified health care staff you have on duty, as well as their level of expertise and compassion to provide that quality of care. This is what we would all want for ourselves and our loved ones in time of need.

Ellis needs to do better.

Maureen Utz


The writer is a registered nurse.

Freddie Gray was not the innocent victim

Re May 12 letter, “Freddie Gray’s death a call to take action”: Margaret Watrous’ latest opinion piece was so far off base that I have to comment.

Part of her opinion stated: “My heart is broken. I hang my head in sorrow. No human being, no animal, no creature should ever have to endure the treatment that some Baltimore policemen gave Freddie Gray. Now I ask with my soul in pain, are we as a nation sufficiently upset to sustain a national demand for change?”

Here are some of the facts on Freddie Gray: Freddie Gray had a pre-existing spinal and neck injury and had severe nerve damage and scar tissue from an accident that Allstate Insurance was paying him for, in a structured settlement. This monthly payment and drug money were his means of support. Gray had had several unsuccessful spinal fusion surgeries over the past four-and-a-half years. His most recent spinal/cervical operation was a week-and-a-half before he was arrested on April 12.

He was on doctor’s orders to remain home and in bed to speed recovery from that major operation. Instead, he was out manufacturing and distributing drugs on the streets of Baltimore, and strenuously resisting arrest.

Gray had a long criminal history for manufacturing and distributing drugs and controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.

He had been convicted of numerous other felonies, including assault, firearms violations, breaking and entering, armed robbery and receiving stolen property. The list goes on and on from his 18th birthday.

In Baltimore County, juvenile records are forever sealed except by judicial order.

Gray, known on the streets as “Pepper,” was 25 years old, 5-feet-8-inches tall and weighed 145 pounds when last arrested. He had been incarcerated at least 12 times, the longest stretch being two years in prison in Maryland.

Following his arrest, Gray was placed into the paddy wagon by the police officers who had arrested him — black officers. He could have easily slipped on the floor or bench, or twisted his neck or shoulders to reopen his recently fused and weakened spine. Enroute to the county jail, the paddy wagon stopped once so that officers could put leg restraints on him to calm him down and restrict his movement.

Gray was a dangerous career felon, well-known to the Baltimore Police Department officers, with a damaged and healing spine and neck, and was supposed to be home healing a week-and-a-half after surgery. He should not have been running around on the streets of Baltimore committing drug felonies and resisting arrest.

By the way, none of the eight officers who arrested Gray has ever had a complaint against them for brutality or use of excessive force.

Margaret Watrous should get all the facts before forming an opinion, and she should realize that the police really are there to serve and protect the public and 99 percent of them do that very well every day.

David Buckbee


Proctors needs to put money into acoustics

Philip Morris, the current CEO of Proctors, has been the recipient of much deserved recognition and praise by the Chamber of Commerce, the business community and the theater-going patrons.

It was through his vision, determination and hard work that Proctors was transformed from an antiquated, neglected theater to the glittering, modern entertainment center it is today.

It is sad that with all the effort and hard work continuously being poured into Proctors, it continues to be known by many patrons as the graveyard of musicals.

There are quite a large number of highly touted Broadway productions that fall by the wayside simply because of Proctors’s poor acoustical system and lack of quality sound.

Time and again patrons, especially those seated in the dress circle and balcony, are told that the fault lies with the production companies and not with Proctors. If this is true, why is Proctors paying the high costs of hiring a second-rate company that uses shoddy technical personnel? Proctors, and its patrons, deserve to receive what they are paying for — quality entertainment from knowledgeable and experienced professionals that include both performers and technicians.

Proctors spends thousands and thousands of its donated contributions, state monies and box office revenue advertising and promoting its incoming productions.

A portion of the monies being spent should include ensuring the quality of sound if Proctors would like to lose its reputation as a second-rate theater and the home of musical duds.

C.J. Brown



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