To condemn the entire Baltimore City Police Department due to the corruption of seven police officers is an irresponsible action. This is what E.R. Shipp is doing in her latest commentary (“With law enforcement on trial, whom do we trust?” Feb. 7).
I am sorry, Ms. Shipp, but all police officers are not corrupt. Seven corrupt officers out of a force of 3,000 people (total count of people employed by the department) with approximately 2,514 sworn personnel and 411 civilians should not condemn the entire department! When you condemn the police department, you condemn them all as personnel are all part of one body. The seven officers represent .0023 percent of the department, yet Ms. Shipp implies all officers are not trustworthy.
Law enforcement is not on trial; seven bad officers are on trial. This does not define a “culture,” only an anomaly. To write that “the young person considering his or her future eschew the common street gang world with it’s almost guaranteed short productive life span, and become a gangster with a badge” is totally disrespectful to all police officers and their families who support them in their career. She also mentions that much of the decades-long abuses were aimed at blacks in Baltimore. Interesting that she failed to mention that five of the seven officers were minorities. Probably just an oversight on her part.
I have written to The Sun before about Ms. Shipp’s commentaries, as I felt they were racist. However, since she is a Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, I guess disagreement with her viewpoint is not allowed. I urge all people of Baltimore to support the police in their effort to stop the violence while putting their lives on the line every day. Don’t blame them all for the practices of seven corrupt officers. I also encourage people to shake the hands of any officer they meet on the street and say, “thank you for serving” and “my prayers are with you.”
Stas Chrzanowski, Canton
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