[I can’t remember who wrote this, but it was written in the last days of October, 2006.]
Letter to Editor
I didn't get to speak at Monday's special City Council meeting called by the mayor to address the officer-related shooting death of 16-yr. old Christopher Arrion Burgess because I had to leave to pick up my daughter from school. But if I had been able to speak, my first remark would have been directed to the council members, who stunningly, when asked by the mayor for their comments, said nothing (except Virginia Bass who patronizingly commended the public for their “good behavior”). In a packed room lined on both sides with members of the public patiently waiting their turn to speak out and be heard, not one council member had a single meaningful word to say or a meaningful response to the demands and will of 98% of the public speakers.
Well..."Hello, Yoo-hoo, council members, did you hear a child's been shot and killed by a city police officer?" You've all been doing so much talking these past weeks, on T.V., radio, in print ads, signage on every block, here there everywhere; gave me the impression you liked to communicate. So why then, at this critical time, is each of you speechless? You could have at least offered condolences to the family, (Ms. Bass, again condescendingly reminding us to offer condolences to the Lyles family). Sigh....how pathetic. Well ‘honorable’ city council members, your silence came across loud and clear to this member of the voting public and hence to each of you I say - just as we don't need police officers who can't use good judgment under pressure, we don't need seemingly mute, un-opinionated, politically motivated, cowards sitting on our city council. Shame on all of you!
Six months ago, similar callous disrespect was shown by silence of all the council but Mr. Kerrigan. And by the way, the proposal regarding a public review committee on police actions wasn't presented to you 6-months ago to serve as seat warmers for your backsides, but rather for you to act on....so anytime now, please.