Letters to the editor

Police, prosecutor treat man unfairly

As members of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (far north central cluster,) we have found the case against Hahkeem Layman to be both informative and distressing (for background, read Elkhart Truth article Sept. 4th and view video of arrest.)

Who knew a citizen could be handcuffed on his/her own property because a police officer thought he smelled marijuana (no marijuana was found), could be arrested for resisting when continually asking why the officer was treating him as he was and without any violence or bad language, and could be incarcerated for resisting because our county prosecutor, Vicki Becker, refused to drop the charge? In this time of Black Lives Matter and added scrutiny on our justice system, the treatment of Layman by police and prosecutor seem completely “tone deaf” to us. We would like to see our police function to “protect and serve” every citizen of every race. Layman’s treatment by police causes us concern and makes us wonder if every citizen can expect respect by authorities.

Additionally, we desire our prosecutor to act in ways that not only keep the general citizenry safe, but that hold as the highest concern, just decision-making for the individual based on fairness and humane judgment. In the Layman case, we find fairness lacking.

We believe Layman posed no threat to us nor to our county. Though we recognize that the harm done to Layman due to arrest and jail cannot be undone, we request that any remaining charges against Layman be dropped.

Anyjah Perkins, co-coordinator South Bend

Rod Hollinger-Janzen, co-coordinator Goshen

Debbie Fath, Goshen

Elizabeth Gingrich, Goshen

Linda Raven, South Bend

Jane Ross Richer, Goshen

Jason Shenk, Elkhart

Anne Thacker, South Bend

Sam Yoder, Bristol

Taxation without representationEvery American has three representatives in Congress: two senators and one representative. Their basic task is to vote and make laws that decide who gets what and where our tax money is spent. It’s revealing to check out who gives our representatives money and how they vote.

With Rep. Jackie Walorski, there’s a direct correlation between the campaign money she receives and how she votes. Even though it’s our tax money that pays her salary to represent us and our interests, a monitoring group, Know the Score, which tracks voting, calculates that Walorski votes for her constituents’ kitchen-table issues — health care, education, environment, etc. — about 1% of the time. Say what?

Walorski’s financing comes from corporate, special-interest political action committees. She dutifully votes 100% of the time for the interests of corporations. That explains why she wants to privatize Social Security and hand over our retirement savings to Wall Street to play with. If she were a company employee, she would’ve been fired long ago for not doing what she was hired to do — work for her employer. Walorski’s boss? We are!

On Nov. 3, we can elect someone who doesn’t accept money from corporate PACs. Pat Hackett’s campaign is financed almost totally by small donors, her constituents. Anyone who has witnessed a “Pat Chat” knows she listens and really hears us. Above all, she won’t keep voting to take health care away from the people she represents. She will be true to her campaign slogan, “Dignity and Justice for All.”

Joann Yoder Smith, Goshen

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