Thursday, December 17, 2009
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I sat on this one for a day or so, in order to give it a lot of thought.
As you know by now, two young people face federal charges for the 2008 beating death of an illegal immigrant in Shenandoah. Three police officers, including the chief, are accused of helping to try to cover it up.
The feds say this was a hate crime, and it fits their definition. I happen to feel all crimes are hate crimes. The suspects hate the victims. I'm sure if you look hard enough, the suspects hate themselves.
As for the police officers allegedly involved, it's sickening. We hold them to a higher standard. They have to speak for the victims. They have to search for the truth. It's especially upsetting when they're dirty. If that isn't enough, there are allegations there's a history of police hostility toward minorities
Like it or not, we all have a stake in this. The story is getting national attention-- again. It's not just a Shenandoah story. Outsiders see us as one region-- Northeastern Pennsylvania. Parts of our area are famous for lumber and railroads, but it's all coal country to the outsiders. The crooked judges are from Luzerne County. Those outside the area don't look at county lines.
Now, we're seen as the area where killers got away with it on the local level. The police looked the other way and even tried to hide the crime. It took the federal government to step in and make things right.
And, I should add, similarly, that the thieving politicians in Harrisburg taint the entire state.
Those involved are innocent until proven guilty, and the accused do have rights granted by the constitution.
It's just so horrible that we've reached this point.
AT 12:01 AM