Devine Needs to Drop the Attitude

Concerning your editorial ("Suspect Identification," March 25) in the Weekly: You are dead wrong. The police have a tough job to do, and you don't help them with your attitude. We do not live in a police state, and the police won't use your ID for evil purposes. When the police asked you for ID, if you would have shown it to them and said that you live there, it would have gone a lot easier for everyone.

Tucson has a serious problem with crime, and you don't help the situation by treating the police with scorn. I recently got home one day to find that two houses on my street had been "seriously" burglarized. Personally, I am happy to have the police around asking if I belong where I am--it shows that they are doing what they get paid to do. I was busted as a 17-year-old for taking the garbage out after curfew; the cop took me home (across the street) and verified who I was, and that was the end of it.

Every dealing I have ever had with a cop has been a good experience. Maybe if you treated the police with respect, they would treat you with respect. I also am a personal privacy advocate, but I am more concerned with the government having access to my personal life than I am with a cop knowing that I was on the street in front of my home.

Mike Green

We Live in a Police State With a Violent TPD

It seems to me that it is acceptable for law enforcement individuals in this community to break laws that the average citizen is held accountable for. It is OK for the police to brutalize individuals when arresting them, including children and women ("Good Cops. Bad Cops. More Cops?" March 25)? In any other circumstance, it is called "violence." Is this why individuals in this community pay outrageous taxes, so we can be violated and abused by local law enforcement agencies? So our children can be questioned for no reason?

I do not applaud the efforts of the local enforcement agencies. The police show up at neighborhood association meetings and spread slanderous gossip about different individuals in the various neighborhoods. They have absolutely no proof, but the individuals attending these meetings leave with aroused suspicion about their neighbors.

I feel we currently live in a police state. Why is it that the citizens can't hold the TPD accountable for their actions?

Missy Lopez

How Do We Make Law Enforcement Work?

I am disturbed but not surprised by the FBI's statistics ranking our city as No. 1 in crime in the nation ("Theftville," April 1). Many of my friends and neighbors have been victims of break-ins and burglaries in recent years, and I know it is only a matter of time before the same thing happens to me.

I have been a proud resident of Tucson for 11 years, but I feel that our record on property crime is shameful. Criminals constantly go unprosecuted, even if they are caught. This can only send a message that crime does indeed pay, and pay well. My family should feel safe and secure in our home, knowing that we are protected by strong law enforcement and a working legal system. This is not happening.

The law instead protects and encourages crime by failing to find and prosecute 93 percent of these criminals! If any one of us performed that poorly at our jobs, we would be fired. A 93 percent failure rate is unthinkable! It's time to make examples of these criminals so that we can feel secure, and be as proud of our city as we would like to be, knowing that the Tucson Police Department and our courts are doing what we pay them to do.

So what do we need to do as a community? Hire more officers? Hug a cop? Kiss a judge? Tell me, I'm ready to do it! Who's with me?

Ron Harvey

When Cops Ask, the Law Says You Must Comply

I address the disinformation provided to the Weekly and its readers by Bev Ginn, the Tucson city attorney's liaison to the Tucson Police Department, who was quoted in a recent article ("Bad Cops. Good Cops. More Cops?" March 25) as saying that "a (police) officer can ask for identification anytime, and there is a difference between asking and demanding." Contrary to Ms. Ginn's gross misrepresentation of that fact, there is absolutely no difference between the two, as the following makes very clear.

In 1996, an Arizona appeals court held that when police officer "asks" one to do something rather than commands his obedience, it does not mean the person can reasonably believe he is free to refuse. Previously, the judiciary elsewhere had issued similar pronouncements.

In 1983, justice William Brennan of the Supreme Court of the United States wrote in his concurring opinion in Kolender v. Lawson, that "few people will ever feel free not to cooperate fully with the police by answering their questions." Earlier, in Bustamante v. Schneckloth, a decision the Supreme Court later reversed on review for an unrelated reason, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found, in an expression the higher court left standing, that "(u)nder many circumstances, a reasonable person might read an officer's 'may I' as the courteous expression of a demand backed by the force of law." Also, in Gomez v. Turner, a federal appeals court said the same, albeit in more general terms (to wit: "Many people will think twice before spurning an importuning policeman").

Perhaps in Ms. Ginn's fantasy world, folks who are confronted by a cop have some choice in the matter, depending on the tone and content of the officer's presentation. However, in the real world--and as a matter of law--there's absolutely no difference between the two and the choice is nonexistent.

Either Ms. Ginn knew that when interviewed by Mr. Devine and bullshitted him (and the Weekly's readers) when she made that statement, or she should have known it and displayed her ignorance (and lack of qualification for the job she holds at taxpayer expense) when she said it.

Willy Bils

Props for the April Fool's Article

I thoroughly enjoyed Lisa Lopfor's "A Not-So Modest Proposal" in the April 1 issue. It was a brilliant piece.

Richard S. Oseran
Owner, Hotel Congress

Props for 'Phoney' Recognition

I just wanted to thank you for the positive recognition in the Weekly's the Phoney awards ("The Award Goes to ... " April 1).

I'm sure all of the community leaders who responded and were recognized by you appreciated it. I have always felt that if you have a position on a critical community issue, it is important to be willing to communicate what you believe in.

In this way we can further public debate and understanding to come up with the best community solutions.

Rick Myers

Supermarket Club Cards: A Total Rip-Off

I just wanted to add to your story about those annoying club cards that everyone has now (Tuttle, April 1). Not only are these cards used to track your buying habits, but they also rob you at the checkout. You think that you are saving on groceries and other merchandise? On the contrary; this card entitles you to pay the original retail price! There is no discount.

I used to work for a major supermarket chain, and I remember vividly being recruited to peel all the price stickers off the shelves and replace them with updated ones at midnight when all the shoppers were asleep. When I say updated, I mean the price was increased on all these items. When I realized this, I felt sick.

So, if you forget your card, you end up paying the inflated amount for those groceries and making the greedy grocery bastards even richer. And yet, they won't give better benefits to their employees.

Marcos Ramirez


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