Letters to the editor

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 08:18 PM

Our Trayvon Martin?

It appears to me that Durham has its own Trayvon Martin case. The shooting of a Hispanic man trying to give a police officer a kitchen knife handle first certainly meets that criterion.

Durham should be embarrassed by Chief Lopez's convoluted explanation of how his officers did the right thing in killing this man. Three witnesses say that the victim posed no threat to Durham's finest that would justify killing this man. I'm curious to know if the two other officers who were present agree with the three independent observers.

The Durham Police regularly do sweeps of the streets at McDougald Terrace with drug-sniffing police dogs. Is it more likely to find drugs there than elsewhere in Durham? Drug use statistics say no, but I suspect more well-to-do areas of the city would have Chief Lopez looking for a job if they brought these dogs into their neighborhoods. License checks are consistently made on Holloway Street, but very few are done in more affluent neighborhoods.

Right-wingers claim a constitutional right to carry a gun, yet anyone ever convicted of a felony of any type is not allowed to possess one. How can such a “constitutional” right be taken after an offender pays his debt to society? It simply makes it much easier to be returned to prison. It is Jim Crow revisited.

Our justice system should not be driven by politics, but it is clearly not driven by any semblance of constitutional integrity or sense of fairness.

Larry Bumgardner

Durham

Better planning needed

I'm not a planner or a member of a planning board, but even I can see from a quick look at the NC 54 plan that the long-term plan for dealing with a big increase in traffic at what is already a dangerous intersection is to have Farrington Road go over NC 54, with no way to get onto westbound NC 54 there.  

Anyone working at the proposed office buildings who wanted to go to Chapel Hill would have a choice between making three difficult left turns or driving through a residential street where kids can now play in the front yards.  Maybe we need smarter planners, more thoughtful members of the planning board and perhaps more engaged county commissioners.

Patricia Carstensen

Durham