I'm responding to your recent articles on the tension between the residents in the Garfield neighborhood and the Elkhart Police Department.
I used to live in the neighborhood, and let me be blunt: There is a definite and large element in that neighborhood that is quick to say that the police are being excessive. Somehow, many of these same people are the slowest to do what is right.
I, for one, would love to know what all had already happened before the cellphone video was taken. I believe at one point the gentleman taking the video dropped a beer bottle out on the street. The officers were rightfully tense.
There does need to be a stronger police presence in that neighborhood, but more important, the people in the neighborhood need to take ownership of the neighborhood and help the police put an end to the almost rampant crime there rather than yelling about excessive force or claiming that the police are retaliating.
Did the police patrol that neighborhood more over the weekend? Probably, but when you live in a high-crime area you should want an increased amount of patrolling officers. The only people who probably are against that are the very reasons the neighborhood is what it is.
I've literally been the only one to call the cops while a man beat his girlfriend in the street during the time I resided on Garfield.
Do right and the police are very unlikely to cause you a problem in Elkhart. If we quit ignoring the crimes in our neighborhoods, maybe we can actually get the bad element out.