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Letters to the Editor — April 1, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — April 1, 2021

The Issue: The appointment of a man convicted of killing an officer in 1981 to a “police reform” board.

Honestly, is it that hard not to have a cop-killer sitting on a panel that deals with police reform (“Cop-killer to ‘reform’ police,” March 30)?

It’s like when then-City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito wanted an Armed Forces of National Liberation terrorist leading the Puerto Rican Day parade.

It seems almost intentional on the part of these pathetic, woke politicians to reward individuals who caused misery for others.

“Reform” and “reimagine” are such cute little buzzwords today. I’d like to reimagine a time when the city and state were run with civility and sanity and when coddling the dregs of society was not so commonplace.

Gary Kaelin

Commack

Richard Rivera shot an off-duty police officer in the shoulder during an armed robbery and then executed him with a bullet to the head while he was lying helpless on the floor.

The 39 years he served in prison was not enough. He should have never been released.

Dick Mills, Bardonia

Letting Rivera on a committee to assist in police reform is about the equivalent of letting the fox into the chicken coop. Who was the genius behind this move to let a murderer plan “re­imagining”?

There isn’t a hole deep enough for a soul like this who took away a daddy from his children, a husband from his wife and a hero from the NYPD.

Doc Ludemann

Bridgeport, Conn.

Isn’t there anyone else better suited for the job than a convicted cop-killer?

When are the people in charge of the state going to start thinking and acting like the majority of the people they serve, rather than pursuing their own agenda, and stop pandering to the people who scream the loudest?

Gov. Cuomo, do the right thing and remove this man from the panel.

Paul Baden

Matawan, NJ

Well, folks, any doubt that New York has become nut world has been shot to hell.

We have, though it boggles the mind, a cop killer on police-reform board, created at Cuomo’s request. Keep voting Democrat, folks.

Joe Cesare

Copiague

The Issue: Rabbi Yaakov Menken’s column comparing the lessons of Exodus to today’s culture.

Bravo to Rabbi Yaakov Menken for his piece about woke tyranny (“Echoes of exodus in woke tyranny,” Post­Opinion, March 31).

We are all being oppressed by leftists who promote un-American, even inhumane, standards.

We should not submit to irrational name-calling, threats and verbal bullying when leftists disagree with our views, which are broadly held but simply not espoused by the self-anointed “elites” among us.

People with fancy degrees know much about very little, but they are often wrong about their conclusions.

Rabbi Menkin sends a seasonal message of hope and wisdom.

Rich Klitzberg

Boca Raton, Fla.

Contrary to Rabbi Menken’s claim, nowhere in the Bible is there any support for freedom of speech, peaceful dialogue, religious liberty or equal justice, especially in the Old Testament.

However, there is sadly support for the claim that the United States was in part founded on biblical values — namely slavery, the secondary status of women under a patriarchy and, regarding many Native Americans groups, genocide as well. All were declared by our forebears to be biblically sanctioned.

Fortunately, Enlightenment values eventually prevailed, although it took a great deal of time.

Dennis Middlebrooks

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

NY’s mad criminal ‘reforms’ are now claiming the lives of babies

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NY’s mad criminal ‘reforms’ are now claiming the lives of babies

Let’s start with a truth: Neither the police nor our other criminal-justices institutions are perfect. Their imperfections are worth the attention of those in a position to address them. But that effort must be undertaken without losing sight of another truth: Imperfect though they may be, these institutions are also essential to protecting communities from crime, particularly violent crime.

In recent years, New York leaders have turned their focus almost entirely to reforming the system’s imperfections, and they have lost sight of their public-safety mission. This has constrained the ability of the system to protect the public safety, which has dramatically declined the past year, judging by rising shootings and homicides across the state.

The price is high. Heartrending recent stories involving young children here remind us that, too often, it is the most vulnerable among us who suffer the burden of increased violence.

Take Dior Harris, an 11-month-old baby who had her life snatched from her this week in a drive-by shooting in Syracuse, where homicides are up again so far this year, after a 55 percent spike in 2020. The shooting also wounded two other girls, ages 3 and 8. The police have made an arrest in the case: Chavez R. Ocasio, 23. In addition to murder, he’s been charged with a parole violation, according to The Post.

That he was charged with a parole violation tells us something important: This was someone the system chose to release. Those who make a habit of keeping up with some of the horrific stories of criminal violence in New York and elsewhere know the pattern and its lesson: It’s repeat offenders — often out on bail, probation or parole — who are frequently behind the scourge of violence.

