Readers Write: Michael Brown denied due process; California needs to rethink growth

Letters to the Editor for September 1, 2014 weekly magazine:

Waddell: Michael Brown was denied due process when shot by police. 

Christian: California doesn’t just need to rethink its water management practices, it needs to rethink its growth.

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP/Pool
The casket of Michael Brown sits inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on Monday, Aug. 25. Brown, who is black, was unarmed when he was shot Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white. Protesters took to the streets of the St. Louis suburb night after night, calling for change and drawing national attention to issues surrounding race and policing.

Teen victim deprived of due process

In regards to the Aug. 16 online article “How Capt. Ron Johnson changed police tactics in wake of Michael Brown shooting” ( The shooting in Ferguson, Mo., of an 18-year-old unarmed black male by a policeman is an example of a lawman doing the opposite of what is expected of a lawman: to protect the people and the community from harm. If the witnesses  are telling the truth – that a police officer shot Mr. Brown several times while his hands were up in the air – the victim was executed. 

To add more injury to harm, the Ferguson Police Department seems to be protecting the officer. Consider this: If a black police officer in Ferguson had committed the above crime, shot and killed an unarmed white 18-year-old with his hands in the air, it is my belief that the black police officer would now be in custody, and the Ferguson Police Department would be separating itself from this criminal act rather than trying to justify it. We are living in a democracy; everyone has the right to due process. Brown was deprived of that right when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed him when his hands were up in the air.

Alfred Waddell
West Barnstable, Mass. 

California must rethink its growth

Regarding the Aug. 4 Monitor’s View “California can use its drought to rethink water”: California doesn’t just need to “rethink” its water management practices, it needs to “rethink” its economic growth model. California’s population is projected to pass 60 million in a couple of decades, and will continue to grow, and that means more buildings, more roads, etc. The state needs a new plan. But if its residents believe that human creativity, energy, and determination, as journalist Charles Fishman was quoted in the editorial as having said, can solve all the problems and postpone uncomfortable realities, then their descendants will pay. Denial is comforting, but it comes with a price. We all need to envision a new way to live – one more grounded in reality, and less driven by delusions of boundless human creativity.

Jonette Christian
Holden, Maine

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