Reckless drivers shouldn't shift blame for their behavior

Regarding the Feb. 26 article, "A teen speeds. Police ram car. Who's at fault?": I'm appalled that the youthful offender's attorney took this case to begin with, let alone asserts a position that his client's actions did not present a danger to anyone.

The youth's speeding and reckless driving on two-lane roads presented a clear danger to those around him. He could have avoided the unfortunate incident by stopping his car when signaled to do so by the officer.

Instead, he made a rash and reckless choice to flee the police. A traffic citation would've been a minor consequence compared with the injuries and subsequent disability he suffered. To me, this incident speaks to the ills of our society that this young man, through his attorney, seeks to avoid accountability for his acts and instead places the burden on someone else. His constitutional rights shouldn't be at issue; his duty to act responsibly when behind the wheel should be.
Kenneth Hayes
South Orange, N.J.

In response to the Feb. 26 article on a high-speed chase that left a reckless driver a quadriplegic: The law is at fault. The driver, Victor Harris, was too immature to be allowed to operate any powerful and potentially fast vehicle on his own.

How should the law be changed? Raise the driving age to 21? Many parents and teens would argue that age does not determine maturity. How about raising the driving age to 21 unless a parent or guardian of the child is willing to put his or her own driver's license on the line to vouch for the maturity of the child? How many parents would risk losing their permission to drive by allowing their child to drive? This would move the judgment of a child's maturity from the law to the parent.
Joy Dryden
Sausalito, Calif.

Focus on good works

I was disappointed by G. Jeffrey MacDonald's Feb. 13 article, "Remaking the black church," about my role as pastor of Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn, N.Y. Although given the opportunity to witness the good works, progression, and development of myself and the CCC, Mr. MacDonald did not focus on these. I feel compelled to clarify some of the statements made.

Thirty-two years ago, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I sought him as a young man within different religions, and, yes, I was briefly a member of the Nation of Islam. Today, I do not have a relationship with or any animosity toward the Nation of Islam.

Regarding the statements about my esteem for Malcolm X: MacDonald and I discussed several influential leaders over the past three decades, including Martin Luther King Jr. However, the article disproportionately highlighted the comments I made about Malcolm X's impact.

The level of security referenced was exaggerated. The article's author attended a high-profile city event hosted by Mayor Bloomberg, where I delivered the invocation. At such events, security is a necessary precaution. Further, I do not travel around the city "in an SUV with bulletproof windows." I take the train to work every day, except on Sundays and for special events.

At CCC, our message of faith in Christ has transformed and continues to transform lives, with countless success stories of members who have moved out of poverty. CCC attracts those – rich or poor – who want to learn about faith and want to achieve the level of success that others have achieved through faith.
The Rev. A.R. Bernard
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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