Or consider the story of 10-year-old Ayden Wolfe, who police allege was beaten to death in Gotham by his mother’s boyfriend, Ryan Cato, who was arrested and charged in the child’s murder. Cato, it turned out, had at least one open criminal case (and multiple priors) for a December arrest involving allegations of domestic violence.

Police haven’t yet been able to make an arrest in the shooting of a 12-year-old boy in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, last week. When interviewed by The Post, the boy’s grandmother said of the gun violence in the neighborhood, “It happens all the time.” She added, “Now in this city, it’s kill or be killed.”

Bed-Stuy is where 1-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. was shot and killed last summer while in his stroller at a neighborhood park. Police haven’t been able to make an arrest in that case, either. But a recent gun-trafficking indictment of four men reveals that repeat offenders may have played a role in the neighborhood’s summer violence.

Among those indicted was a New York City MTA worker, 49-year-old Vernal Douglas, who was allegedly heard on wiretaps discussing Gardner’s murder. He seemed to be lamenting the heat the case had brought to his alleged gun-trafficking business. One of Douglas’ codefendants is another 49-year-old, named Montoun Hart, who, according to news reports, narrowly dodged a 1997 murder charge after the judge tossed a confession he had allegedly given while under the influence.

Citing an NYPD spokesperson, Oxygen.com reported that in the years since that case, Hart has racked up a number of arrests involving drugs and firearms.

It’s not just New York, either. In Chicago, Kayden Swann, a 1-year-old boy, was shot in the head on April 6 in what police say was a road-rage incident. Swann was riding in the backseat of a car driven by an acquaintance of his grandmother, Jushawn Brown, who was arrested later that day on felony gun charges but released on bond.

Just outside Houston, in Passadena, Texas, Raymeon Means stands accused of shooting a 6-year-old girl. According to local reports, Means had at least two prior convictions involving children.

While the harms associated with the crime spike many American cities are still experiencing extend to victims of all ages, children are among the least capable of defending themselves and, therefore, among the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, none of these stories seems to have caused policymakers to second-guess their commitment to “reform” for its own sake, leaving us with a troubling question: If the murders and shootings of infants, toddlers, and preteens can’t shame lawmakers into rededicating themselves to safety, what will?

Rafael A. Mangual is a senior fellow and deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.

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Opinion

NY Times wants to defund the police — except the one in its lobby

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NY Times wants to defund the police — except the one in its lobby

Last year, The New York Times ran an opinion piece titled “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish The Police,” as well an editorial claiming “. . . too often in recent months, instead of a balm, the Police Department has become another source of trauma.”

These were an ugly par for the course regarding the Gray Lady’s regular mistreatment of New York’s Finest.

So why is a member of the NYPD patrolling the lobby of the Times’ office building? Isn’t the editorial board worried about this cop inflicting trauma on its workforce?

Scratch an advocate who favors defunding the police and you usually find someone with private armed security. In this case, a company such as The Times writes a check to the NYPD, which pays the officer, minus an administrative fee, to provide protection in full police regalia.

As accustomed as we are these days to rank hypocrisy, this example is particularly dangerous. The New York Times has regularly thrown gasoline on the fire of “defund the police,” suggesting the NYPD is a force for bad. Yet faced with worry that someone might slip through their lobby and into the newsroom, who do they turn to?

At least the Times has finally caught up with the opinion of black and Hispanic communities as far as policing goes. Polling has shown, for example, that huge majorities of black Americans absolutely do not want diminished police presence.

And now we know, no matter what fills the pages of their paper, that the Times doesn’t want that either.

As far as the billowing broadsheet is concerned, we should consider turning our neighborhoods into a cop-free social experiment, while its employees enjoy protection their own building. Stop lecturing us.

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Opinion

Harris’ hopeless ‘root cause’ prescription for the border

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Harris’ hopeless ‘root cause’ prescription for the border

It’s worse than we thought: Vice President Kamala Harris just identified the “root cause” of the surge in illegal migrants at the southern border: climate change.

There’s “the need for economic development” and “a need for resilience around extreme climate” because “severe climate experiences” have been “dampening” agriculture in the Northern Triangle nations where most of the border-crossers come from, she said.

Not a mention of the corrupt governments that prevent economic progress — and are sure to pocket the bulk of any foreign aid meant to develop those economies or make their farms more “resilient.”

Nor did she touch on the gangs that terrorize the common people there, giving them more urgent reason to flee.

Seems like the Biden administration’s strategy isn’t to back more competent leadership and tie aid to real-world results. It will be to pour even more cash into the Green New Deal and throw another billion at bad governments. 

This isn’t an answer, it’s a recipe for burning money.

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