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The Public Pulse: Police responsibility; Mayoral election; Westside

The Public Pulse: Police responsibility; Mayoral election; Westside

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Police responsibility

In a recent Pulse letter, Mr. Richard Smiley expressed his astonishment that police are vilified for their actions in dealing with minorities. He erroneously states that in all instances the victim failed to cooperate with the police instructions and, had they cooperated there would have been no need for police to shoot them. One has to question what instruction Breonna Taylor failed to follow as she was murdered in her sleep in her own bed. What instruction did a young man, murdered by a veteran police woman who couldn’t tell a taser from a gun, fail to follow? What instruction did George Floyd fail to follow as he lay handcuffed on his back as a policeman murdered him with the world watching?

In order to obey rules, the public must know what the rules are and are not. In a sports event, playing out of bounds is breaking a rule. Is there a rule that police are authorized to act as judge, jury and executioner in the event of a minor traffic violation or suspicion of a violation? Or, is this playing out of bounds? If it is a rule, does it apply to everyone or only to minorities?

News Flash: Basic rules apply to all, even the police. The criminal conviction of the officer who murdered George Floyd is an indication that a choice may already have been made to hold all persons accountable for their actions, even the police and those who have difficulty with the truth. Hint to the wise: It is better to remain silent ...

Lois Saunders, Omaha

No to Stothert

Jean Stothert, where do we begin? First of all, homicides are up 61% in Omaha for 2020. It’s taking a risk just to go to the mall. Yes, she did campaign in 2012-2013 on getting rid of the restaurant tax. She hammered Jim Suttle on that tax saying it is a narrow tax that only targets a certain industry. Besides the fact she voted against it in 2010, she was in fact against it until she saw the revenue the city was reaping from it.

Conagra moved their headquarters out of Omaha under her watch. TD Ameritrade moved their headquarters out of Omaha under her watch also. The last eight years have seen the roads just go from bad to horrible. Just drive east/west on Center or Pacific. Just drive north/south on 120th from Maple to L street. Just go west on L from Bob Boozer. Try going south on 119th off Pacific and a small car would get swallowed up from the huge potholes. The roads are absolutely horrible, and all we see are blacktop repairs every year. Sure, roads are being widened, but we need to start repaving and stop just filling holes that are back bigger and better the next year. Snow removal has also been horrible under her watch.

Remember when she spoke out against the smart police officer who shut down 90th and Dodge because she wasn’t prepared for the 4 inches of snow we received? That officer probably saved it from being more of a disaster than it was.

So, no, she doesn’t deserve to be reelected. For once let’s just vote in someone who might actually do something they say they will do. These are facts and not fiction like her commercial.

Janice Mohs, Omaha

Yes to Stothert

Like Jon Nelson, I also appreciate Gene Leahy Mall (Pulse letter, April 27). But, what is coming through the $400 million “RiverFront” project will be much, much better since it connects the mall with Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing. And, the jewel will be the new $100 million “Luminarium” science and technology center. Where I disagree with Mr. Nelson is his contention that Mayor Jean Stothert somehow rammed the massive project through without consulting anyone else. That is absurd. RiverFront was the subject of many forums and public hearings over the years and was ultimately approved by the City Council since it involves the expenditure of public funds.

Yes, the mayor played a major role in the project. I think she should be praised for working with stakeholders to leverage over $300 million in private investment for it.

Likewise, Andrew Adams’ April 23 letter includes an attack on Stothert for her support of last year’s bonding proposal for street improvements. Adams says it “is a terrible way to run city government.” What is “terrible” to me is not addressing the need for a top-notch infrastructure in Omaha. I voted for the “Roadmap for Better Streets” and will vote for Mayor Stothert on May 11.

Linda Freeman, Omaha

Is it really that bad?

Does anyone else feel like I do when I read the letters submitted by supporters of RJ Neary? You’d think we are living in Calcutta. Everything is terrible here, nothing works in Omaha, life is a disaster. If these writers were in a coffee club, I’m sure they’d name the group the “Debbie Downers.”

Brandan Gross, Omaha


I teach at a large Omaha high school. This afternoon, several students gathered around a phone visibly upset by an image and whispered, “Westside kids.” I came home to the story of Westside kids reenacting the murder of George Floyd. District officials lamely explained: “They were willing participants, and no one was hurt.” I can assure you, by now thousands of kids have seen this image and they are hurt.

Just weeks ago, a Westside Middle School teacher posted a Hitler quote in a student hallway. For this, the district was “extremely sorry.” Westside had a year to anticipate and plan for the “open and honest conversations” officials now think ought to solve this. Their response is woefully inadequate and speaks to an utter lack of the leadership needed for today’s youth.

Maria Sullivan, Omaha

Election letter deadline

Election-related letters to the Pulse must be received by noon on Thursday, May 6.

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