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Give police officers benefit of the doubt

To the editor:

Here we go again. Las Vegas police shoot someone, and the Review-Journal prints a front-page article on the decedent’s mother (“Mom regrets dialing 911,” Wednesday).

I sympathize with Alma Chavez. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. But of course Ms. Chavez will be bitter and not agree with the shooting. What did you expect?

Never mind that her son was suicidal (as confirmed by another family member) and walked toward officers wielding a knife. The officers tried less lethal options, which unfortunately failed to work.

The entire article reflected a veiled inference that police were wrong. Now the ACLU and mercenary lawyers will come out of the woodwork to condemn the police and file the lawsuit that always comes. The officers will be tried and convicted in the media without any due process.

Do you think these officers are unaffected by shooting someone in the line of duty? Although some consider police officers machines, they are human, too. I have personally seen officers go through months of therapy after a shooting and still never be the same. Do you think that doesn’t affect their families?

We don’t need coroner’s inquests in this town. Let’s just put the officers on trial right now. At least they’ll have their due process.

Joe Molinaro

Las Vegas

Getting warm

To the editor:

In his Wednesday letter, Marc Jeric quoted two petitions that supposedly rebut the findings of scientists who promote the concept of climate change. Permit me to question those who question climate change.

The “Oregon Petition” was sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, headed by Arthur B. Robinson, who is described by SourceWatch.org as “an eccentric scientist who has a long history of controversial entanglements with figures on the fringe of accepted research.” When questioned in 1998, Mr. Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists or meteorologists.

As for the “Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change,” the document was the product of the Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. The Heartland Institute is a think tank that has received extensive funding from Exxon in the past. Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post reported that while the International Panel on Climate Change’s report was the work of “several hundred scientists from more than 100 countries,” the report the Manhattan Declaration is based on is “the work of 23 authors from 15 nations, some of them not scientists.”

Former Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

My sentiments exactly.

Steven F. Scharff


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