The cost of police brutality

In the Dec. 6 PWW, Tim Wheeler lists several valid reasons why cities and states face large budget deficits. He does not mention one important reason: the huge financial settlements cities pay out to victims of police brutality and prosecutorial misconduct.

The city of Chicago has paid out many millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by victims or families of people killed by police, people wrongfully sentenced to death, etc. The police officers who carry out the brutality, and the police and prosecutors who engaged in misconduct to convict innocent people, never suffer the consequences of their actions; the hard-working taxpayers of Chicago are the ones who have to shell out the money for these settlements and suffer loss of essential city services besides.

Just recently a young African American man won a financial settlement; he had the misfortune of coming home to his apartment just as a police stake-out was occurring. For no reason, a white police officer tackled him to the ground, breaking his nose and knocking out most of his teeth. This officer already had a record of police brutality, yet was not disciplined at all.

Until police and prosecutors are called to account for their crimes and are forced to pay restitution out of their own pockets, cities and their citizens will suffer from the results of budget shortfalls.

Elise AuerbachChicago IL

Paul Robeson stamp

As a native Clevelander who now resides in Seattle, I read with joy the forwarded article from my mother about Paul Robeson. Nonetheless, I would be remiss if I did not share with you the real issue with the postal service and its claim of low demand for Black Heritage Series.

The real issue is that these are the only stamps that one must go “inside” of the post office and make a personal request for. They are not advertised in the leaflet that comes to our homes, nor are they dispensed in any machines for purchase. I have personally written them about this issue only to be ignored. Continue to do great work. Peace be with you.

J. MooreSeattle WA

All the news that fits?

Got a call from the editor of the (Gannett) Bellingham Herald today. I can’t call our President a sociopath, and I can’t say he’s on a killing spree in Iraq. I should have told the man I wasn’t being facetious.

Anybody who can smile on the deck of an aircraft carrier after a thing like “Shock and Awe” has got to have a screw loose. Anybody who can smile over a Thanksgiving turkey in Baghdad, when 17 (to my knowledge) of our soldiers have committed suicide in Iraq has got to have a psychiatric diagnosis of some kind.

Joe RandellBellingham WA

Story helped student

I am currently in 10th grade at North Allegheny High School. I am doing a term paper on cruel and inhuman punishments, and I came across the article “U.S. exporting ‘tools of torture’”by Cian Dolan (PWW, 12/13-19). This helped me out a great amount for my paper.

Bethany WilsonVia email

The road to peace
The time
Is now to make
Your vow to work for peace
We must insist, and then persist
No war!

Norm RothOak Park IL

Holiday spirit

Maybe it’s a product of stress – layoffs, war, being overworked and underpaid, inequalities, family feuds, consumerism – but it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit. When I feel overwhelmed like that I try to take a deep breath and do something enjoyable and humanizing, like reading a book to my kids or taking a walk. That’s why I liked the article about dog walking by Brandi Lea Kishner (PWW, 12/13-19). It’s good to be reminded that it’s these “little things” in life that make up the bigger things.

Marie LawrenceColumbus OH

And we thank you!

My brother Jules, visiting here, gave me a check for $100 for the People’s Weekly World, enclosed. Cashing the check should be receipt enough. Thank you all for the excellent job you are doing.

L.H. Philadelphia PA