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I WAS DEEPLY TROUBLED by the response of “[o]ne off-duty cop at the (Ibex) club” who “confesses…a familiarity with go-go violence—in October, he was jumped inside the club by some knuckleheads who broke his jaw.” Still, he shrugs off the beating, saying, “It was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time” (“The Sound and the Fury,” 2/16). It deeply disturbs me that violence has become so endemic in our society that a police officer resignedly accepts violence. I realize that the police officer has been traumatized and his response may be the way he deals with the trauma. However, I have heard this response before from victims of violent crime interviewed in the media. I have even heard neighbors say, “Crime is everywhere, there is nothing you can do about it.” Are we all so numbed by violence in our society that not only do we as citizens not care, but now the police don’t care? Unfortunately, I know from personal experience that everyone cares, but most people feel there is nothing they can do.
Stephanie Mencimer did an excellent job in presenting all sides of the argument. I am not saying that the people she interviewed thought her reporting was balanced or fair. But I did find her article illuminating. I don’t think it is enough to just point out the problem, nor do I suggest that Washington City Paper solve the problem. I would suggest that CP do more to empower communities so they can solve their own problems. For example, articles on: What can citizens do support the police? What do you do if an open-air drug market moves into your neighborhood? What do you do if the school is not providing your children with an adequate education? How do you make your child’s school safe? Doctors offering anger-reduction therapy for adolescents. I think the City Paper is the best paper in the area. I find your articles very informative. I learn a great deal about people that I never would have known. But I am one person. After reading Mencimer’s article, I did not feel any compassion for the neighborhood or community that is affected by violence at the Ibex. I felt even more helpless and alienated by society. I would like to read news that links me to society and not just to myself.
Takoma Park, Md.