Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That theorem can be applied to the misconduct of the Baltimore City police officer convicted of beating a suspect in custody ("Baltimore officer jailed for assaulting suspect in break-in of girlfriend's home," April 16).
A city police officer takes a suspect back inside a dwelling to "shake him down" (action). A Baltimore City police officer finds a symbolic dead rat on his patrol vehicle; the rat was a message from a fellow police officer about snitching on the cop who assaulted the suspect.
Incidents of misconduct in the police department foment doubts among neighborhood residents, and those doubts lead to their alienation, indifference and hatred of the police. That inevitably is the equal and opposite reaction.
Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham
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