Regarding the story “Displaced Anger” (“The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives,” 9/14): I found the reactions of the law enforcement people to be bothersome. Their confused identification of the government as being the same as the country seems to be common among the authoritarian set. But if that was disturbing, the comments of the Metro cop were absolutely chilling. Yeah, yeah, I know he was being hyperbolic with the “kill, kill, kill” bit. Still, it’s indicative of the borderline psychosis that afflicts the 20 percent of the police force that causes 80 percent of the problems. How often does that officer allow the small frustrations of lifearguing with a mate, getting stuck in traffic, spilling coffee on paperworkto serve as justification for harassing a citizen or roughing up an arrestee?
Police like that are threats to the community. Your newspaper has a responsibility to that same community. The cop who was quoted has no right to anonymity. Your paper should print his name, badge number, and photograph. The reporter should take a copy of his interview notes and the tape recording, if he has one, and turn them over to the chief of police and the mayor and city council, who should sack that cop in a New York minute. And no whining from the Fraternal Order of Police. It’s time for the FOP to wake up and realize that it should help, not hinder, the effort to root out bad cops. Otherwise, we can’t trust any of them.
Finally, I’ve noticed that those who call attention to themselves as veterans, patting themselves on the back for the sacrifices they’ve made to defend our freedoms, are the same ones who are most angry and vindictive toward those who actually bother to exercise those freedoms. What’s up with that?