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letters 2/15

February 15, 2001

Letters to the Editor 2/15



Story sided with the police



To the editor:

The Morning-Herald's reporting of the Interstate 81 death of a police officer is heavily biased in favor of the police. It consistently reports that the Subaru ran into the police cruiser, killing an officer "in the line of duty."

It reports in great detail the events justifying the West Virginia police driving south from Chambersburg. The reporting seeks to motivate public sympathy for the police by front page headlining a photo of the W.Va. police car driver in a wheel chair at the funeral of the victim, a passenger in his cruiser. The paper makes a one sided statement that the Subaru heading north in a southbound lane collided "head-on" with the cruiser, killing the passenger in the front seat of the cruiser, when it appears that the cruiser and the Subaru collided into each other.

The driver of another police cruiser following the misguided Subaru is alleged to have chased it, observing that another car heading south veered to avoid colliding with the Subaru. Another passenger in the cruiser, under arrest for fraud, being transported by the southbound cruiser is alleged to claim that the cruiser was in the high speed lane passing another vehicle. The driver of the cruiser is alleged to have moved into the slow lane upon seeing the Subaru headed towards him, "but the (Subaru) came right at us."

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If the allegations of the occupant of the cruiser (who was under arrest for fraud) are true, and the driver of the cruiser saw the oncoming Subaru while passing another car, he either slowed down and moved back into the slow lane, or he sped up and pulled in front of the car he was passing. In the first case, why would the driver of the oncoming Subaru cut in between the cruiser and the car the cruiser pulled in behind, when there was no need?

In the latter instance, had the cruiser speeded up and pulled in front of the car being passed just before the collision, what prevented the passed car from running into the crashing ones? The highway is relatively straight, providing considerable clear vision of the road ahead, thus inviting the impatient to pass.

Police and their vehicles are capable and "privileged" to drive at high speed under guise of "being on duty," but isn't it also an officer's duty to safely transport a suspect to face charges, as well as a subordinate officer, so as not to place them in jeopardy of life and limb when passing another car? Furthermore, the damage to the Subaru continues along the passenger side following a front corner impact, suggesting that the cruiser hit the Subaru while it was trying to swerve out of the way.

Why is so much effort extended in sympathy with the West Virginia police while all that is reported regarding the driver of the crashed Subaru is that he is a 19-year-old Chambersburg teen-ager still hospitalized in critical cdition? Why has the paper not seen fit to print more information on him? Is the "so accused" but yet uncharged youngster under police guard and a "gag order" to protect his rights?

And if so, is it proper to publish so much in favor of the others involved so as to prejudice the public, in the event the "accused" is eventually charged with vehicular homicide, so that he cannot get a fair trial locally and must seek a change of venue?

Jorma Keto

Greencastle, Pa.

McDonald's is slipping



To the editor:

I am writing in regard to the new Mcdonald's at the Wal-Mart shopping center. My son and I went there to eat this past Sunday.

1) My food was cold.

2) The trash cans were full and there were about 10 trays with empty trash lying beside the trash cans because there was no other place to put it.

3) There were employees standing there with their hands crossed doing nothing.

I think McDonald's is going downhill fast. They are slow and the employees are rude. (All McDonald's). I think they need an overhaul and to get their act together.

Lois Noland

Hagerstown

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