Letter to the editor: Someone needs to reel in violent teens

Letter to the editor: Someone needs to reel in violent teens

07/03/2013

In a recent letter to the editor 2 Tragic Deaths Illustrate This Differing Treatment, July 3, the Rev. William D. Cotton tried to show that there is a difference in how white criminal offenders are treated to how criminal offenders of color are treated. He used as examples the man who accidentally shot his daughter and the 16-year-old who accidentally shot his best friend.

He contends the man was basically treated with kid gloves and the 16-year-old was brought before a judge in shackles and handcuffs. He says this 16-year-old’s past transgressions were held against him, while the father was portrayed as a loving father who is remorseful over this tragic accident.

In the case of the father who shot his daughter, the father was upfront with the police about what happened. He did not try to shirk his responsibility for his actions. He admitted what happened and cooperated with the police in their investigation.
In the case involving the 16-year-old, there was deceit on his part, his friends’ part and his family’s part toward the police who were investigating. The weapon was hidden from the investigators in the beginning of the investigation.

Those actions were indicative of how he conducts his life day to day, right up to the minute when the shot that killed his best friend was fired. He refused to face the consequences of his own actions, and he figured that by lying and being uncooperative with investigators he could just go on with his merry life and not have to give another thought to killing his best friend.

Rev. Cotton, that was why these two people were treated so differently. Life is about accountability and being willing to take responsibility for your own actions.

Take a look at what is going on in Chicago. Six and seven or more murders occur every night, perpetrated by youths who are totally out of control. If that is what you want to see in our community, then keep hammering away at Polk County Attorney John Sarcone and his staff.

Someone has to get the attention of these kids who are out of control. Their parents can’t, or won’t, try to reel them in and take charge of them. Community leaders blame me and the other good citizens for all the problems that these kids generate.

John Sarcone and his staff are probably one of the best legal teams in this country. Polk County and the state of Iowa should be thrilled to have them on our side.

—David F. Brown, retired Des Moines police sergeant, Des Moines

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