Letters to the Editor: May 25, 2016

Unfinished Business

I may be politically incorrect and very old-fashioned, but in the matter of the 5th District’s supervisor’s election, I feel there is an elephant in the room, or actually two little girls. Are we not allowed to discuss the fact that Lynda Hopkins has two little children under the age of three? Yes, I know, and do believe, we need more women in government and positions of power, but the supervisor’s job is a serious responsibility, requiring almost full-time attention, just like the job of being a mother with a baby and a very young child. I feel Lynda Hopkins should finish the job she has already taken on before embarking on a new project.


Read the Signs

For the current Fifth District supervisor’s election, the big land/big money folks have found another charming young person with no track record to be their stealth candidate, although I don’t think the voters will be so easily fooled this time. All the giant posters for Lynda Hopkins are up on the big vineyard fences in the exact same place they were for Efren Carrillo.


Too Loud

Don Scott is absolutely correct about police officers routinely ignoring the illegal loud bikes (Open Mic, May 11). In fact, it’s abusive behavior to ride loud, and that fact alone should prompt the police to address this abuse.

Via Bohemian.com

We Say No

On May 28, 2015, two dozen inmates at the Sonoma County Male Correctional Facility were beaten repeatedly by deputies for over five hours. Their crime? Shouting from their cells to stop the beating of a sleeping and drugged inmate who hadn’t responded to orders quickly enough.

Sheriff Steve Freitas has said jail employees were stopping a riot. There can be no riot by individuals locked in their cells. Apparently, the deputies just enjoy beating people. One is said to have stated that it was fun and they could do it all day. The “yard counseling” techniques used are the same that resulted in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Twenty-one inmates have written letters of complaint describing the beatings. Six have signed on to a lawsuit (inmates cannot sue until after they have served their sentence). The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for an average of $1 million a year in settlements. That’s out of our pockets. Insurance doesn’t kick in until settlements are over $1 million.

In the United States, punishment for serious crimes is imprisonment, not beating, not torture, but law enforcement has convinced many people otherwise. On this first anniversary of the beatings, it is time for people of good conscience to reject law enforcement explanations of their right to do anything to anybody whenever they choose. They won’t stop until we all say “No!”

Police Brutality Coalition

Santa Rosa

Write to us at [email protected].