Saturday, August 27, 2016

Letter: Community should not be run as "police state"

St. Augustine Record Publication Date: 05/30/07
Editor: Is this the St. Augustine I have come to know and love -- or a police state?
Published reports have the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office -- plus every other law enforcement agency they could find, including a police dog and pepper spray -- wreaking havoc at a private party in West Augustine for recent high school graduates. Their embarrassingly uncalled for actions -- and the police report they issued after the bust -- must be questioned by every right-thinking citizen and voter in St. Johns County.
This is not a police state -- or county or city. Our law enforcers need to act responsibly, use common sense, show sensitivity and proper regard and respect for our residents.
In a similar vein, downtown artists think the St. Augustine Police Department "hates us," according to a somewhat harassed but equally militant artist who tries to uphold artists' rights while complying with city ordinances.
On Mother's Day, a major water sprinkler system at the Plaza de la Constitucion drenched those at a quiet peace demonstration, with many grumbling and thinking it was a deliberate act by uncaring officials. It probably was not, but the appearance of official disrespect can be just as bad as the real thing.
St. Augustine Beach police ticketing a handicapped couple for riding their golf cart on sidewalks seems to be a misguided action by unthinking officers enforcing compassionless statutes that could be amended. Do they want them in the dangerous streets?
I have been in more danger from bicycle riders on sidewalks causing pedestrians to move or perhaps be run into.
Can we be a better city and county by not mindlessly acting and/or reacting, but cautiously showing caring and concern for those who live in and love our community?
Dee Lovell
St. Augustine

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