Sunday May 27, 2012

In regards to the "riot" that occurred last week near the end of Third Thursday, it’s disturbing that a group of young people did not respect cops or even fear enough for their own safety to leave the scene when told to disperse. Equally unsettling is the fact that my nephew, a good-natured, well-behaved young man who was trying to peacefully get minors who had pepper spray in their eyes to either go home or to the hospital, was violently grabbed by his throat and pushed back 10 or 15 feet and then subsequently followed, harassed and arrested by cops when he attempted to leave without incident.

In the former situation, parents or guardians need to teach children to accept the fact that cops have jobs to do and that at the end of the day they want to return to their families. In the latter case, society needs to recognize that sometimes the only difference between a cop and a criminal is the badge he hides behind. And hold him accountable.

I am thankful that no one was injured or killed on either side. And I hope that those involved realize that lack of respect was a major issue in the chaos that took place. In the future, things should be better if both parties come to the realization that respect is treating others better than the way you would want to be treated, and that you do not have to like someone to respect them.

REBECCA TALIAFERRO

Pittsfield