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Letters to the Editor

Sat., March 1, 2014

Change violent culture

Don’t dare put one ounce of blame on the veteran shot to death by Spokane County sheriff’s deputies. A boy who grew up in a culture of guns and violence goes off to experience an unthinkable war, comes back with post-traumatic stress disorder, gets denied care for his trauma, then becomes suicidal.

Spokane should be ashamed. People should not be casting blame as the media and community are doing in their responses. When someone’s on a bridge, a specialist is sent to talk them down. Yet when someone is threatening to kill themselves with a gun or knife, we send people who shoot them.

June 1, 2013, deputies shot an unarmed man in the presence of his family and friends. And the violence continues eight years after the brutal killing of Otto Zehm. Yet there’s no indication of a desire to change the culture of violence within the psyche. They refuse to be investigated.

This system needs reform. To help, please join organizations like Don’t Shoot, The Smart Justice Campaign, Greater Spokane Progress, or Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane and become active in your community now.

Let’s change this culture of violence together.

Russell Webster


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