Sunday, November 23, 2014
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Truth editorial failed to add to police, community relations discussion

I believe that the media has as much responsibility to promote unity in a community as it has in informing that community's citizenry.

Posted on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.

In my opinion, the editorial written in this morning's edition of The Elkhart Truth (“Another Ferguson here in Elkhart?” dated Aug. 17) was irresponsible.The insinuation was to escalate distrust in Elkhart between citizens and law enforcement to the level that is being shown on national television in Ferguson, Mo. Also, by ranting against the city administration, The Truth missed the opportunity to point out some extremely important needs of the community.

First, although I respect the members of the “Roundtable” in their endeavor, and I believe that the suggestions given were of merit, the recommendations given also missed the need to accentuate personal responsibility and accountability of each person in all neighborhoods of Elkhart as essential in improving trust with the police department. Mayor Dick Moore was correct in questioning the completeness of the recommendations, as well as the support. It is my belief that any and all discussion in our community must include how citizens can contribute in aiding police in their neighborhoods, not just how the police need to change (although this is important too).

Secondly, having experienced “ghost” writing and signatures in the past, your publication should also question when an individual claims that his or her signature was used without permission. The mayor was well within reason to inquire as to whether the recommendations represented the group's thinking. Knowing Mr. Adrian Riley and his integrity, I would have wondered the same.

Lastly, I believe that the media has as much responsibility to promote unity in a community as it has in informing that community's citizenry. Therefore, I think that The Truth editorial's title and contents inflames rather than unifies. Instead of giving the impression that our community is ripe for violence because of the West Garfield incident, I would encourage The Truth to call for all community members, leaders and followers, to mediate the need for building and exhibiting trust, respect, cooperation and peace.

DON METZLER-SMITH

Elkhart


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