George Zimmerman innocent! Innocent of what? I had to sit down for a minute and collect my thoughts, most of which were filled with images of some self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain profiling, stalking, taunting, then gunning down another minor: Perhaps mine, maybe yours.
Sure, Trayvon Martin had been in trouble before and yes, he may have continued to live a life of crime into adulthood and become an enemy of decent society. But maybe he would have finished high school, gone to college, fallen in love, become a doctor and cured cancer.
The point is we will never know because his life ended suddenly because the same man who singled him out and had the courage to stalk him suddenly feared for his life when Martin angrily confronted him. Some of us have made mistakes in the past, paid dearly for them and then had the wisdom to turn our lives around. Due process can allow for that, but vigilante stalking and profiling, or "baiting," is a criminal act unto itself. There is no justice to be found anywhere in this case. It's school yard bullying armed.
JOSHUA A. HURLEY, Dalton, Ga.
Some enterprising reporter should dig up the amount of the money wasted by the city of Chattanooga in legal fees and civil court judgments over the last 20-plus years due to arbitrary promotional practices by the police department. It would be considerable.
The city's latest payout of almost three-quarters of a million dollars to officers who were passed over for promotion is just another in a long series of unnecessary city liabilities over promotional practices. I know that law enforcement administrators receive training to avoid such legal pitfalls, and presumably council members and mayors have access to legal counsel. So, why would they negligently disregard such advice and disregard the outcome of promotional testing processes they themselves have put in place?
Officers who play by the rules to get promoted shouldn't have the rules changed on them because someone doesn't like the results of the process. There should be a predictable path to promotion, and the progress that began with Chief Jimmie Dotson in establishing such a path was undermined by this most recent case. A patrol officer who exposed the city to a $725,000 liability would be in trouble, but who holds city leaders accountable when they do likewise?
KENNETH D. PHILLIPS
Special thanks go out to Ron Harr, CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce; Bob Doak, head of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kim White, head of the River City Co.; Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker for their efforts in writing the Corp of Engineers and letting them know that Chattanooga is not interested in having the delapidated barge continue to deteriorate in our downtown river area. Even the small docks around it are losing styrofoam and the debris is floating down the river.
As the owner of a 30-foot pontoon boat, I and a group of friends go out every Tuesday night and pick up floating trash around the downtown area that we see in the Tennessee River. We also help with the Tennessee River Rescue whenever we can.
On June 7 the Times Free Press' Lindsey Burkholder and Mike Pare wrote about us finding a dock of debris from the barge tied off downstream that was filled with various pieces of scrap from the barge. It has since been moved across from Williams Island, and I sure hope it didn't spill over during the recent high waters.
Thanks again to our community business leaders and elected officials for their efforts in cleaning up our piece of the Tennessee River!
DAVIS JOINER, Lookout Mountain
After watching the Sunday news shows and hearing about justice, it appears to me that there would only have been justice in some people's minds if George Zimmerman had been found guilty.
I'm also astounded that black youth prefer to listen to and emulate the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as opposed to Dr. Ben Carson or Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager for Detroit.
JACK HEHMAN, Dalton, Ga.