June 24, 2013 in Letters, Opinion

Gerlach the victim

 

When are we going to stop blaming the victim? Gail Gerlach is a law-abiding man who was trying to go to work to earn a living for his family.

Brendon Kaluza-Graham was a thief with a record of many convictions who stole Gerlach’s truck, his tools, his livelihood. Gerlach had seconds to react, panicked and shot Kaluza-Graham. There are people who call this “vigilantism.” I don’t know Gerlach, but his record shows he is a productive citizen with no criminal history. He is not a vigilante. It would be better if the police were called, but they could not have gotten there fast enough to stop the crime.

Kaluza-Graham’s family has suffered pain over his death. Gerlach’s family has suffered pain over charges against him. Clearly, Gerlach did not cause this; he is the victim in this crime committed by a man who had committed many similar crimes. Kaluza-Graham caused his own death by choosing his behavior.

Please keep Gerlach at home, providing for his family. Please don’t send him to prison.

Colleen Birchill

Spokane


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