Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

What are police taught?

As if the black and brown lives that have been snuffed out by police without justification isn’t enough, there are other recent events that reveal the inadequate training and/or integrity of some police and law enforcement personnel.

A 73-year old woman in Colorado left Walmart without paying for $14.00 worth of goods — probably because of her dementia — and was tackled and handcuffed, later providing entertainment for those police. At times, people who have mental disabilities are met with violence by law enforcement, as probably the case of the 70 year-old woman at the Spokane County Jail.

Then, a few weeks ago, a deaf woman in Las Vegas was arrested by police who handcuffed her – relying on her 11-year-old child to interpret as she couldn’t communicate through American Sign Language. There are immigrants, international students or foreign visitors who may not be fluent in English and may not understand “freeze,” resulting in being shot and killed for not complying with commands.

Lastly, there are people from other cultures who don’t know our customs, bring a shopping bag to the mall, like they would at home, put the merchandise in the bag, and looking for where to pay walk out into the mall, resulting in the store security arresting them for shoplifting.

What kind of comprehensive training is required for police officers? Do they know that not everyone can obey verbal commands? Do they emphasize de-escalation over shoot-to-kill – even someone with a knife? The public deserves satisfactory answers and accountability.

Nancy Street


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430