The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 1:00 am


A display of racism in County Council meeting

Like many, I was disgusted with the comments of County Council Member Larry Brown. However, I was equally disgusted with Ken Fries and Kyle Kerley, who laughed, and the silence of Thomas Harris and Joel Benz. This overt and covert racism in our government cannot be tolerated. And people question why the protesters are out there for Black Lives Matter.

Donna Veiga

Fort Wayne

First, do no harm proper for police, too

Among the childhood games I remember playing are cowboys and Indians, and cops and robbers. The most effective way to bring a bad guy under control was to shoot him – either with a pointed finger or a cap gun.

I don't recall ever developing a complex plot regarding alleged crimes. If a bad guy could be cornered, he would be “shot” to keep him there. Of course, there was an implied existence of guilt, and no awareness on our part of such niceties as constitutional rights, official charges, proper arrest, trials or fair punishment. Justice had been done if the culprit was stopped in his tracks.

Years later, I became friends with a Department of Natural Resources officer, and recall his telling of an apprehension. He had chased the suspect into a river, hauling him back to shore for processing. “Of course, I couldn't shoot him in the back,” he said, “but I didn't want him to get away.”

Perhaps that's where officers should have stopped with George Floyd. There were at least four officers who could have manipulated Floyd into ordinary restraints, even if he presented strong resistance. Again, we are talking about a man suspected of a minor crime who might be proven innocent. Twenty-dollar bills are the denomination most often counterfeited and many of us, perhaps myself included, have passed one without the slightest awareness.

Excessive force may never disappear. Each police/suspect interaction is different and most involve fast-changing and complex scenarios. Still, the aim of every law enforcement agency and officer ought to be resolution which puts the officers, the public and, yes, the suspect, at the least risk of unwarranted harm. Sometimes, allowing a nonviolent suspect to get away is the most appropriate decision.

Richard B. Hatch

Fort Wayne

Young patriots stirred neighborhood's pride

In the summer of 1959, my family lived in the Fort Wayne area. I was 7. Our neighborhood was a new housing development in a rural area. I attended Anthony Wayne School as a second grader; Mrs. Anderson was my teacher.

On the Fourth of July, my kid brother, a neighbor friend and I dressed up (with plenty of bandages and ketchup for blood) as the characters in the painting “Spirit of '76” by Archibald Willard. We replaced the second drummer with a current American flag bearer, the drummer (me) had a cardboard box as a drum and a toy Lincoln Log served as our pretend fife. We all whistled “Yankee Doodle” as we marched down a neighborhood street, banging a marching cadence on the box (drum).

This was 61 years ago. I clearly recall a neighbor lady running out of her house to take our picture. What a sight we surely were.

If any readers recall such an impromptu display of childhood patriotism and know of a photo of such taken that hot July day in 1959, please have them contact me at

Thank you and have a great Independence Day.

Bob Dunkerley

Elkins, West Virginia

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